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"After I stopped taking birth control, and I had my period for the first month, and then nothing after. What should I do?"

ZocdocAnswersAfter I stopped taking birth control, and I had my period for the first month, and then nothing after. What should I do?

Question

After an eating disorder, I lost 10 lbs and my period. I was put on birth control pills, and they brought my period back. I stopped taking them, and I had my period for the first month, and then nothing after. What should I do?

Answer

It sound like you have when we call secondary amenorrhea. I suggest you schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN. While secondary amenorrhea has many different causes, in your case you already have stated the likely cause of your problem. When women lose weight especially a lot of weight or a small amount of weight really fast this disturbs the brain's mechanism of controlling sex hormones. When using birth control, these hormones that were otherwise suppressed when you had lost a lot of weight get replaced. When you came off of your birth control you had a period, but that was because you were just getting supplemental hormones.You still have not restored enough body weight at that your body feels that I can restart it's a regular cycle. This is the body's natural reaction to weight loss. There's a certain amount of body fat that that is needed in order to safely carry a pregnancy and the body must verify that you have that amount of body fat prior to allowing for your cycles to continue. While this is only one possibility I think it is likely you (given your description). Nevertheless I suggest you schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN. There is a very standard and short workup that your doctor may do to look for other causes of secondary amenorrhea.

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