When I was 13 years old I struggled with an eating disorder and was significantly underweight. I have since been in recovery and I eat consistently, but it has been 4 years since my last period. I had an appointment with my gynecologist. They ran several blood tests, but everything came back normal. Is there anything I can do to help regain my period?

First, we would like to congratulate anyone who has adopted healthy coping skills for managing their eating disorder, it’s not an easy task, but one that should be celebrated! Eating disorders come in many different forms. In some cases, food restriction plays a major role eating disorders and, it can be very harmful for our bodies. Restriction prevents the body from receiving the proper amount of nutrients it needs to function properly. Without these important nutrients, our bodies go on the defense, slowing down to save energy.

As a result, it’s not uncommon for teens to experience a delayed onset of menses (period starting late) or loss of periods. If this happens, speak to your health care provider (HCP) right away. In most cases, it’s possible to restart the menstrual cycle (period). In order to do this, one must have a healthy weight, which sometimes means some weight gain. Weight gain should only occur with the help and guidance of a health care provider (HCP). If weight gain occurs and the menstrual cycle doesn’t restart within a few months of a having a stable weight, further tests may be needed, possibly including blood work and/or X-rays. Call and schedule an appointment with your health care provider (HCP) to share your concerns and explore options.