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Period On Pause: Do I Need A Doctor?

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Big Sis, please help - I am tripping! I always have a period on the same day each month but now suddenly it stopped!

Am I pregnant? What else can it be?

Hey Little Sis! You are one of the lucky ones who can predict when Aunty Flo is visiting! But don't stress, Sana. A late period can be due to all sorts of lifestyle changes - not just pregnancy.

Most of the time our hormones are the villain!

Stress

Chom, are you feeling more stressed lately?

Cortisol is a hormone in the body that can change how often you menstruate. It is referred to as the stress hormone and not only changes your cycle but also makes you sick. Self-care is VITAL ghel, no matter where in you are cycle you are. Take some time to yourself when possible to just chill, read a book, and clear your mind of the daily stresses.

Weight Changes

Losing weight or gaining a lot of weight will also change the frequency of your period, chom. If you're overweight, your body may produce too much oestrogen, one of the hormones that regulate the reproductive system. The excess oestrogen can affect how often you have periods, and can also cause your periods to stop. If you are exercising to lose weight, you could be overdoing it babes, and pausing your menses unintentionally.

What Do You Mean Exercise Can Change Periods?

Yep, it can! Intense workouts, like hardcore training or sudden weight loss, can affect your cycle. Why? Because they can mess with your hormone levels, especially cortisol and reproductive hormones. Your body fat percentage and stress levels also play a role (stress releases cortisol into the blood too. That is why it is called the stress hormone).

Women in sports often have fewer periods. When female athletes burn more energy than they consume through food and supplements, it can throw off their menstrual cycle. Our bodies are sensitive to changes, so it's important to keep an eye on our overall health, even when we're hitting the gym or the field. Feed your body, sis.

But What If It Stops Altogether, Sis?

There is a name for missing three or more periods in a row, babes. It is a condition called Secondary Amenorrhea. Some girls don't start their period by the age of 16 and this is called Primary Amenorrhea. Secondary Amenorrhea is caused by factors like pregnancy, breastfeeding, stress, excessive exercise, hormonal imbalances, and other medical issues.

Okay, So It Is Also An Early Symptom Of Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your body hits the pause button on your menstrual cycle because when you conceive, the fertilised egg implants itself in the lining of your uterus. This triggers the release of hormones that prevent your ovaries from releasing more eggs. Without ovulation, there's no need for your uterus to shed its lining. No Periods.

If you think you might be pregnant, it's a good idea to take a pregnancy test and see your healthcare provider to confirm and start your prenatal care journey!

Contraception

But, if you have begun a contraception journey (good for you for being safe, ghel -Yasss!) then you might not get visits from Aunty Flo.

The pill prevents your body from making hormones involved in ovulation and menstruation. When you stop taking the pill, it can take some time for your body to start producing these hormones again. But don’t stress! Menstrual periods most likely come back within three months after you stop taking the pill.

If you think your period is acting sus, get to the clinic, Little Sis. The nurses and doctors will sort you out, quick sticks!

Check you soon,
Big Sis!