When In Recovery Will Periods Return? Do They Come Back As Weight Gain Starts Or Once At A Healthy Weight? Can They Return While Slowly Gaining Weight Even If Still Underweight? Will They Always Return Once The Body Is Healthy Again?

Very Good Questions! Usually,
janurse427 – 01/26/2010 – 11:47

Very good questions! Usually, when a person who has ‘lost’ their periods due to the weight loss associated with an eating disorder, restoring their weight to what is healthy for them, will likely result in their periods resuming once again. Of course everyone’s situation is different, and the length of time that one has been ill may come into play, but our bodies are pretty amazing when it comes to healing. The average person will resume their menstrual periods at a weight that is about 10% below their healthy weight. This is sometimes used as a determining factor for a person’s goal weight range. But again, it’s not set in stone. In recovery, there really are not ‘always’ or ‘never’ issues, except in terms of how you can stay healthy after treatment. But, the thing to remember is that unless weight is restored, the menstrual cycles are not likely to ever return, which results in infertility. Take care!


Thank You For Your Answer
Reenie – 01/26/2010 – 13:29

Thank you for your answer It’s was very helpful ,But im not quite sure on what you mean about 10% below healthy weight ? could you explain that a bit more or give an emaple ? It would be much appreciated .

You Are Welcome. I’m Happy To
janurse427 – 01/26/2010 – 14:38

You are welcome. I’m happy to explain. Sorry if it wasn’t very clear. For example, if your ‘healthy’ weight is 130 pounds, and your body knows that :), it’s very likely that your hormones will begin to produce normally again and you would start having periods again at about 117 pounds or perhaps between 115-120, which would be about 90% of your healthy weight (or 10% below). Does that make more sense? Take care.


Thank You Very Much For Your
Reenie – 01/28/2010 – 17:08

Thank you very much for your reply , Yes that make alot more sense.

Hi I Also Forgot To Mention
Reenie – 01/29/2010 – 13:34

Hi i also forgot to mention ths in my earlier question but will the return of the Menstrual cycle improve loss of bone density ?

Hi I Also Forgot To Mention
Reenie – 01/29/2010 – 13:34

Hi i also forgot to mention ths in my earlier question but will the return of the Menstrual cycle improve loss of bone density ?

YES!! It Will Be A Great Help
janurse427 – 01/29/2010 – 17:18

YES!! It will be a great help in the prevention of osteoporosis, along with continuing to provide your body with adequate nutrition!!


Hi I Have Another Qiestion
Reenie – 02/08/2010 – 00:50

Hi I have another qiestion and i’m sure that by now it’s obvious that they are about myself. I’m a little worried about my bone density because i had a scan done last week to compare to one i had done in 2008 and my bone density has gone down by almost 10%, my dr said that once i get my period back that this should increase over the next year but i have read that sometimes this does not happen and people still get osteoporosis even after recovery Is this true? i’m really freaking out over this because the whole reason i made the decision to start gaing again was because i was afraid of that happening but now i feel so confused because what the point if it’s just going to happen anyway.

Reenie…Your Doctor Is
janurse427 – 02/08/2010 – 06:22

Reenie…your doctor is correct that some bone density can sometimes be rebuilt, and now they have medications that help to promote that. The important issue at this point is to get your body nutritionally stablized and keep it there so as to prevent further damage. It’s never too late to make a difference and prevention is a great reason to continue…plus, the increased QUALITY of your life experiences!! Don’t give up…keep fighting for your life!! Take care….


Hey It’s Me Again I Have
Reenie – 02/23/2010 – 21:15

Hey it’s me again i have another question about periods , last friday i had some blood test done to find out if my hormone levels had return to normal and i went to see they dr today about the result and she said that my progesterone ,prolactin and thyroid levels are normal but my estrogen wasnt and now she has said i may have an ovarian cyst and i asked her if it was just because of the perivous eating disorder and she said that a cyst was prob more likely but she also said she didnt know much about eating disorders so im really confused. My bmi is currently 19.4 but it has only been that for about a month my lowest bmi was 13.3 and that was in 2008. I maintained a low bmi of 17.1 for about a year (all of 2009)and recently decided to get to a healthy range which is going really well.A I havent had a period since november 2007.so In your opinion which cause do you think is more likely. would it be a cyst or just that my hormones are still trying to regulate ?

Reenie…Good Job Of Getting
janurse427 – 02/24/2010 – 07:31

Reenie…good job of getting your weight back to a more healthy range!! My first inclination is that your body needs more time to restore, and I think your periods will return in time. I’m not sure how much a cyst would affect this. You might consider seeing an endocrinologist, but the tests you had done are pretty extensive. Time may be your best friend right now. Did your GYN say how big the cyst is? Did she think it needed any attention at this time?
Please try to be patient..stay in touch! Jan


Hi Jan , My Dr Has Not
Reenie – 02/24/2010 – 14:21

Hi Jan , My dr has not actually confirmed that i have cyst but she believes i do because my period still has not returned she recomended that i wait a little longer and if nothing happens then to have a ultra sound.

