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Old 08-14-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
Nicole Dinisi
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Changes in menstrual cycle

As a runner, it is not uncommon for me to have changes in my menstrual cycle, but it most commonly happens only when I either increase mileage or work out intensity, then it seems to get consistent again as my body acclimates to whatever new level of exercise I've changed to. I had a three or four month streak where my period landed consistently on the first of the month, my last one being in July. However, this month my period came two weeks later and I am DEFINITELY NOT PREGNANT. I wasn't running at all between July first and about June 7th due to minor knee injury, so I don't think it was the running. For about a month now I've been working out at my crossfit gym four to six days a week. So...could crossfit be the cause?
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:10 PM   #2
Liz Hyde
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Re: Changes in menstrual cycle

Did you just recently add the Crossfit to the running workouts? The change in routine could change your hormone levels enough to mess with your cycle if you're sensitive.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:28 PM   #3
Daniela Jantzen
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Re: Changes in menstrual cycle

As you mentioned yourself: high intensity training seems to effect your cycle. And CF can definitely be considered such training.
So yes, CF might be the cause for the current change. However, if there is still no period within the next few weeks after your body adjusted to the new training stimuli, you might want to consult your gynaecologist to be on the safe side.
Problem is: with the varied intensity levels of the workouts in CF, it might be that a regular cycle is almost impossible in your case. I met women who have theirs quite irregularly a few weeks apart and then again after a couple of months with everything being fine healthwise.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
Andrea Kirk
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Re: Changes in menstrual cycle

Have you had a weight drop recently? Loss of body fat can cause you to stop menstruating. Its not uncommon among female athletes.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:18 PM   #5
Frank E Morel
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Re: Changes in menstrual cycle

Originally Posted by Andrea Kirk View Post
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. wfs

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.
Creating heaven on earth: one deadlift session at a time.
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:17 AM   #6
Bryan Hood
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Re: Changes in menstrual cycle

This is interesting. I have a member who was just told by her doc that she needs to stop CF for a while because she and her husband are trying to get pregnant. I, being a dude, am not very well educated in this arena even though I have 4 kids my self. I'd like to know more about CF intensity and getting pregnant.
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