Topic Overview

If you participate in endurance sports, you may miss periods or stop
menstruating. This is called secondary amenorrhea, and it occurs because your
ovaries are not producing enough
estrogen. It is believed that stress and low body fat
contribute to amenorrhea. This is more likely to happen if you are younger and
if your periods are irregular to begin with.

Female athletes may use many harmful strategies, including excessive
dieting, binging, and purging, in order to lose or maintain weight.
Female athlete triad is a combination of three
conditions that are common with athletic training: eating disorders, such as
bulimia or
anorexia; the absence of menstrual periods
(amenorrhea); and

You can prevent female athlete triad.

  • Eat a healthy, balanced
  • Exercise in moderation.
  • Tell your doctor about
    any changes in your menstrual periods.

If you exercise less or gain a little weight, your periods will
probably start again. If these solutions are not possible or do not work, your
doctor may prescribe birth control pills to help restore your cycle. These will
regulate your periods and help keep your bones strong, reducing your risk for
brittle bones (osteoporosis). Your doctor also may prescribe calcium
supplements to help ensure that your bones stay healthy.

You can still become pregnant even though you are not menstruating.
Practice birth control if you do not wish to become pregnant.

Related Information


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP – Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O’Connor, MD – Emergency Medicine

Current as ofOctober 6, 2017