Let’s face it, missing a period can be seriously stressful. Whether it’s running behind schedule or skipping a whole month, it’s usually an indicator that something is amiss. There are lots of reasons you might occasionally miss a regular period, from stress and lifestyle changes to more serious chronic conditions.
If you’ve ruled out pregnancy (this should be your first step if you’re a week or more late) here are just a few of the reasons that your period might be MIA:
- Thyroid issues - Your thyroid controls the distribution of hormones in your body, and your period hinges upon the dance of hormones that make up your menstrual cycle. If your thyroid isn’t releasing hormones in their proper amounts, irregular periods can become the norm.¹
- Stress - A little stress in life is normal, but if you start to get stuck in a heightened state of stress (your fight or flight mode) it can signal to your body to stop ovulating. When you’re chronically stressed, your body takes it as an immediate threat and shuts down all non-essential bodily functions, which can include your period.
- PCOS - Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition marked by hormonal imbalances that can lead to irregular or missed periods along with other symptoms such as excess hair, acne, and weight gain.²
- Extreme lifestyle changes - Hitting the gym too hard can make you miss your period, as can sudden weight loss. Undereating or over-exercising (or both) can put you at a calorie deficit that can cause your body to reserve resources, including those normally used for reproduction.³
Luckily, there are lots of ways to get your flow back on track:
1. Eat a nutrient-dense diet - Eating a nutrient-rich diet full of the vitamins and minerals your body needs for healthy hormone production is one of the greatest tools you have in controlling your menstrual and overall health. Focus on whole unprocessed foods, nutrient-dense items like nuts and seeds, and a variety of natural color in your diet. Looking for items to add to your diet? Antioxidant-rich berries, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, and foods rich in omega-3s like salmon and flax seeds are a great place to start.
2. Try seed cycling - Seed cycling is the process of using specific blends of nutrient-rich seeds to support your hormones throughout your menstrual cycle and can help stimulate menstruation if it's absent. We take the guess work out of this protocol and created our seed cycling blend to support, restore, and rebalance your hormones. The Phase 1 seed blend supports estrogen production in the first half of your cycle (follicular phase), and Phase 2 balances estrogen and progesterone in the second half of your cycle (luteal phase).
3. Keep track of your symptoms - Keeping track of your symptoms is vital to helping your healthcare professional get a clear view of what’s going on with your body. Tracking may reveal symptoms associated with a specific condition, and lead you to a helpful diagnosis quicker.
4. Re-evaluate your exercise - If you’re hitting the gym for hours at a time and suddenly missing your period, it may be a sign that you are training too hard and not meeting your body’s caloric needs. It can be helpful to consult with a nutritionist or other healthcare provider to ensure that your exercise regime is well-matched to your diet and lifestyle outside the gym.
5. Minimize stress - Your body needs to balance the stressors of daily life with activities that help you activate the rest and digest mode of the parasympathetic nervous system. The simplest one? Sleep.⁴ Getting a good night’s rest is essential for your body’s wellbeing. Once you’re getting enough zzz’s you can add in yoga, meditation, or breathwork to help you find even more calm.
These lifestyle and nutritional recommendations can have a huge impact in helping regulate your hormones, and bring back your period. However, we always recommend talking to a medical professional you trust to help understand the specific needs of your body and find other potential solutions.