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22 year old female with no period for 2.5 yrs - am I infertile?

- Age: 22 years old
- Sex: female
- Height: 5'5"
- Weight: 105-110 lbs
- BMI: approx. 18
- Race: white

Hi there--I am a 22 year-old female and haven't gotten a period in 2.5 years, and I'm concerned this means I could possibly be infertile. My access to healthcare and talking to a doctor is a bit limited right now, so while I wait, I've come to post on a few health forums to see if anyone's had similar issues or if any doctors/health professionals might have some answers. Any feedback or insight at all would be very appreciated!

Just to provide some background on the issue:

My period stopped in the winter of 2011 and hasn't come back since. This had coincided with the start of an eating disorder (anorexia nervosa), which I know often triggers the loss of periods. At the beginning of winter 2011, I'd weighed around 145 lbs (I'm 5'5", so this was a BMI of 24.1). By August 2012, I weighed 95 lbs (BMI = 15.8 ). The weight loss was mainly driven by an extreme reduction in calorie intake, but toward the end there began to be slightly excessive exercise as well. The period stopped just around the same time I began eating less (December 2011).

In September 2012 I saw a doctor, was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, and went into IOP treatment for it. My weight went back up to around 110-115 lbs, and my health issues regarding things like low calcium, osteopenia, hair loss, low blood pressure, etc., for the most part improved. Throughout all this time, though, the period never returned.

At this point, I am much healthier as my eating and exercise habits have improved and are for the most part healthy. I have been maintaining my weight around 105-110 lbs, I no longer restrict or purge, and I've been eating enough calories with a normal level of exercise. But I'm very concerned that the history of the ED has or may cause me to be infertile. I'd asked my doctors about the missing periods at the time of the ED treatment and they'd explained periods can stop due to things like fast weight loss, increased anxiety, etc., and that they return once a healthy weight and normal eating habits are restored. However, mine has still not come back.

If anyone has dealt with this before or knows more about testing for infertility or bringing periods back, I'd really appreciate the insight.

Thanks so much in advance for any responses!
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replied August 20th, 2014

Welcome to the ehealthforum and I am really glad to help you out.

Eating disorders is one of the causes of irregularity in menstrual cycles. Moreover secondary amenorrhea also needs to be ruled out.

Secondary amenorrhea is when a woman who has had normal menstrual cycles stops getting her monthly period for 3 or more months. Pregnancy is the first possibility that should be ruled out by means of blood HCG tests and ultrasound.

Other causes of secondary amenorrhea include stress and anxiety, malnutrition, depression, overexercising, sudden weight loss or gain (obesity),thyroid disorders, smoking, tumors of ovary and brain and hormonal imbalance due to polycystic ovarian syndrome(PCOS). You should consult a gynecologist and get a physical examination done. You may need investigations like hormone profile, ultrasound uterus and CT head. Once the diagnosis is made, treatment can be planned.

I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and regards.
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