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  1. #1
    Registered User sunnydelightcmb's Avatar
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    Caloric Deficit/Amenorrhea

    I was wondering how much of a caloric deficit is needed to cause Secondary Amenorrhea? I've had this condition for about 2 years now, initiated by what I believe was the improper way to lose weight. I went from 160 pounds to 120 pounds in 3 months back in 2004. I ate barely anything and ran my ass off.

    Over the past two years, I've become a fitness freak...I lift full-body 3x a week, HIIT cardio 2x a week, and 1 SS cardio a week. I eat what I think is very properly. I get all the proper macro and micronutrients and never eat less than 2000 calories a day. Right now, I'm at about 125g - 150g protein a day. Currently, I've been maintaining my weight at 125 pounds. I'm 5'5". I still haven't gotten my period back. If at all, I might be in a small caloric deficit, but from my knowledge a small deficit isn't enough to cause problems. It's a rather large deficit, correct? I've been as healthy as I can be the past two years and it's just frustrating to not have my period back. What else could be causing me not to have it?
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  2. #2
    I likes to hide.... Mango's Avatar
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    Red face

    Low body fat?? I was in the same boat, and now I have the damned thing back, because of my weight creeping up from 115 to 132--it sucks @$$. Take it!! Personally, I wish I didn't have it back, not just because it means that my bodyfat is higher, but because it's a pain in the butt!!

    There can be a lot of reasons aside from weight from your lack of cycles, though, such as a hormone condition. You might want to have blood screening done, just to rule anything more serious out. Congrats on the weight loss, though!!
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  3. #3
    Registered User OhLea's Avatar
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    i lost mine when i got down to 89 lbs and was still eating about 12-1300 calories a day but burning atleast 600 calories thru exercise...but i got it back when i stopped with all the cardio (it was atleast 1 hr a day)...however, I was counting all the veggies and nonsense in salads and not really getting protein. Once I dropped the cardio a bit I got the period back. BUT I was still only 95 lbs. Who knows?
    *~L~*

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  4. #4
    Registered User lea869's Avatar
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    i have this as well.
    in my case, i have no idea why this may have happened.
    when i lost my period, i was 14, i had only had it for about a year, i was, if anything, chubby (prob just high bf%), at 135 lbs at 5'7 and i definitely wasnt in a calorie deficit or doing too much cardio.
    unfortunately, i went on to have anorexia and became severely underweight at 87 lbs.
    as of now, im still slightly underweght, but im working on it
    (maybe this is weird of me, but the fat girl inside me is happy its proving so hard to gain.)
    so...... i read something on here, another thread somewhat like this, that said htere was a "switch" in your body that can be turned off by stress, or other causes of amenorrhea, etc.

    if anyone has any tips on how to turn it back "on", id love to hear them too!
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  5. #5
    WowWowWowWow ab-swing asianbabe's Avatar
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    hi

    I too am waiting for mine to return - perhaps not very eagerly. It has stopped ever since I started to increase my training. I believe I am now eating maintenance if not slightly in a caloric surplus, yet it still has not returned. I have a feeling that if I stopped training it would come back, since the weights are pretty physically demanding on the body, but at the same time, I do not want to revert to a life without lifting.. just letting to know I feel your pain but unfortunately have no solution =(
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  6. #6
    Registered User may's Avatar
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    So many people are in the same boat? I lost mine 2 yrs ago, when i started losing weight. I've been gaining for the past year. At 100 lbs, I'm heavier than i ever was but still haven't regained my periods. People who have been through this, when do you actually start having your periods? I would have thought it's at the weight you first lost them?
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  7. #7
    Kristin yourfaveandmine's Avatar
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    You've gotten good advice. You can lose your period due to malnutrition, low bodyfat, stress, etc.

