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Reducing Your Risk of Menstrual Disorders

Menstrual disorders have many causes that you may or may not be able to put off.

These tips may help lower your risk.


Treat Problems That Can Lead to Heavy Bleeding

Some problems can be treated before they cause heavy bleeding, such as:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Blood clotting problems
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Pelvic infection


Lower the Intensity of Your Workout

Intense workouts can cause you to stop having periods. If you workout compulsively because you are afraid of gaining weight, you may have an eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. Some women with these problems workout two to six hours a day. If you think you have an eating disorder, see your doctor right away.

If you have intense workouts because you are a competitive athlete, it may be hard for you to change your routine. Talk to your doctor about whether you should take calcium to put off health problems. You may also want to think about taking birth control pills.

Stay at a Healthy Weight and Level of Body Fat

Amenorrhea is often due to levels of body fat—having too much or too little. Your doctor can help you find the right weight and body fat levels for you. You should not lose too much weight or lose weight too quickly. Also, you shouldn't gain too much weight or gain too quickly. These extremes can change your cycle.

If you need to lose weight, your doctor or a dietitian can help you make changes. You want a food plan that is balanced and has enough calories. If you have a strong fear of gaining weight or feel that your eating is out of control, you should also be checked for eating disorders.

Get Help for an Eating Disorder

Eating disorders often lead to amenorrhea. They are serious changes in eating, such as extreme and unhealthy lowering of food intake or severe overeating. They come with feelings of worry or great concern about body shape or weight.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which you are obsessed with dieting and working out. This leads to too much weight loss.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder in which you eat large amounts of food (binging) and then use means (vomiting, laxatives, too much exercise) to rid your body of the food (purging). You eat compulsively and feel like you can't stop, then purge to stop yourself from gaining weight.

If you think you may have an eating disorder, talk to your doctor right away.

Lower Your Stress Level

High levels of stress can upset your periods. Lower your stress level and get more rest and relaxation. You may also benefit from relaxation methods, such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, yoga, and biofeedback. These methods can help you notice tension in your body and let it go with exercises that help quiet your mind and relax your muscles. Activities that you enjoy can also help you ease stress.

Treat Health Problems That Can Lead to Amenorrhea

Certain health problems can be treated before they lead to amenorrhea, such as:


Abnormal uterine bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T361089/Abnormal-uterine-bleeding. Updated August 24, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.

Amenorrhea. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116009/Amenorrhea. Updated January 16, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.

Klein DA, Poth MA. Amenorrhea: an approach to diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Jun 1;87(11):781-788.

Menstruation and the menstrual cycle fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menstruation.html. Updated April 25, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.

Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardBeverly Siegal, MD, FACOG  Last Updated: 10/29/2018