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Question
Posted by: tye | 2011-09-18

BMI and menses

Would a BMI of 17,9 affect your menstrual cycle?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hello Tye,
There is a possibility that a BMI just under 18 can lend to either a cessation of menses (called amenorrhoea) or an interruption of regular menses (called oligomenorrhoea). Excessive exercise or fluctuating weight will also contribute to a disturbance of menses. Once a BMI for an adult or late adolescent female drops below 18.5, she is deemed underweight, and once she is 10 to 15% underweight, her levels of oestrogen will likely be significantly depleted to cease all menstruation. The biggest danger of amenorrhoea is that bone density immediately falls as bone tissue is not regenerated in order to maintain complete bone density. This will eventually result in osteoporosis, leaving the bones fragile and extremely prone to stress fractures or breakage. Once amenorrhoeic, going onto the contraceptive pill (estrogen therapy) will not simply resolve the problem. The body needs to produce natural oestrogen. I suggest that if you are enquiring about a particular individual, that she immediately consult with her gynecologist, who might bring a dietician into the mix.
Regards,
Graham

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Our users say:
Posted by: Eating Disorders Expert | 2011-09-18

Hello Tye,
There is a possibility that a BMI just under 18 can lend to either a cessation of menses (called amenorrhoea) or an interruption of regular menses (called oligomenorrhoea). Excessive exercise or fluctuating weight will also contribute to a disturbance of menses. Once a BMI for an adult or late adolescent female drops below 18.5, she is deemed underweight, and once she is 10 to 15% underweight, her levels of oestrogen will likely be significantly depleted to cease all menstruation. The biggest danger of amenorrhoea is that bone density immediately falls as bone tissue is not regenerated in order to maintain complete bone density. This will eventually result in osteoporosis, leaving the bones fragile and extremely prone to stress fractures or breakage. Once amenorrhoeic, going onto the contraceptive pill (estrogen therapy) will not simply resolve the problem. The body needs to produce natural oestrogen. I suggest that if you are enquiring about a particular individual, that she immediately consult with her gynecologist, who might bring a dietician into the mix.
Regards,
Graham

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