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Valentina asked...

I haven't had my period for more than a year now.

I haven't had my period for more than a year now. My last period was induced (my GP gave me hormones to induce it). Before then it was hardly regular and I had been on the pill.

I am quite slim but not too much. I took a blood test and my hormone levels were very good. I am 30 years old. My gynaeocologist suspects that mine could also be a sort of pshycological bloc (because I don't think this would be a good time to have children I am blocking my natural mechanism to do so). Is it really possible?

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The answer

The lack of periods for six months or more after having previously had menstrual bleeding is known as secondary amenorrhea.

Pregnancy, breast feeding and menopause will obviously cause absence of periods too but this is different to secondary amenorrhea. It is not uncommon for periods to disappear for a few months after stopping the contraceptive pill or hormone implant although periods should normally return within 12 months.

Other causes include heavy repetitive exercise, body fat percentage dropping below 15% of total body mass, emotional stress and crash dieting. Sometimes general illness, certain medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism or polycystic ovary syndrome could be the cause but in your case this is less likely as these would normally have been checked for by a doctor or gynaecologist.

If emotional stress is thought to be the cause then it would be worth exploring relaxation techniques, lifestyle changes and psychological therapies.

Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.


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