Anxious That Your Period Cycle Has Ended? Understanding The Body’s Biological Processes May Help
While many women dread the menstrual cycle and all its related challenges, regular periods can evoke a sigh of relief and be a reassuring sign that your reproductive organs are working as they should. Erratic periods or the end of periods altogether can be a very stressful time especially if you do not know why.
When the period cycle ends or is interrupted
There is a medical term for the absence of the menstrual cycle – Amenorrhoea. There are two types of this: Primary and Secondary.
The first type is very rare and is characterised by the non-appearance of periods up to 16 years of age. This is caused by irregularities in the functioning of the reproductive system.
The more common type, Secondary Amenorrhoea, is experienced when a woman who has had a regular period cycle finds that her period has stopped for at least three months, or in the case of a woman with irregular periods, has had her cycle stopped for six months up to a year.
There are many common reasons for an irregular period cycle. These include pregnancy, eating disorders such as anorexia, and certain medications such as antidepressants, sudden weight loss or weight gain, excessive exercising, hormonal imbalances and illnesses, taking contraceptives, stress, peri-menopause and menopause.
As you get older it is part of the natural process for your periods to stop altogether. This usually occurs in women aged between 45 and 55 during menopause.
When to see your medical practitioner
Unless you can attribute the end of your periods to a pregnancy, it may be wise to seek the attention of a doctor, especially if:
- Your period cycle does not resume on its own after a few months
- Your period ends before the age of 45
- You have a concern that there may be an underlying medical condition for the absence of periods