Did My Period Stop Because of Too Much Exercise?

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Did My Period Stop Because of Too Much Exercise?


I exercise about 2 hours a day every day. In the last 2 months I've lost 26 pounds, but my period is gone. What should I do?
– Samantha*

It's not surprising you're not having your period after such rapid weight loss. Two hours of exercise a day can add up to a lot of calories burned, which means that you need to take in more calories than when you were not as active.

Unfortunately, many girls who exercise a lot also develop unhealthy eating habits. This combination of poor diet and intense exercise can have unhealthy consequences, including nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, loss of lean body mass, and amenorrhea (no period). Amenorrhea leads to bone loss and can increase risk of fractures now and osteoporosis in the future.

Some girls who play sports or exercise intensely are at risk for a problem called female athlete triad. Female athlete triad is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. A female athlete can have one, two, or all three parts of the triad.

Work with your doctor to get back on track with healthy eating and exercising. Your doctor may ask you to increase your calories and decrease your workouts to get your body and your cycle back on track.

For more information, check out these articles:
Compulsive Exercise
A Guide to Eating for Sports
Female Athlete Triad
Coping With Common Period Problems

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: June 2007

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