8 Things you may not know about periods, the pill, and bone health


Did you know…

  • Around half of all people with active eating disorders who should have a period have either stopped menstruating or experience menstrual disturbances?
  • Losing your period can result from Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia, Anorexia, Orthorexia, and ARFID.
  • Not losing your period when suffering with an eating disorder DOES NOT equal a less severe illness. Everybody is different & eating disorders can affect hormone regulation to varying degrees.
  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) typically occurs when the body is in a state of relative energy insufficiency. This means that the caloric intake is inadequate relative to the amount of energy burned.
  • People who lose their period may experience symptoms such as nights sweats, brain fog, mood swings and trouble sleeping.
  • Loss of menstrual cycle and hormone changes often lead to osteopenia. This is where bones experience diminished of levels of calcium. This can lead to increased risk of stress fractures and breaks and may lead to early onset osteoporosis.
  • The contraceptive pill is often prescribed to ‘protect bone health’ in people with eating disorders who have lost their period. Research has shown that after 12-18 months of taking the pill, bone health had not improved, even compared to those who had been taking a placebo pill. In fact, many participants bone health had gotten worse due to continued eating disorder behaviours!
  • Adequate nutrition and weight restoration leads to restoration of the menstrual cycle, allowing bones to become stronger and increase levels of calcium.


Does this sound like something you are experiencing and would like to know more about? Visit your GP or contact BodyMatters to make an appointment to see one of our wonderful clinicians.


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