Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Exercising and the cycle

Before I get into today's post, I just want to warn any men that might be reading to close out of this post. You'll thank me later :)

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Ever since I've had my period, it has been regular as clock work. I was on birth control for awhile almost 6 years ago, but did not like how it made me feel. Ever since then, my periods have been totally regular and I can tell you within a day or two of when I am going to get it. Since I started marathon training and increasing my mileage (but not huge numbers), my last cycle was delayed. I knew that I wasn't pregnant, but it was strange to have it show up almost five days late. 

I have been a fairly active person for the last number of years, but have never experienced this before. I am also definitely not underweight (hello being constantly hungry and craving carbs thanks to marathon training!), so I know that's not the issue. 

I am wondering if anyone has experienced this with running or other types of exercise. Should I be worried? Or wait to see how my next couple of cycles are? I just don't want it to cause issues down the road when we start trying for some bambinos.

15 comments :

  1. I'm not a runner but I've heard in my various health classes over the years, that if your body fat percentage drops below a certain point, you can stop getting a period all together. I don't know about it being delayed though. Sorry Leigh. I'm sure someone will have an answer!

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  2. I'd make a doctor's appointment. There's so many things that can affect yout period.

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  3. You know my experience, and can email me for info. But right now, do not worry, but if it starts to get more irregular or missed months or really light. It is great you have already brought this up, I was on the pill and had my cycle monthly due to it (it was really light though) and then went off it and nothing for two years (as you know). Just be aware of it for now, but I would not worry yet :)

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  4. Like Lindsey mentioned, I would just watch it for a couple cycles and if it is still messed up then talk to the doctor. I know that happened to my mom when she was working out and teaching fitness classes 7+ times a week but it was fine when she reduced her exercise.

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  5. I agree with Lindsey and Nicole - one cycle isn't worth getting worried about...but if it is more consistently irregular, I'd check with your doctor. (not sure what method of birth control you're using, but just because your period was late, doesn't necessarily mean your ovulation was late - so just something to think about if you need to think about such things)

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  6. Don't worry yet I'm sure. I've been late if I've recently been 'sick' or am taking antibiotics too. I'd just wait and see what happens for the next few cycles.

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  7. I think it's definitely something to be watching. I lost my period for almost a year during marathon training at one point and got on the pill to force my body to get on cycle and get the hormones, although that really was just a temporary fix. I have now gone off it and am trying to self regulate, but it seems to be a challenge, even running just 20 miles a week. For me I think it is definitely exercise intensity/amount and stress related. However, I also used to think that I wasn't "too skinny," but the doctor said that the only way to get my period back really was to gain some weight and possibly cut back on exercise. And of course, I think the percent of muscle mass in your body can play a roll to (in terms of if we think we're at a healthy weight as muscle is denser than fat). Moral of the story is, when we're really serious about trying for kids, I will likely cut back quite a bit on exercise as all bodies are different. Feel free to email if you want to chat more! Also, a few bloggers have written on this issue, which I have found really interesting. Although, keeping in mind each person's situation is different. :)

    http://fitting-it-all-in.com/i-got-it-back/
    http://www.sweettoothsweetlife.com/2012/07/25/when-your-definition-of-healthy-changes/

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  8. Like above I would just watch it for screw months. I have no advice from experience. Nothing about mine is a cycle! It has a mind of its own or no mind at all who know!

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  9. I've been there too. I agree with what others have said so far, but just be aware of what your priorities are going to be in the future (baby-wise), because this can become a big frustration if you do end up losing your period and then getting it back and having to figure out regulation and ovulation. My period is generally 32-35 days in length now but I have had random ones that still go up to 40 days. It has impacted our ability to try for a baby (we've been at it almost a year in March - of not "not trying" and watching dates and still nothing, so that is something to consider :) other than that, maybe pick some shorter races for the rest of the summer and see how it goes then?

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  10. I have been on the pill for a long long time now so my body hasn't "naturally" had a period in years. So I don't really have any input :S I would maybe make a doctors appointment just to be safe though!

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  11. I would not worry too much yet. You might want to make a doctor's appointment for piece of mind, and just to get some advice. I am usually like clock work, but the past several months I have been all over the place. I blame it mostly on stress, due to the recent changes in my life. And I have heard that an increase in exercise, or stress can cause major changes in your body. Watch it for the next few months, and if you are still concerned, I would talk to the doctor.

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  12. Not a fan of the birth control AT ALL. I was only on it for about 3 months a few years back for a last ditch effort for skin issues. Once I realized that my skin is all related to the food I put into my body, I tossed it. I hated knowing that I was putting harmful chemicals into my body every day. (I have friends that are having issues getting pregnant now - I truly believe it is due to that and the processed foods now with all the GMOs in them)


    XX
    Christina

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  13. I have been on BC for quite awhile now, so haven't had a natural cycle in so long but back when I did, it was incredibly irregular, like I could got 6-8 weeks without getting my period. I like the predictability of being on the pill now, but someday when/if I am married and want kids, I will have to figure something out... Anyways, as far as your question at hand, I would give it another month and then see your doctor just to be sure there isn't something going on.

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  14. I've been on the pill for as long (longer) than I've been marathon running. Whenever I visit my naturopath this is the first questions she asks. She knows I'm a distance runner and loosing your period is a common effect of high-milage. I'm not sure if it's serious or not. I would visit my doctor or naturopath just to be sure.

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  15. During marathon and ultra training, things are definitely wonky but they have a way of evening out as your body adapts. You already have lots of great advice here in the previous comments, especially about just getting it checked out. Good luck Leigh! (These are the days I wish I were a boy.)

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