Reenie…Sounds Like A Smart
janurse427 – 02/24/2010 – 15:27

Reenie…sounds like a smart plan. Try to be patient. I know it’s hard, but I truly believe that your body will heal in time!! Take care!


Hey I Just Though I’d Let You
Reenie – 02/28/2010 – 13:32

Hey I just though i’d let you know that my period has returned 🙂 i’m so relieved and happy. The one thing i dont get is how why my estrogen levels show up as low on my blood test ? will it eventually increse over time if i continue to menstruate? would the increse in estrogen also help my breast to fill out and grow again .

That Is Wonderful!! A Sure
janurse427 – 02/28/2010 – 15:27

That is wonderful!! A sure sign of improved health! I do think that your hormone levels will improve over time, just keep doing what you need to keep your weight where it needs to be, and don’t over exercise. That can affect your hormone levels a lot.
I would expect that as your hormone levels normalize and stay at a healthy level, your body will naturally mature as it is intended to do. I know it’s hard, but try to be patient.
I am very happy for you!! Take care!


Hi Guys, I Have A Question To
ludatess – 06/10/2010 – 06:57

Hi guys,
I have a question to put to you all. When I was 17 i suffered from Anorexia badly and dropped to 5.7 stone. However I then got begged by my family to eat again – which i did. I find however i am in the habit of panick eating which I guess is a form of binge eating. This has started to calm itself down and am getting better year by year. I am now 8.11 stone, however was concerned when I was 19, came off the pill and had no periods. It got to age 22, and i made the doctor refer me to an endocrinologist. He told me I was very low in oestrogen and would need to take the pill to protect my bones etc. However, I am so worried, as although the pill is helping protect me, I am desperate for children when i am older, and still have had no periods (am 24 now). Obviously i am having to take the pill for medical reasons, however it seems a catch 22 situation, as how will i ever know if i am having my ‘real’ if i am on the pill. In addition to this, obviously i realise oe3strogen is one of the main hormones in getting pregnant, however, are there people out there who don’t have periods, are deficient in oestrogen, and still manage to conceive?

I am so worried, and really need some help from you guys. Any advice/responses on these issues would be much appreciated.


Ps I Am 5 Foot 3 Inches And
ludatess – 06/10/2010 – 07:00

ps i am 5 foot 3 inches and have a very health BMI

Hi…It Sounds As If You May
janurse427 – 06/10/2010 – 09:51

Hi…It sounds as if you may still not be at a healthy weight for YOUR body, or else your periods would likely have started again. Some women have conceived, even without a regular period, but your system may not be strong enough to carry a baby to term. I cannot predict that, but I do know a few women who have had this happen. The weight you are at currently sounds very low. Are you seeing a therapist? I suggest you consider getting help to get to a higher weight and see if you periods return. I know it is hard, but your body knows what it needs to be healthy enough to bear a child, and perhaps that’s why you are still not having your periods. Good luck!


Many Thanks For Your Comment.
ludatess – 06/10/2010 – 11:17

Many thanks for your comment. My BMI is 21.4 – is this still not healthy? This is extremely helpful stuff, so i much appreciate your comments. My period came back once when i got up to 7.7 stone, and then i did my finals at uni and they never came back. I was seeing an art therapist for a bit, but he retired, however at present i am in quite a good place and have come such a long way. My relationship with food is improving day by day (enevitably i have the odd hicup now and again, but am eating regular, healthy meals). It is nice to heart warming to know that women can conceive, however the risks sound terryfying…however i was always under the impression that i would never conceive, so this has given me a glimmer of hope for having a healthy baby perhaps in the future.

ludatess x

Hmm….I Must Apologize For
janurse427 – 06/10/2010 – 12:40

Hmm….I must apologize for not correctly converting stones to pounds. You are in a much better place, physically, than I first thought. I am sorry!
You HAVE come a very long way, and you should be very proud and thankful!! Perhaps the stress of your finals caused your periods to stop again. Stress can be a strange thing sometimes. Time is a healer in this respect. You are young too, so you have every reason to plan on having a family. I would say if you are stable at your weight for a year and your periods have not returned, then you may want to have some tests done per your doctor to check things out. They can also do some hormone levels to determine where the problem is. Even thyroid imbalances can affect fertility, so you might want to have those levels checked. Don’t give up!! Wishing you much luck! Jan ?


