As a female athlete in any sport there are often changes in your body you may or may not have expected. For some whom have never been athletic these changes may come as a big surprise. While participating in sports or serious exercises you were hoping to get into better shape, lose a little weight and increase the quality of your life. What you didn’t expect was to like it so much that your athletic prowess is taking on a life of it’s own in your mind and body. After some time you’ve shed some more weight and body fat and suddenly your menstrual cycle is late or missing altogether.
Having secondary ammenorhea is common for women who become too lean from rigorous exercise or excessive loss of body weight. Although it’s common in professional athletes that doesn’t mean you have to be one for it to happen to you. Ballerinas, gymnasts, bodybuilders and runners will often face this issue due to the stress on the body, high caloric expenditure from exercising and lowered body fat.
Activities which include a combination of high cardiovascular exercises and/or strenuous weight training with a combination of poor nutrition can decrease body fat to the point your menstrual cycle is reduced or missed. Staying extremely lean also requires lower body fat which causes the ovaries to stop producing estrogen; a necessity for regular menstrual cycles. Though it often comes back there should be some concern. There are several reasons for secondary ammenorheah while some causes are more common for athletic ammenorhea. Here are some signs that you may suffer from it.
According to the Mayo Clinic secondary ammenorhea is when you’ve had your menstrual cycle previously and it ceases. If you have missed your period for three to six months you should make an appointment with your physician.
Lowered body wieght
If you think this may be related to your athletic activities explain that to your physician beforehand. Your doctor will also inform you of the the tests available to diagnose your condition. A pregnancy exam and blood or imaging tests are just a few types of exams your physician may reccomend. If your doctor determines rigorous and stressful exercise to be the reason for amennorhea he may tell you to back off of the physical activities and to change your nutritional program.