Resources for Understanding Why You Have No Period.

There are common misconceptions about how a woman can lose her period. “Everyone” seems to know that women who have eating disorders or are Olympic-level athletes commonly have no period. What is much less well-known, however, is that periods can go missing at much less extreme levels of calorie/food group restriction and exercise.

A big part of our book, No Period. Now What? is the survey of over 300 women that we completed, asking a variety of questions about factors leading to hypothalamic amenorrhea, steps taken to recover, and recovery success (as well as trying to get pregnant, pregnancy, and beyond.) From that survey we were able to get a much better picture of the range of women affected by missing periods.

Our last few posts have discussed the factors involved in acquiring HA: exercise and undereating, weight/weight loss, stress, and genetics, and also about how women who are not avid exercisers or “underweight” can have HA. But those posts can take a while to read through. So we put together an information sheet to help educate those with no period / hypothalamic amenorrhea, as well as any others who might be interested (e.g. doctors, family members). In addition, we’re making the first chapter of our book, which describes the basics of hypothalamic amenorrhea, available for download. Enter your email address to receive an email with a download link for both. Please feel free to share the files: for example with your doctors, other women with HA, and friends or family members who might not understand why your periods are missing.



Update: I recently put together a video explaining these five factors, in case you prefer visual learning.

Hope this helps!!  Any questions, please comment on this post or use the contact form!


In case you’re interested, references for the information sheet are listed below.

Understanding Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Information Sheet References

Causes of amenorrhea:

Effects of underfueling:

  • Wade GN, Jones JE. “Neuroendocrinology of Nutritional Infertility.” American
    Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 287(6) 2004:
    R1277-1296. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.00475.2004
  • “Balancing Calories to Manage Weight.” In Dietary Guidlines for Americans, 2010.
    7th Edition ed. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department
    of Health and Human Services, 2010.

Exercise (stress) and hypothalamic amenorrhea:

  • Hill EE, et al. “Exercise and Circulating Cortisol Levels: The Intensity Threshold
    Effect.” Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. 31(7) 2008: 587-91. doi: 10.1007/BF03345606
  • Loucks AB, et al. “Alterations in the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian and the
    Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axes in Athletic Women.” The Journal of Clinical
    Endocrinology & Metabolism. 68(2) 1989: 402-11. doi: 10.1210/jcem-68-2-402
  • Mastorakos GM, et al. “Exercise and the Stress System.” Hormones. 4(2) 2005:

Stress and hypothalamic amenorrhea:

  • Berga SL, et al. “Recovery of Ovarian Activity in Women with Functional
    Hypothalamic Amenorrhea Who Were Treated with Cognitive Behavior Therapy.”
    Fertility and Sterility. 80(4) 2003: 976-81. doi: 10.1016/S0015-0282(03)01124-5
  • Biller MK, et al. “Abnomal Cortisol Secretion and Responses to Corticotropin-
    Releasing Hormone in Women with Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.” Journal of
    Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 70(2) 1990: 311-17. doi: 10.1210/jcem-70-2-311
  • Brundu B. “Increased Cortisol in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of Women with Functional
    Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
    91(4) 2006: 1561-565. doi: 10.1210/jc.2005-2422


  • Caronia LM, et al. “A Genetic Basis for Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.”
    The New England Journal of Medicine. 364(3) 2011: 215-25. doi: 10.1056/
  • Gianetti E, et al. “When genetic load does not correlate with phenotypic spectrum: lessons from the GnRH receptor (GNRHR).” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 97(9) 2012: E1798-807. doi: 10.1210/jc.2012-1264

7 thoughts on “Resources for Understanding Why You Have No Period.

  1. Miranda says:

    Hello. I have been thinking about purchasing this book because I have a Fsh and LH deficiency and was looking for more information because I think it stemmed from my unhealthy diet. Although, I still get my period every month.

    • says:

      Hi Miranda, I’d love to hear a little more from you and see if I can help. Feel free to contact me through the contact form!

  2. Krisha Ann says:

    Hi I had problem with my period and I’m thinking to buy this book, but how I can purchase it? I got feeling that it will help a lot on my situation.

  3. Alicia says:

    Hi, for the last 12 months I’ve suffered from HA on-and-off – basically every time my body weight dips below a particular weight – combined with my diet and exercise routine – I stop getting my periods. The moment my weight increases above that particular number, I will get my period again. I’m interested in your book to understand my situation more – however I actually don’t want to have children and only want to restore my periods for the sake of having healthy hormones, not to improve my fertility. Is this book still for me? Or is it not worth it since I’ve already figured out how to ‘get my periods back’ so to speak and what triggers their loss (the drop in weight)?

    • says:

      Hi Alicia,

      I do think that NPNW would still be helpful for you – mostly in supporting you in getting your body to a point where it’s not on the precipice of losing periods all the time. The fact that it’s easy for you to lose your cycles suggests to me that your weight is probably on the low side of what is healthy, and I’d encourage you to keep it up above the range where you lose your period. NPNW will help with supporting you as you do that – with facts as well as stories from other women. You can also join our FB support group at… and maybe that’s all you need.


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