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.