Missing Periods After Going Off Birth Control Pills


When a woman stops taking birth control pills, it is very common to have missed periods. Missing periods for several months after you stop taking birth control is called post-pill amenorrhea. There are a number of elements that affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, which means there are several things that may be the cause of a missed period. You should always consider taking a pregnancy test to ensure that this is not the cause of your missed period.


  • There are several natural reasons why a woman will miss her period after going off birth control. If your period is missed for an extended period of time, the body may have a period irregularity and the pill simple masked the irregularity. Your body weight, either overweight or under weight, is a common cause for a delay in your period after discontinuing birth control. Excessive exercise, emotional stress and certain medications may also contribute to period delays.


  • The body needs a 22 percent average body fat level to maintain a regular period. Estrogen is released by fat cells, which help to regulate a woman’s period. Under weight women do not have enough body fat to produce the required amount of estrogen to regulate their period. Overweight women typically have a higher body fat percentage, which produces an excess amount of estrogen that may also cause an irregular period. The menstruation process is triggered by hormones released from the brain; when a woman is stressed the amount or time that these essential hormones are released may be reduced or delayed. Excessive exercise may result in a low body fat percentage, which affects the menstruation.


  • The use of birth control is to prevent ovulation and pregnancy. Your period naturally comes as a result of ovulation, when you are on birth control the period comes while taking the placebo pills due to a sudden decrease in your hormone levels. When a woman stops taking birth control the body can potentially take several months to regulate the normal production of those essential hormones needed to ovulate and menstruate.


  • After getting off of birth control, a woman’s period should start within three months. Most women who have the average body fat ratio will have a period within four to six weeks after stopping birth control. Some women may not have a period for several months if they experienced irregular periods prior to taking birth control and used the pill to regulate their period. You should take a pregnancy test if there is any chance of being pregnant and you have not had a period for three months after you stopped taking birth control.


  • There are certain medications that may interfere with a woman’s menstrual cycle such as oral corticosteroids, thyroid medications, antidepressants and chemotherapy drugs. Sleep, exercise and maintaining a low level of stress are vital in regulating your menstrual cycle. It is typically very difficult to know exactly which days you are ovulating without a regular period. You should consult with your gynecologist if you have not had a period in six months or continue to have irregular periods for several months.


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