Why I Lost My Period + How I Got it Back

I dreamed of being able to write this blog post for a long time. And finally, after 9 months of having a consistent period, I’m able to write it. I want to state up front- I am not a doctor or professional in any way. This is my experience with my period, my body, my life that I wanted to share with you all. If you’re experiencing a loss of a period- call your doctor! It’s not normal to go months without a period without an explanation. I repeat- it’s NOT normal! At 20 years old, it was kind of nice to not have a period for awhile when I first lost mine. Looking back, I wish I had started worrying about it so much sooner. So please, if you’re experiencing loss of a period, schedule an appointment with your doctor asap.

Everyone’s body works differently and what worked for me may not work for you. But I wanted to share with you all because so many young woman out there are experiencing amenorrhea (loss of a period). I remember feeling so alone when I first stopped having my period, like something was wrong with me. And I just ignored it. I’m hoping that sharing my story encourages even just one person to put in the time + effort to make sure your body is healthy in every aspect.


*trigger warning for anyone with an eating disorder or disordered eating*

So here’s a little background on my period journey. I had normal periods every month after I went through puberty. No extreme symptoms, they were what I would consider an average period. I went on birth control my sophomore year of college to help with my skin. My skin wasn’t even bad, just normal zits here and there but the doctor had me go on birth control. Looking back, I really should’ve just started washing my face regularly and developed a skincare routine. The middle of my sophomore year of college is when I decided I wanted to be a “healthier”- aka lose weight.

I had gained the typical freshman 15 from eating more junk food than I had in high school, being less active, going out on the weekends, just being a normal college student. *trigger warning for anyone with an eating disorder or disordered eating* I started eating extremely ‘clean’- no junk food, no dairy, minimal protein, minimal fats. What was I eating then? I tried to eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible with a little lean protein added in there. So, of course I lost weight because I wasn’t eating enough.

Well, I also lost my period. At the same time as this messed up, horrible eating habit stuff developed, I went off birth control. I stopped taking it after doing some research about the negative effects it can have on a woman’s body. That’s an entire other blog post I’m not qualified to write but there are so many great articles out there if you’re more curious about the pill’s effects. Basically, I had heard how unhealthy it was for women and I had become obsessed with being ‘healthy’. I’m putting it in quotation marks because I in no way believe today that I was healthy back then but at the time I did. I also knew that I didn’t really need it because like I said my skin wasn’t even bad and I didn’t need it for any other reasons.

So I went a few months without having a period but not really thinking anything of it because I had read online that it was normal for women to take a few months to get their period back after birth control. I seriously never even considered that it could be from my messed up eating patterns.

A few months turned into a year. Had it REALLY been a year since my last period? I went to my OBGYN for a yearly check up and we discussed my missing period. She suggested the best move was to put me back on the pill so I could start having regular periods again.

In my mind, I don’t think this was the best move for my body. Looking back, I wish we had dug into my unhealthy eating habits more and tried to fix the problem at what I believe was the cause- undereating/ undernourishment for my body. I genuinely believe she was doing what she thought was best for me. I’m not discrediting her degree or expertise but I do believe there are flaws in women’s healthcare. And this is coming from the wife of a medical student who is going to be practicing medicine one day.

So, I went back on the pill and started having periods again. I also started my Instagram account within that year and started actually eating a healthy, balanced diet. Meaning- adding protein and healthy fats into my diet. And junk food occasionally. This is when my food journey of actually being content and balanced in what I was eating started. Which is another long blog post for a different day but I have a short summary of it here.

I continued having periods for about a year. But then I also started training for a marathon. I love long distance running which I know most people won’t understand haha. If I could today train for another marathon without fearing I’d lose my period today, I’d start today! I feel like this is pretty much textbook amenorrhea- long distance runners have too little body fat to support a period. But I was still on the pill and having a period so I was totally FINE. Nothing to worry about!

But I had never had a period not on birth control. So I trained for my marathon, while still on the pill, and had periods every month. I can’t remember exactly why but for some reason I still wasn’t content with being on the pill. Probably based on the articles and podcasts I had listened to advising against it. So right after I ran the marathon, I stopped taking it. And then I stopped having a period again.

The tricky part is I don’t know if I stopped having a period because of coming off the pill or because I was running so much. I slowed down on running because I was a little burnt out after training so much and it was winter. Still no period. I was eating what I thought was a healthy diet but I got blood-work done and came back anemic.

I was still working through the food rules I had created for myself that had been ingrained in me for so long thanks to diet culture. Low carb, low fat, low calorie- we’ve all seen all the diets that are supposed to make us our healthiest. It can be hard to reach for that extra piece of bread when you’ve been told for years that bread is ‘bad’. So while I was definitely running less, I was still working through my disordered eating thoughts and habits.

