100 lb. Club - Period Changes

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09-08-2013, 03:05 PM
Hey ya'all! I just passed the 100 lbs lost mark! I've been experiencing slow, even weight loss for a couple of years, and its really interesting to be back at my high school weight. (I used to think that I was fat here. Ha! Its great to be 180 again. I feel exactly right!) But that's not why I'm posting here.

I've been experiencing irregular periods, mid-cycle cramping, one month where I skipped my period. Its mostly the cramping that bothers me. I can cramp all month long. My gyno said nothing but that I could start on birth control pills, to which I said "**** no!" A friend of mine, who has also lost a lot of weight thinks that this is common with significant weight loss.

I wanted to know if any of you had experienced this. I specifically wanted to post it in the 100+ area because I think the process of recovering from being so significantly fat makes our bodies behave differently that those who's bodies are leaner.

Any thoughts? Me too's? Advice?

09-08-2013, 08:01 PM
My guess would be that when you were heavier, you weren't ovulating. Now that you are thinner, you are ovulating and that can cause some crazy cramping mid cycle for some women.

09-08-2013, 09:17 PM
When I was 350, I had irregular periods with minor cramping. Now that I've lost over 130lbs, my period is much more heavier with lots of cramping. Sometimes, it comes twice in one month (or before the 28 days), which is annoying but I read a study that says when you drop weight that you are getting rid of extra estrogen and testerone. With all that estrogen comes the signal to go into another cycle.

09-08-2013, 10:03 PM
Long story short, your hormones are wacked. It happens to all of us when we gain or lose weight. It can take up to a year of stable weight for everything to level out, because fat stores a lot of hormones and losing weight releases them back into your bloodstream. Also, weight loss changes how your ovaries deal with hormone secretion. If your gyne is OK with it, then I wouldn't worry that it's unhealthy for now. Keep an eye on it though, and if you are still suffering like this in 6 months I would make another appointment just to ask your gynecologist if there are any further workups that can be done just to make sure everything's OK.

09-08-2013, 10:08 PM
When I start a new way of eating, I get a sudden period or it becomes late.

09-08-2013, 10:27 PM
How old are you? You don't say. I've always had very regular, clock work like periods since forever and no matter how much I've weighed they've always been the same. My cycles have become more erratic as I'm moving into my late 30s. I don't think it's menopause or even perimenopause, but my luteral phase is shortening and I think my fertility process is just getting old now.

09-08-2013, 10:40 PM
My period has changed a lot from when it first started. I used to get it fast and steady for 6 days, but now it's very slow and lasts for 2-3 days. My cramping started when I was 20 and that has gotten progressively worse too that it begins during my ovulation straight up to the end of my period. The pain is because I have PCOS (that was undiagnosed until this year, even though I'd had a laparoscopy!). I believe my cycle changes are due to age as my weight has pretty much been constant throughout my life. The only thing that's changed for me while losing weight is that my cycle is now constantly 34 days, rather than anything from 29-45! (Though, that may be because I'm running now.) I also went on the pill for a year, which didn't help me one bit because my period kept starting and my cramps we worse. I tried several types of the pill, told my doctors that I'll never use it again and now I just stick to panadol or ibprofen.

Therefore, it could be hormones, your age or a medical problem. I found that most of the people I saw about my pains told me I just had painful periods. It wasn't until my visit to the fertility clinic and 30 seconds into the internal scan that I was found to have PCOS (I'm still annoyed to this day that my gyno blimmin' missed it!), so I don't trust doctors on this subject lol In saying that, keep going to the doctor if you believe it will help.

09-08-2013, 11:14 PM
I'm 38, but the women in my family were all into their 50's before menopause. My thin friends think its peri-menopause, but that just doesn't feel right to me.

I think what HelloNurse is saying is more likely true, but I haven't heard that kind of thing spoken of. You hear about extra fat causing hormone imbalances, but you never hear about loosing the weight making things go extra wonky, except in cases of anorexia, which I don't have. It makes sense, though. What we know about how fat cells interact with the endocrine system seems to indicate that loosing weight would also disrupt things.

HelloNurse- are you a nurse in real life?

09-09-2013, 05:17 AM
My period has been all out of whack for the past few months. Heavier, more cramping and irregular. It is such a weird change because it used to be like clockwork. My GYN said it is nothing to worry about but that is easier said than done.

09-09-2013, 10:02 PM
I'm 47 and up until the last year or so, I had the most uneventful periods ever! I'm still regular, but now they're heavy and I have awful cramps for a few days. It's totally new to me. I never knew it could be an effect of my weight loss. I'm within 10 lbs of the weight I was as a senior in high school, but I was that weight for a short time several years ago and had no change in my periods. I guess I just got lucky this time.

09-09-2013, 11:11 PM
I had killer PMDD from my first period at 9.5 years old. At 12, and nearly 100 lbs overweight, our doctor suggested bc and my mom and I said H.... no! Because of the risk of weight gain.

Every year the symptoms got worse and I gained more weight, largely because my hunger went into overdrive with pms. By the time I was desperate enough to try bc (late 20's) I had gained another 100 lbs.

Birth control literally made an amazing difference, not only in the severe cramping, insane mood swings and heavy bleeding, it also drastically reduced the monthly "rabid hunger."

I would at least consider birth control. It can cause weight gain, but it can also trigger weight loss or make it easier.

If you smoke or are otherwise prone to blood cots, or if you'tr trying to conceive of course, bc would be problematic.

I'm going through erratic periods right now as well. I don't know if it's the dieting or the fact that I'm 47 and experiencing perimenopause. Even my birth control isn't working as well as it always has with reducing cramps, mood swings, and hunger.

I hate to think what the cramps and bleeding would be like without the bc.

09-09-2013, 11:43 PM
Aw Shucks, you sound just like me. I turned 50 in April, but I was just about your age when my periods stopped being "boring". It wasn't due to weight changes for me, though...it's peri-menopause. I'm still in the thick of things (literally)...don't know when it will change to menopause. I'm at my heaviest weight ever (240-ish) but don't think that's had a huge impact.

Something to consider. :)