(Here is a question from a lady on my e-mail list who wanted to remain anonymous. She has issues with being underweight and wants to know how that affects fertility. See her story and questions as well as my response to her.)
Question: I have had no periods for four years but am otherwise healthy. I have had scans on my ovaries that are normal, and three blood tests suggesting that my hormones are in normal range.
The endocrine faculty at the hospital believe that my lack of periods is due to being underweight by half a stone. However I have always been very slim, other than a short spell at university.
My periods stopped when I stopped taking the pill, at my heaviest weight, and in the last four years I have only had three periods in total. I have had a lot of stress over the years and believe this to be the main cause of my problems, rather than my weight.
My doctor and the hospital are pushing me to start taking the pill again, but I don’t think this will help the probelem, just cover it up. I did agree to take some progesterone on two occasions for a week at a time, but even on the highest dose nothing happened. It only made me feel very anxious.
I am concerend that no periods for such a long time will impact on my fertility. I am 29 years old and would very much like to have children.
Does a lack of periods mean you cant get pregnant? How can I kick start menstruation? I have tried nutritional means but is there a more drastic approach?
Thank you for your question.
The short answer is that your weight and not having a period does matter when trying to conceive, and I do believe that your weight could be contributing to your lack of periods.
Being underweight or overweight does impact fertility. However, I don’t know what your doctor knows and only know what I’ve researched on my own.
You must have periods in order to get pregnant. Your menstrual period is the process that brings the egg out of your ovary to be fertilized. The bleeding signifies the end of the process and the beginning of the next cycle.
You’re right to not want to take birth control pills. That would only cover up the issue. There’s a reason you’re not menstruating, but I’m not sure what it is.
I don’t know of a quick fix for your problem. All I can advise is that you get to your optimal weight for your height and that you seek to be as healthy as possible.
The stress you mentioned could definitely be causing your problems as well and could be the factor in your being underweight also. Do all you can to minimize this stress and find relaxation time for yourself every day.
This may not be the answer you’re looking for, but a drastic change in your body could take some time and patience on your part.
If anyone else has any feedback, they can post what has helped them.
Please keep us all updated!