    I'd estimate low bodyfat in your case. In general, if it's under 10%, most women lose their periods. You should really talk to your doctor right away. I know periods are a huge pain, but you could be causing a lot of damage to your body ... osteopeorisis (i can't spell that!) is a risk, and you can hurt your reproductive system.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Licon's Avatar
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    Amenorrhea-weight loss

    I too suffered from amenorrhea after losing weight improperly. I was doing cardio for 1hr everyday of the week. I also cut out all carbs and fats. I lost about 30 pounds along with my periods. After logging on to this forum and following the guidance of the posts and a very knowledable trainer/nutritonist, I increased my cals and decreased my cardio. after 6 months of healthy eating, I got my period for two straight months then nothing last month. My MD said I developed a huge ovarian cyst from not getting my period for so long. So now I am dealing with this along with the weight gain.! I don't know what is worse, no period or gaining weight. It is soooo fustrating.! Anyway, sorry for the long post, just needed to vent!
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  9. #9
    cazmcm cazmcm's Avatar
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    Although I'm gaining (gone from 45kgs to 52kgs in last 10 months) I still haven't got my period back after losing it over 2 years ago. Just had my bodyfat tested and its 10% which prob explains why, the weight I've gained is all muscle. Although my bodyfat was down at 5-6% when I was very underweight (40kgs) it has improved but not enough.
    I think it also got a lot to do with energy in/out and high activity levels. I train 6 days a week with boxing and heavy weights (training to get in the ring)
    Hoping it comes back soon but who knows, reckon I still get pms tho!
    I'm growing bigger muscles everyday...and I love it!
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  10. #10
    Registered User PowerWithinXoXo's Avatar
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    I've had that problem before....almost 2 years also. I had to go see My OBGYN- and had to do a horomone type therapy. That's how I got it back. She warned me to be very careful from that point on because if it had continued --it greatly affects your ability to have children in the future. Something to keep in mind ladies.
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  11. #11
    Registered User hoyas33's Avatar
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    When I first dedicated myself to exercise and healthier eating (about 8 years ago), I too lost my period...and it was also for 2 years. I attributed it to over exercise...I would work out twice a day, cardio 60 minutes plus. I was never underweight, so I didn't understand why I lost it...I thought only anorexics did.

    I would say that your training is likely what is causing your amenorrhea but I would also get your hormones checked, thyroid, etc. I ended up getting a cyst about a year after my period was hormonally induced and came to find out I had endometriosis which may have also caused my cycles to go out of whack. Basically, rule out everything before you look to your work out regime as the culprit.
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  12. #12
    Registered User fawn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by PowerWithinXoXo
    I've had that problem before....almost 2 years also. I had to go see My OBGYN- and had to do a horomone type therapy. That's how I got it back. She warned me to be very careful from that point on because if it had continued --it greatly affects your ability to have children in the future. Something to keep in mind ladies.

    what meds did you take? how long did you take those to get back your period?
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  13. #13
    Registered User emunah's Avatar
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    Just FYI - even if you get it back hormonally, that does NOT mean you are ovulating. I did not get my period for the same reasons...went off the pill. Turned out I wasn't ovulating due to so much activity/not proper food. The hormones make you menstruate but do NOT make you ovulate. The only way to do that is to cut down your activity and be sure you are in a healthier bodyfat%.

    Just a warning: it will now take me over a year before I can conceive to have a baby. Something to consider.... I've been doing a LOT of research on this (I'm a scientist), and it is unfortunately very common for female athletes to deal with infertility in this manner.
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  14. #14
    Registered User fallyn214's Avatar
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    i understand exactly what you are going through i had the same thing when i lost a large amount of weight... i also lost my period for about 2 years... my doctors put me on provera a form of progesterone but the only thing that did i was make me incrediably tired. After that I just waited for my body to get itself back on track and eventually it did.. u might need more tweaking in your diet or certain hormones but dont worry evreythign will eventually get back to normal.
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  15. #15
    Registered User fawn's Avatar
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    fallyn214 did you bleed with provera? I took them and i didnt' even bleed
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    Registered User emunah's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by fawn
    fallyn214 did you bleed with provera? I took them and i didnt' even bleed
    That meant your estrogen was too low. The next step is estrogen and progesterone.
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  17. #17
    Registered User fawn's Avatar
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    yeah, that's what i've been taking right now, but will that make me bleed on my own after taking them for months?
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  18. #18
    Registered User emunah's Avatar
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    Estrogen and provera....yes. But it doesn't mean you are ovulating.
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    Registered User fawn's Avatar
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    yes, but what if i stopped taking it... would i menstruate on my own.. you did right?
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  20. #20
    Registered User emunah's Avatar
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    Maybe. Depends if your own hormones have increased enough. If you are still at a too high energy deficit, probably not.

    And you still won't be ovulating.
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