You were on birth control for a long time, and assumed that’s why you didn’t get a period. But now you’ve gone off it, and you still aren’t having a menstrual cycle. How long should you wait?
Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani advises not waiting, but speaking to your doctor about it. It could be that the cause of your amenorrhea was RED-S / REDs (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport), rather than being on birth control, which needs to be addressed. She explains why it’s important not only to your general health, but to your athletic performance.
Read the transcript
[Tina] I’ve always been on birth control for as long as I can remember and I assumed that’s why I didn’t have a bleed. Now I’ve come off it, I was a little bit worried, and I don’t have a period or don’t seem to, so far. How long should I wait?
[Jen] No time at all. Your observations are really good and it’s time to go to your GP and say, “Hey, we’ve got to do some testing.” Because it’s true, you know, there are a variety of birth control pills that lead one not to have a period and that’s okay. That’s actually not unhealthy, as long as you don’t have RED-S or other causes of malnutrition. However, if the scenario you describe is the case ,then your Spidey Instinct was just right and we need to begin thinking more about, “How is my global health? How is my bone density? How is my relationship with caring for myself, with nourishing myself?” And even if one is thinking purely from the perspective of athletics, athletics, athletics, if you’re not having a period, that means without a doubt you are not fueling your muscles well enough and you’re not fueling your mind well enough to have the fortitude to push through grueling training, and to give you the competitive edge. So the very best way you can give yourself a competitive edge is to take care of yourself as a whole human and be sure you’re fueling enough.
[Tina] Thank you.
check it out
Recovering from RED-S is hard. It’s even harder if you’re working through it alone. Even if you have professional support, they’re not available 24-7, and that can lead to going down search engine rabbit holes that have the potential to derail everything.
Our online resource, RED-S: Realize. Reflect. Recover, will answer all those questions swimming around in your head about recovery. It will give you the opportunity to connect with the experts you’ve come to know here, and to surround yourself with a community of others who are going through it too. THANK YOU! to Athletic Greens and Tracksmith for supporting this YouTube series and RED-S: Realize. Reflect. Recover.
Go to athleticgreens.com/reds to get five free travel packs of AG1 and a free one year’s supply of vitamin D3+K2 with your subscription!
When you go to https://tracksmith.com/tina and use the code TINA15 at checkout, you’ll get free shipping and Tracksmith will donate 5% of your order to Rising Hearts, the Indigenous-led nonprofit founded by Jordan Marie Daniels.
more about Dr G:
Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani, CEDS-S, FAED, is an internist who specializes in eating disorders. She practices from a deeply anti-diet, weight-inclusive perspective and partners with therapists and dietitians around the country to ameliorate medical roadblocks in patients’ recovery journeys. Her book, “Sick Enough: A Guide to the Medical Complications of Eating Disorders,” is for patients, families, and practitioners. You can find Jen at https://gaudianiclinic.com