100 lb. Club - obesity & periods

View Full Version : obesity & periods

09-11-2007, 04:28 AM
Ok, so I read somewhere once that being obese can affect your periods. This makes sense, because I hear about a lot of people who have trouble conceiving when they are obese, so the two seem to be hand in hand. I was just wondering if anyone on here has noticed if this is true or experienced lighter periods (or skipping), and then lost some weight and became regular again?

I would say that for a few months my periods had stopped/spotted for a day or so for quite some time and after I lost about 5lbs (at most 10), they came back. I never used to have very bothersome periods in the past (I know, I was lucky, no cramps, no bloating, no moodiness outside of the norm, no real heavy flows), but now my periods, since they came back and became regular again, have been very heavy and I've had some cramping/bloating and find myself in tears (without fail) every time I'm on the rag.

So, I am just curious about other women's experiences in this matter, and if they noticed that when they gained weight their periods stopped/became irregular and then when they lost some weight they returned to normal. I'm not sure what to attribute my new "level" of periods, maybe age? or maybe it's the weight? or maybe it's a combination of both or something else entirely?

09-11-2007, 07:59 AM
Before loosing the weight, I would have a period maybe once every two ,three or even four months, and it was a very heavy period. Lately they are coming more on time, and less heavy. I think obesity and period problems some times go in hand in hand. I remember when I was thinner, I always had regular TOM's and much less flow then now. Hopefully things will get better. cheryl

09-11-2007, 08:28 AM
I've definitely experienced this. While I was at my highest weight, I would have 2 or 3 periods a year, and I was diagnosed with PCOS. Then after I lost 20 lbs, my periods came back and were once a month like clockwork. My other PCOS symptoms also vanished after I got down to that point.

As for them being heavier or with more cramping/bloating, I've never had periods that gave me that kind of trouble, and they still don't know, which I'm grateful for!

09-11-2007, 08:56 AM
nope, i'm a machine LOL Heavy or losing some weight, I'm always the same cycle and ****KNOCK ON WOOD*** i'm coming up on menopause in the next 10 years, so I'm hoping the next 10 years are as easy-peasy as the past 30! no cramps, no discomfort

See, everything's going to hit me @ menopause and I'll have to pay for it all then :D heheheheh

09-11-2007, 10:15 AM
Yes, I have irregular ones and used to be really regular before gaining all this weight.

09-11-2007, 10:26 AM
First of all, I have PCOS. That, in addition to obesity, was making my periods very irregular...I'd have one maybe every 3 months or so.
Last year, I lost 70lbs...and my periods starting coming like clockwork! It was amazing....now I'm getting there again.;)

09-11-2007, 10:29 AM
Before I dropped 70 lbs back in 2003-04, I was very irregular. I would go for months at a time without a period, then when it DID come--I thought I was dying!!

Once I dropped the weight, it came like clockwork! And even though I have gained most of it back, my periods are still pretty regular. And although I feel like crap the week before it happens, I feel even BETTER once it's come and gone!

BTW, I think it has to do with estrogen being stored in fat--once fat is burned the estrogen has to go somewhere, so it is usually in the form of regular menstrual cycles!

09-11-2007, 11:16 AM
Even at my heaviest I've always had regular periods but since having my daughter at 35 they've been extremely heavy with frequent clots and flooding. My doctor did lots of test and found nothing beside slightly low thyroid function and concluded that it must be hormonal due to my weight. She told me that fat cells absorb oestrogen and I was probably oestrogen dominant. However I now have a progesterone implant (had one removed and my second implanted yesterday), which has all but stopped my periods.

BTW she did say age is also a factor and that women often have the above symptoms peri-menopause but still thought I was some way of that point.


09-11-2007, 02:00 PM
I've always had a funny cycle. Ever since I can remember my periods have been moderate to heavy to light for only 3 days with a couple months of doubles but VERY timely. The last few years where I have became 50 pounds heavier than my norm of 250, another day was added. So, now they can be to 3-5 days long. The last 6 months, my cramps got worse to the point of tears. Now, I have always been overweight and obese, so this is all I know. Also, I amn 19, so my flow is just starting to get regular according to people.

I can say this is my first period on my diet and exercise plan. During the major cramping time, I used no heat pads and my cramping was like dull background noise in my life. Although I can tell that my energy is decreased.

09-11-2007, 05:44 PM
Thanks for all of the responses! It seems like this is a very common thing. For awhile I was a little scared that my periods had stopped but there wasn't anything I could do about it really, I didn't have money to see a doctor, let alone pay for any medication to fix it. For some time I have suspected that I have some hormone issues with my thyroid, which I know some people wish they had to excuse their weight gain, but I for one do NOT want to have problems with my thyroid because that is sure enough a guarantee to be on drugs for life!

So, on one hand, it kinda sucks to get periods now, and now that they are like 3 times as bad as they used to be it sucks even more... I feel like a running faucet for like a whole week, and don't even think about going somewhere where there is not a bathroom nearby. lol. BUT, on the other, having a regular period is a sign that I am getting healthier, although I know I still have a long way to go.

09-11-2007, 05:47 PM
I pretty much never have periods; I've only had a few in my life. When I first started losing weight, I had 2 months in a row where I had spotting for a few days... But nothing for the last 3 months.