And I still wasn’t having a period. This started in Oct. 2017. Eli and I got married in May 2019. It took me over a year and half to get serious about getting my period back. I didn’t take losing my period seriously for a multitude of reasons. For one, I just didn’t think it was a big deal. I’d had them since I went through puberty and it was kind of nice not having one. Looking back I’m shaking my head at myself but you can only learn from your mistakes. Another reason was I had looked into how to get my period back and every source said I needed to cut back on exercising and probably gain a little weight. But I was getting married soon! I didn’t want to gain weight. The irony here is I was really working on self love and body acceptance at this point. The issue was I was only willing to accept the body I had at that moment. The body I had at that moment for whatever reason wasn’t healthy enough to have a period. Fearing gaining weight kept me from trying to fix the problem. Again, another long topic about fat-phobia in our society that I highly recommend you look into.

I wish I could say I wasn’t scared of gaining weight but I was. I hate that I felt that way, I hate that even now when I try on old clothes that don’t fit I still can get in my head. It doesn’t happen as often but it still can be an issue. But I started accepting that I’d need to workout less and gain weight after we got married. I knew that we’d both like to have children one day. Even though we plan to wait awhile before having them, I didn’t want it to be 5 years down the road, I wasn’t having a period, and we wanted to try to have a child right then. That was a big motivator for me to start working to get my period back.

I know I should have been motivated to get my period back for my own personal health and that’s why I wanted to share my story with you all. To encourage anyone out there who isn’t having a period to get help. It isn’t normal.

It took me about 6 months of actively trying to get my period back before I had one. So now I’m going to share my tips of how I got it back.

How I Got My Period Back

Now for all the tips! This is where I really want people to spend time reading. Again, I’m not a doctor. Always seek professional advice first and foremost. You need to make sure it’s not from a serious underlying medical cause. For me, mine had no medical explanation as to why I had lost it. I didn’t have PCOS, I didn’t have really any reason that showed up on the charts. But you have to get a professional to figure this out! But once I realized how serious a lost period was, I looked for all the tips and tricks out there to figure out how I on earth I was going to get it back. So here’s the truth about how I got it back.

Advocate For Yourself

I went to 3 different OBGYN before I found one who was willing to listen to what I wanted to do for my body. I didn’t want to go back on The Pill, I wanted to have a period naturally. One doctor literally laughed in my face and told me to go on the Ben and Jerrys diet if I wanted to get it back naturally. As a person in your young 20s, it can be intimidating to go against what a professional is telling you. I kept switching doctors until I found one who would actually listen to me.

Eat More Healthy Fats and Protein

For me specifically, I needed more meat in my diet. I’m not a vegetarian or vegan so I can’t speak on the experience of doing this on that type of diet. I was anemic and had a hard time even with taking iron supplements not being anemic. So I started eating red meat once a week. Also adding lots of healthy fats into my diet (avocado, peanut butter, olive oil, nuts) was important for me. Healthy fats are just so good for you. Fearing fats is definitely a real thing. But they are SO important for your brain function!

Gain Weight

I know how tough this one is to swallow. I know because I read so many blog posts like this from women who had gone through amenorrhea and almost every article mentioned this in some form. To be honest- I ignored it. I thought “oh if I do the other stuff they say, I’ll probably get it back” or I thought “I already eat PLENTY. I don’t diet anymore. I eat so healthy, this doesn’t apply to me”. But it did. Our bodies are incredibly complex. And so incredibly different. Every body has a size it needs to be at in order to feel healthy enough to have a period. A period is a signal to your body that it’s healthy enough to support a baby. And that includes having enough body fat on you in order to do so.

I’m not going to go into how much weight I gained because that can be triggering. But I will say- you can still feel healthy even with gaining weight. Your hair may grow longer- mine did. You may start running faster than you ever have before- I am. You may feel more confident in a swimsuit even if you aren’t as small- I do. In gaining weight, I got my period back which is worth more to me than any number on the scale or any smaller size in clothes. I feel healthier than I have in a long time.

For anyone out there reading this and fearing gaining weight, just remember you aren’t defined by the size of your jeans or the number on the scale. If you look around at your loved ones and friends, I bet you don’t care what size their pants are. You love them for who they are and they love you for who you are, not what you look like.

Get Rid of Food Rules

Food rules were something I didn’t even realize I had. I was so focused on eating healthy that I didn’t see the rules I had put in place for myself. I’m not talking about foods you avoid for things like digestive reasons or medical conditions. I’m talking about the rules I made up in my head that I thought I needed to be healthy. I won’t go into too many but I’ll give an example: only eating processed carbs once a day. Food rules can take up so much mental space and cause you to have stress that you don’t even know is there.

Decrease Exercise

This one was also hard for me to accept because I truly use exercise as medicine for my mental health. It’s when I talk to God, when I feel most connected to my feelings, and it makes me feel just good. Running is my favorite type of exercise but I knew I needed to cut back if I was going to get my period back. This is something I recommend talking to your doctor about because everyone is different in how much they can exercise and how long they should cut back. For me, I gave up long distance running for about 1 year total. I would still go for short runs for my mental health but switched to a lot more yoga, low intensity workouts, and walking.

Okay, this post is so long I think I’m going to cut it off here! Let me know if you made it this far if you’d like a part 2 answering questions about this topic! DM me on Instagram or comment below. Again, please go see a doctor if you aren’t having a period. It’s not normal and it’s important to figure out what’s going on.

Love each and every one of you who read this entire post! -Peyton