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skylarfox
@skylarfox

Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 23, 2017

Infrequent periods, not PCOS

Posted by @skylarfox, Sep 23, 2017

I’m new to this and I’m really just here to get some info because none of my doctors dig for an answer because my questions don’t necessarily need to be answered. I can’t find info on this anywhere so I’ll just give you my history. I’m in my early twenties, married with two young children. I have had infrequent periods since I was 14 when my periods started. No sex before marriage, no STDs, used birth control for a month before and after I got married to try to get myself on a regular menstural cycle, haven’t used it since then. My periods come like 3 times a year, max. I don’t think I have PCOS because I already have two healthy babies, two years apart, I have trouble keeping my weight up, not keeping it down. I don’t have extreme acne or any hair issues. I just really want to know what other explanations there are for my lack of menstruation. I don’t feel like I have the right questions to ask my doctors because they act like I’m crazy wanting to know about my cycle since I don’t necessarily have a hard time conceiving. Anyone else dealing with a similar situation??

REPLY

Hi @skylarfox
I am not a doctor and unfortunately I have the opposite problem from you in terms of my weight. I have always had to work on keeping my weight down. It sounds like your infrequent periods are likely due to your weight and perhaps low body fat. Often times women who are professional athletes, runners, etc. with very low body fat have infrequent periods. I am thinking this might be the case for you–not that you are a professional athlete, but just that for whatever reason you have very low body fat. I recall having a number of friends in my younger days who had infrequent periods and they were all people who were extremely thin or who worked out to excess, etc. I think your problem might be helped with some nutritional advice. If I were you and I had ruled out the basic medical issues which sounds like you have, I would try to find a really good nutritionist or someone specializing in women’s health and nutrition. It is likely that you can get some advice on healthy ways to put on a little weight as well as to give your body a little help in keeping your body fat to a little higher level. While most women might think “why is she complaining about being thin and not having periods?”, it sounds like this is really bothering you. When I was in my 20’s (I turn 63 in a few weeks) I had some times when I rarely had a period and I was bothered by it as well. My doctor told me that there was no problem with not having periods and that once I got off of the birth control pills, my periods would return. She was exactly right. But it does not sound like this is the problem for you since you are not using birth control pills now. So I would really encourage you to check out the nutritional/body fat aspect of this and see if you can’t get some answers there. Just to put you at ease, I have a really good friend who is pencil thin and does yoga constantly. She is very high energy and is always going, going, going. Her body fat is very low and she has two beautiful healthy children. Sounds just like you so I would not worry too much but I would get some nutritional advice or talk to someone specializing in women’s health and nutrition. Best of luck to you and keep us posted on what you find. I have found Mayo Clinic Connect to be an excellent resource and to be full of really caring people.

@gailg

Hi @skylarfox
I am not a doctor and unfortunately I have the opposite problem from you in terms of my weight. I have always had to work on keeping my weight down. It sounds like your infrequent periods are likely due to your weight and perhaps low body fat. Often times women who are professional athletes, runners, etc. with very low body fat have infrequent periods. I am thinking this might be the case for you–not that you are a professional athlete, but just that for whatever reason you have very low body fat. I recall having a number of friends in my younger days who had infrequent periods and they were all people who were extremely thin or who worked out to excess, etc. I think your problem might be helped with some nutritional advice. If I were you and I had ruled out the basic medical issues which sounds like you have, I would try to find a really good nutritionist or someone specializing in women’s health and nutrition. It is likely that you can get some advice on healthy ways to put on a little weight as well as to give your body a little help in keeping your body fat to a little higher level. While most women might think “why is she complaining about being thin and not having periods?”, it sounds like this is really bothering you. When I was in my 20’s (I turn 63 in a few weeks) I had some times when I rarely had a period and I was bothered by it as well. My doctor told me that there was no problem with not having periods and that once I got off of the birth control pills, my periods would return. She was exactly right. But it does not sound like this is the problem for you since you are not using birth control pills now. So I would really encourage you to check out the nutritional/body fat aspect of this and see if you can’t get some answers there. Just to put you at ease, I have a really good friend who is pencil thin and does yoga constantly. She is very high energy and is always going, going, going. Her body fat is very low and she has two beautiful healthy children. Sounds just like you so I would not worry too much but I would get some nutritional advice or talk to someone specializing in women’s health and nutrition. Best of luck to you and keep us posted on what you find. I have found Mayo Clinic Connect to be an excellent resource and to be full of really caring people.

Jump to this post

Thank you for answering! I wondered about this as well and that’s when I really started to work on putting on some weight to see if it would jumpstart my cycle. I was eating my 4 servings of veggies and 3 of fruit every day but I added whole fat dairy and I love baking so I baked and ate a lot. I was also eating more protein, shakes in the morning, more meat and eggs, etc. I don’t work out anymore I just try to keep up with my kids haha. I just hover at the low end of healthy bmi. I used to be 110lbs and I’m 5’4″ and lately I can hardly stay at 105lbs. It scares me because I want to be healthy and take care of my body but most care providers just give me that look like “why are you complaining about this?” and brush it aside. I can’t explain why I feel like this is something serious I should find some answers for. I studied nutrition in college so I feel like I have a good idea of what my body needs when (pregnancy, breastfeeding, just me!) but maybe I will look into getting some professional advice specifically for this strangeness… I think it would easier if I had something to call it! But thank you so much for weighing in on this! I truly appreciate being heard! Thank you!