I've always been too ashamed to go to the doctor about it and just assumed when I finally dieted, it would fix itself. Time will tell, I guess.

09-11-2007, 06:23 PM
My opinion is that is you notice a significant change in your cycle and you are able to see you gyn, then you should get checked just in case. I always thought I just bled heavily because of my weight, until I found out that I had a large fibroid (I found this out because I started bleeding VERY heavily and then didn't stop for 6 months). While estrogen levels in the body are related to fat, assuming an issue is becuase of your size may not be correct. It is best to have it checked if you can.

09-11-2007, 07:09 PM
I have PCOS which is kinda like pre-diabetes disease. It causes irregular periods, infertility, alot of tiny cysts on the ovaries, and can be assoicated with extra hair growth (luckily I dont have that) but I do have the irregular periods and infertility. We have been trying to have another baby for 4 1/2 years. the dr told me the more weight I lose the better my chances will increase of having regular periods, hence increase my chances of getting pregnant.

09-11-2007, 09:20 PM
Hmmm, by hair growth do you mean like... on your face? Maybe I will go check out webmd and see if I can find more information. I really DO need to go to the ob-gyn, but I just haven't had many occasions with enough extra money to get a checkup.

09-11-2007, 09:38 PM
I have been a normal weight from teenager through about age 26 and I was regular then... and I have been morbidly obese from age 27 to 38 and am regular then as well and conceived my last child while using birth control, so I think my weight has not affected me that way at all.

FIFTEEN pounds gone!
My Blog:

09-11-2007, 10:51 PM
I was diagnosed with PCOS last year. They can't tell me how long I've had it because I was on birth control since I was 16. The doctor told me that even if I lose just 20 pounds, it'd go a long way toward me being able to conceive.

About 8-10 pounds into this journey, I had my first period in almost two years. It was very light, which surprised me. I figured my first period in a long while would be painful and heavy, but no.

Anyways, long story short, I've actually wondered if our monthly cycles are more dependent on us being healthy, rather than our weight.

09-12-2007, 12:47 AM
You know, I was just wondering about this, except in opposite form. My periods are very regular... but my cycles are very short. 23 days everytime. I started eating healthier 2 months ago today, and my most recent cycle was 26 days! Strange, but true ;)

09-12-2007, 01:34 AM
Im regular 99% of the time.

09-12-2007, 02:47 AM
I'm like clockwork, have been since I was 14.

I have a question though, and feel free to smack me if this is stupid. When you menstruate your uterus sheds it's lining and rebuilds a new one. What happens to that lining if you're not menstruating?

09-12-2007, 04:00 AM
I'm like clockwork, have been since I was 14.

I have a question though, and feel free to smack me if this is stupid. When you menstruate your uterus sheds it's lining and rebuilds a new one. What happens to that lining if you're not menstruating?

Good question. Maybe if you aren't having your period it's because your body is not producting the right hormones in the right amounts to make the lining in the first place? Or if it does, it's not very much and therefore you may go months without ever getting it? Just a guess... I don't really know.

*wonders if wikipedia has the answer*

**EDIT** Actually, I am amazed because I was more or less right. The reason why you don't menstruate is because your body is not producing the hormones that onset the creation of hte uterine lining during the "follicular phase" -- wikipedia has a good read on it. I can't post any links, but just search for menstrual cycle there.

09-12-2007, 05:55 AM
I've also read about PCOS that when a woman with PCOS is totally irregular with really heavy periods 1 to a few times a year, that those periods aren't "true" periods in the traditional sense (i.e. hormone driven). Instead it's just instability of the lining that has built up so much that it succumbs to gravity. One sign that this is the case is if there is no PMS/cramping/etc. associated with this type of cycle.

09-12-2007, 06:02 AM
Thanks for answering my question ladies. It makes sense to me now. :)

09-12-2007, 06:38 AM
I have a question though, and feel free to smack me if this is stupid. When you menstruate your uterus sheds it's lining and rebuilds a new one. What happens to that lining if you're not menstruating?

The way the doctor explained the monthly cycle to me when I diagnosed with PCOS is this: You have your hormones...estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, etc. When you're getting ready to have a period and you're going through PMS, your hormone levels are raised, especially progesterone. When those hormone levels drop back down, your body goes through withdrawals and you bleed. Hence, a period.

Hmmm, by hair growth do you mean like... on your face? Maybe I will go check out webmd and see if I can find more information. I really DO need to go to the ob-gyn, but I just haven't had many occasions with enough extra money to get a checkup.

Hair growth can be (and I think is most common) on the face, but it can be other places too. I noticed the hair on my forearms turning from blonde to black. I also have long hair (it can get up to 2" long) on the backs of my thighs. A lot of women get the mustache and/or hairs on their chin/neck area.

If you're thinking you have might have PCOS Rakel, look it up online. Go the OB/GYN. Brace yourself for a slew of bloodwork, but its worth it. And, depending on the severity of your case, you should notice your symptoms lessening as your weight goes down. I've just recently have my first period in almost two years and I'm noticing other symptoms fading...and I've only lost 17 pounds!

Sorry for the long post. I'm no expert but when I was diagnosed with PCOS, I read everything I could get my hands on and pestered my doctor with questions. So if you have any more questions, ask away. I'll try my best to help. :)