Awww Bless You Jan, Thankyou
ludatess – 06/10/2010 – 14:23

Awww bless you Jan, thankyou so much!Apologies for the confusion – damn my imperial measurements lol! When i went to the endocrinologist, they told me to get up to 9.7 stone, however, I am comfortable with my weight now, am a healthy weight and my doctor thinks if i just maintain my weight, it may come back in due course. I took a pill to try and stimulate my pituatry gland, however it didn’t work, so maybe things may happen naturally. I am having to take the pill to increase my deficiency in oestrogen, so am not too certain how i will know if my periods are real or not, however, will perhaps talk to the doctor about this when im ready to have a family. If i did conceive (and i’m talking in a few years lol) and am the weight i am now, i wonder if they could give me oestrogen supplement during pregnancy to help me to get full term? I think the most important thing however is that i have a healthy BMI, and even if i cannot have children, i am keeping well, and am reducing future health risks associated with anorexia.

Much love to you Jan x

You Are Very Sweet! I Wish
janurse427 – 06/10/2010 – 16:39

You are very sweet! I wish you the best! If I were you, I would not discount the doctors’ weight recommendations completely, but I know how hard it is to go any higher than you just ‘have to’. Perhaps over time, if your periods do not return, you would want to consider gaining a few pounds to see if it makes a difference. I know for myself, in terms of knowing that I was fully recovered, just a few pounds made a huge difference in the way I was thinking and feeling. But everyone is different.
If/when you do become pregnant (I believe you will if that is what you truly want!), the doctors have all types of treatment to help women who may not produce normal amounts of certain hormones. But please do all that you can to keep yourself healthy enough to produce them naturally. I do believe in pregnancy, that progesterone is the predominant hormone instead of estrogen, but I could be mistaken. Nonetheless, take care, and I wish you many blessings along your way!! Jan xoxo


God Bless You Jan, Your
ludatess – 06/10/2010 – 16:57

God bless you Jan, your advice is invaluable! At the beginning of the year i was 8.02 stone and got up to 8.11 stone, and was disappointed it didn’t make a difference. I am therefore considering stabilising for a bit, (as I’m worried that anymore weight could set off a relapse of my eating disorder). However, once truely comfortable with my new found curves (which i must say i am very much enjoying at present!) and am considering starting a family, I will maybe see if the doctor still recommends the weight gain etc and will do everything in my power to try and be as healthy as I possibly can.
I agree with you Jan, i think if you can do things naturally it is a lot better overall for baby and mother. You have definitely reassured me though that albeit children or no children, that even if my periods never came back, i am at a healthy weight and am doing all i can to protect my bones, womb lining etc from oestrogen deficiency.
You have such a beautiful personality, and the kindness you have shown through taking the trouble to reply to me is amazing. All good wishes from the UK!


I Am Happy To Share…Take
janurse427 – 06/10/2010 – 17:04

I am happy to share…take care!! xoxoxo

I Have A Question … I Had
pellztellme – 01/29/2011 – 18:40

i have a question … I had bulimia for 2 years and now im finally better i havent gotton my period back yet but when i do will my breast grow again ??? i was a 34 C and now i m barely fitting into a B.

I Cannot Say For Certain, But
janurse427 – 01/29/2011 – 20:11

I cannot say for certain, but because your periods have not begun to cycle again yet, I would say there is a chance that when your hormones level normalize and you begin to menstruate again, your breasts may return to their normal developed size. It’s impossible to know for sure.
I am happy that you are doing so much better!! Take care.


Hi. I Have Been Bulimic And
lynn627 – 03/05/2011 – 21:10

Hi. I have been bulimic and more recently anorexic since 2005. In the last 2 years I’ve been trying to recover from anorexia, on and off I guess. I have managed to maintain a relatively healthy weight, I don’t know for sure because I wont get on a scale. But my period has not returned. The last time i threw up was on Jan 31, I would go a month then vomit once or for a week tops and then do it again, but not this time. How long should it take for my body to get its period back? (My only one since November 2006 was in September of 2010). Also, what is over exercise? I hear it alot but don’t know how much is too much. I do power yoga for 60-80 minutes a day and lead an activle lifestyle ( I walk everywhere in S.F.) Any help you can give would be great!

If I Were You, I Would Take A
janurse427 – 03/06/2011 – 06:23

If I were you, I would take a rest from the ‘power yoga’ (I think that’s an oxy-moron), and work on restoring some additional weight. Your body has a weight where it knows it should be, and it may not be where you think it is. The fact that your periods have still not returned could indicate that you need 5-10 more pounds. I cannot say for sure, and it takes a different length of time for everyone’s body to heal. If you walk a lot in your daily life, this, added to your workouts, could be compromising the levels of body fat and hormone levels just enough to keep your body below where it will function normally.
I suggest that you seek professional help to keep you accountable, and to monitor your weight.
Good luck! Jan ?


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