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Gone Away

My period is GONE

The old myth about a woman “needing” her period is just that…a myth. Medically, the cells at the lining of the uterus need progesterone to remain healthy. Without progesterone the cells may grow constantly. Constant growth of the cells which line the uterus can result in pre-cancer and cancer of the lining of the uterus. Progesterone comes in many forms.

  • All forms of hormonal contraception: pill, shot, Mirena IUD.
  • Progesterone pills, like medroxyprogesterone acetate and norethindrone.
  • Ovulation, either naturally, or with the help of clomiphene citrate or fertility drugs.

Any form will do. The studies show that a progesterone period every three months is “enough” to prevent dangerous overgrowth of the cells inside the uterus.

What You Should Know

Periods can get lighter OR disappear when a woman has been using hormonal contraception for a long time. The decrease is a result of a prolonged progesterone effect on the cells inside the uterus. Here is what happens in the “typical” 28 day cycle:

  1. The cycle has two halves.
    • The first half is growing the egg.
    • The mid point is ovulation.
    • The second half is preparing the lining of the uterus for pregnancy.
  2. The main hormone of the first half of the cycle is estrogen. Estrogen causes growth of the cells which line the inside of the uterus.
  3. After ovulation the same cells which built the egg switch their job and begin making progesterone.
  4. Progesterone does not add to growth.  The progesterone makes the cells mature to get ready for a fertilized egg.
  5. If there is no fertilization then the progesterone level drops, and a woman gets a period.

The pill has lots of progesterone in every tablet. Depo Provera and the Mirena IUD are only progesterone without extra estrogen. All that progesterone causes constant maturation, which gets in the way of growth. This is normal and not dangerous.

Contraception

You do not need a period for the pill or Depo or the IUD to work. As long as you take the pill every day, or get your Depo Shot every 12-13 weeks you will enjoy effective contraception.

I Just Don’t Get a Period

Some women don’t get periods every month, and they are not taking the pill or shot or the progesterone IUD. Their period may come every two or three or four months.  Sometimes they just have irregular bleeding without anything that might be called a period. This can turn into a problem: here is how.

Irregular spaced-out periods usually mean irregular or spaced out ovulation. Without ovulation there is no progesterone. Without progesterone there can be overgrowth of the cells inside the uterus. And over lots of time, overgrowth inside the uterus can turn into pre-cancer of the endometrium (the inside of the uterus). Over more time, pre-cancer cells can become cancer of the uterus. To prevent problems inside the uterus women Need Progesterone.

Treatment for Missing Periods

The minimum progesterone needed to Prevent Problems inside the uterus is 10 pills, four times each year. I suggest 10 mg (milligram) medroxyprogesterone acetate pills, for 10 days. For example you would take your pills on February 1–10, May 1–10, August 1–10, and November 1–10. You should expect period-like bleeding around the 13th day of each month you take the progesterone.

MYTH:  progesterone does not “jump start” your periods.  Progesterone just “clears out” the inside of the uterus.


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