Originally Posted by Andrea Kirk
Have you had a weight drop recently? Loss of body fat can cause you to stop menstruating. Its not uncommon among female athletes.
Females require a decent percentage of body fat to produce estrogen, Get too lean and the estrogen: testerosone ratio gets unbalance and cycles will become very irregular maybe even stop.
Progressive nature of menstrual disturbances.
Regular cycles with shortened luteal phase-progesterone production stops early
Regular cycles with Inadequate progesterone production
Regular cycles with failure to develop and release an egg (anovulation)
Irregular cycles but still ovulating
Irregular cycles and anovulation
Absence of menses and ovulation
Usually stages 1-3 are asymptomatic but may present as infertility.
Research study results:
Low to moderate exercise (15-20 miles/week) begun in sedentary women with regular cycles and > one year buildup will not result in problems. Moderate to intense training (30-50 miles/week) building up over two months in young women will more than likely result in significant menstrual abnormalities.
Even recreational joggers at 12-18 miles /week demonstrated poor follicular development, decreased estrogen and progesterone secretion and absent ovulation.
One out of four moderate and long distance runners demonstrated one or more episode of anovulation when observed for one year.
Studies reveal exercise induced amenorrhea in 1 to 44% of athletes. Most frequently seen in ballet dancers and long distance runners. Up to 44% of ballet dancers have been found to be amenorrheic.
Pathophysiologic mechanisms responsible for exercise induced amenorrhea are not well understood.
critical fat hypothesis: During puberty menses first occurs when body fat content rises beyond 17% and menses will cease if it subsequently falls below 12%. However, menses will resume in amenorrheic ballet dancers after injury in the absence of any significant change in weight or body fat. Amenorrhea returns when their training resumes.
energy drain: Low caloric input and high caloric expenditure results in endocrine abnormalities manifest as menstrual disturbances. Studies have found decreased caloric intake and a lower metabolic rate in amenorrheic athletes compared to those with normal menses. However, some have postulate that the lower resting metabolic rate is just the body's adaptive response in attempt to maintain weight and conserve energy thereby restoring a more normal energy balance.
Nut shell. Both are responsible.