Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does having low body fat make my periods shorter?"
I've been exercising for five months and my periods have gotten shorter. Is this why? I'm worried because my period used to be very regular but recently it's not at ALL.
When a woman misses one or more menstrual periods for over 3 months due to pregnancy, stress, or weight loss, she experiences a clinical condition called secondary amenorrhea. It also may be due to genetic, hypothalamic, pituitary, ovarian, or uterine factors. What you are experiencing is exercise-induced secondary amenorrhea which is a common and reversible disorder in female athletes. Vigorous exercising stresses the body in such a way that it interrupts the normal releasing of the hormone gonadotropin that signals the pituitary gland to excrete leutinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) necessary to have a period. Amenorrhea is even more likely to occur when excessive physical activity is combined with low calorie intake or low body fat (BMI < 20). Menstrual cycles can resume normally after you reduce the intensity of your physical activity or increase your calorie intake and body weight. Vigorous exercise is encouraged to promote physiological well-being. But excessive exercise can do more harm than good. It can deplete the energy in your body which disrupts normal metabolic and hormonal functioning. If you continue to experience missed periods, you should consult a primary care doctor or an OBGYN to rule out an endocrine condition.
Need more info?See a doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.