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Question
Posted by: Vicky | 2011-02-09

Amenorrhea

Hi Doc

I''m a 25 y old woman with very irregular periods (have been like this since i started menstruating at 16), however, recently i have had NO bleeding at ALL (since aug. last year). Could this be related to recent weight loss? or would it rather have been caused by stress? (i have changed jobs/towns middle of last year.) What is a ''healthy'' weight where i would resume menstruation? I feel good right now, meaning for the first time in ages i don''t have ''hang-ups'' about my body. I''m 1.7m  48kg. (My last period happened when i weighed about 55kg.) This is worrying me, because i wouldn''t like to be infertile or something. Also, i am slightly concerned about low bone density due to lack of oestrogen. Is this a valid fear, or not really because i''m so young?

thanks for your time, and a very interesting forum!!

take care

Vicky

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Vicky
Thank you for your kind words, which I appreciate a lot. I calculated your BMI and at 16,7 it is very, very low and in fact, a cause for concern. The female menstrual cycle can be affected by many different factors including stress, but in your case I hear alarm bells ringing that indicate that your very low weigh is most probably responsible for your lack of menstruation. Even when you weighed 55 kg (BMI = 19), you were technically speaking underweight. I cannot predict how much you should weigh so that you menstruation can recommence, but if we take what is regarded as an ideal BMI for adult women of 22, then you would need to weigh 63 kg! I would recommend that you try and increase your intake of healthy foods so that you increase your weight to 55 kg, at the very least. If you should still suffer from amenorrhoea at this weight then please consult a gynaecologist about the situation because you don't want to become infertile. As regards bone density, please keep in mind that it is not only osteoporosis that poses a threat in the future, but 'brittle bones' which can occur at any time of life in both men and women who consume too little bioavailable calcium. The best sources of such calcium are milk and dairy products (yoghurt, cottage cheese and other cheeses). For your own sake please have at least 3 servings of full-cream milk or yoghurt a day (1 cup = 1 serving), or eat cheeses (1 serving = 30g). You may be happy about your low weight and not have any 'hangups', but you are endangering your fertility, skeletal structure and overall health by weighing so little. So start eating plenty of healthy foods, esp dairy products.
Take care
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2011-02-09

Dear Vicky
Thank you for your kind words, which I appreciate a lot. I calculated your BMI and at 16,7 it is very, very low and in fact, a cause for concern. The female menstrual cycle can be affected by many different factors including stress, but in your case I hear alarm bells ringing that indicate that your very low weigh is most probably responsible for your lack of menstruation. Even when you weighed 55 kg (BMI = 19), you were technically speaking underweight. I cannot predict how much you should weigh so that you menstruation can recommence, but if we take what is regarded as an ideal BMI for adult women of 22, then you would need to weigh 63 kg! I would recommend that you try and increase your intake of healthy foods so that you increase your weight to 55 kg, at the very least. If you should still suffer from amenorrhoea at this weight then please consult a gynaecologist about the situation because you don't want to become infertile. As regards bone density, please keep in mind that it is not only osteoporosis that poses a threat in the future, but 'brittle bones' which can occur at any time of life in both men and women who consume too little bioavailable calcium. The best sources of such calcium are milk and dairy products (yoghurt, cottage cheese and other cheeses). For your own sake please have at least 3 servings of full-cream milk or yoghurt a day (1 cup = 1 serving), or eat cheeses (1 serving = 30g). You may be happy about your low weight and not have any 'hangups', but you are endangering your fertility, skeletal structure and overall health by weighing so little. So start eating plenty of healthy foods, esp dairy products.
Take care
DietDoc

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