@skylarfox
I don’t know if you have a doctor that you have been seeing for a long time or not. But if I were you I would try to find someone that you really like and who listens to you (most likely it will end up being a female doctor although I have a few male doctors I do like). I have a doctor that I have had for over 30 years and just keep hoping she does not retire as a lot of mine seem to be doing now. But she has run some tests on me because of things I might be worried about that she thinks are highly unlikely (just to put my mind at ease). So if you are concerned, then by all means you should inquire. I think that someone who is well-versed in women’s health and/or a nutritionist might be more open to your inquiries. So many people have to be told to lose weight and so your doctor is much more familiar with that problem and that is probably why many providers act like they do. They should however be focusing on your concerns and not just responding based upon the fact that the general population is overweight. I know that many young mothers keep their weight off by chasing after their little ones and so that is very common. But sounds like you have a very healthy lifestyle. I would check around where you live for some really good nutritionists and see even if there is someone who knows about the type of issue you are having although that is not essential if they are good. And while you are young, find some doctors you really connect with and that you feel are listening to you. I didn’t ask before but are any of your other family members on the slim side, the heavy side, etc? Just something to think about as if your genetic make-up is that of a slim person anyway and then you are burning calories chasing those kiddos, this could account for your particular situation.
Best of luck to you.

@gailg

@skylarfox
I don’t know if you have a doctor that you have been seeing for a long time or not. But if I were you I would try to find someone that you really like and who listens to you (most likely it will end up being a female doctor although I have a few male doctors I do like). I have a doctor that I have had for over 30 years and just keep hoping she does not retire as a lot of mine seem to be doing now. But she has run some tests on me because of things I might be worried about that she thinks are highly unlikely (just to put my mind at ease). So if you are concerned, then by all means you should inquire. I think that someone who is well-versed in women’s health and/or a nutritionist might be more open to your inquiries. So many people have to be told to lose weight and so your doctor is much more familiar with that problem and that is probably why many providers act like they do. They should however be focusing on your concerns and not just responding based upon the fact that the general population is overweight. I know that many young mothers keep their weight off by chasing after their little ones and so that is very common. But sounds like you have a very healthy lifestyle. I would check around where you live for some really good nutritionists and see even if there is someone who knows about the type of issue you are having although that is not essential if they are good. And while you are young, find some doctors you really connect with and that you feel are listening to you. I didn’t ask before but are any of your other family members on the slim side, the heavy side, etc? Just something to think about as if your genetic make-up is that of a slim person anyway and then you are burning calories chasing those kiddos, this could account for your particular situation.
Best of luck to you.

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Thank you for the advice! We have been moving every few years since we got married so I hope to find a good doctor and stick to her soon! My obgyns were great for pregnancy, etc. they just didn’t see the need to address my abnormal cycles since I don’t have a problem conceiving. But I like the sound of your doctor, doing what she can to put your mind at ease. I will look for that in a future provider! My mom was pretty slim when she was my age, she did gain weight in the last 15 years and she told me it wasn’t from having 5 kids it was from the stress of work/other things that changed in her life. So I’m sure that genetic factor plays a part in my body type but none of my female relatives have experienced such infrequent menstruation. I never worried much about not being able to gain weight until I actually tried and couldn’t. But I guess it still isn’t that big of a deal because I gain 30+lbs every pregnancy, so I can do it when it really counts. I just feel a little bit off. Thank you for your consideration and advice! I sincerely appreciate it!

Hello @skylarfox

I wanted to welcome you to Connect, and thank you for sharing your history. I found this information from my research online:

Oligomenorrhea is a medical term for infrequent menstrual periods (fewer than six to eight periods per year); here are the details, which I hope, will offer some more insight:
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/absent-or-irregular-periods-beyond-the-basics

@skylarfox, in your initial message you wrote, “…none of my doctors dig for an answer because my questions don’t necessarily need to be answered. I’d like to mention that often doctors and their patients see things in a different order of importance, so when it comes to your health, there is no such thing as asking an unimportant question. Your communication with your physician plays a significant role in your healthcare.

Have you thought about getting the pituitary hormones tested? These are hormones that control metabolism, fertility, blood pressure, breast milk production, etc.

@kanaazpereira

Hello @skylarfox

I wanted to welcome you to Connect, and thank you for sharing your history. I found this information from my research online:

Oligomenorrhea is a medical term for infrequent menstrual periods (fewer than six to eight periods per year); here are the details, which I hope, will offer some more insight:
http://www.uptodate.com/contents/absent-or-irregular-periods-beyond-the-basics

@skylarfox, in your initial message you wrote, “…none of my doctors dig for an answer because my questions don’t necessarily need to be answered. I’d like to mention that often doctors and their patients see things in a different order of importance, so when it comes to your health, there is no such thing as asking an unimportant question. Your communication with your physician plays a significant role in your healthcare.

Have you thought about getting the pituitary hormones tested? These are hormones that control metabolism, fertility, blood pressure, breast milk production, etc.

Jump to this post

I haven’t considered hormone testing before… do you think it would be worth it if all other areas seem to be normal? My blood pressure, fertility, and breast milk supply have always been good. I think my metabolism is good? I can see how I need to be more assertive in my health care, instead of asking why I am like this maybe I should be asking “What can we do to figure out why”. Thank you!

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