No period for a year

Hello, I'm a regular reader of the hypothyroidism group on HU and wondered if you guys could help me out in this community.

I am a 23 year old female who hasn't had a period for nearly 1 year. Apart from this last year my periods always ran like clock work before (I started my period when I was 12, so that's 10 years of consistent periods)

This time last year I was training for the London marathon and after 3 months without a period I went to the doctors and they said it was due to the training.

In April I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) and again doctors said my lack of period was due to this.

I am now stable on my medication for my thyroid and feel the healithiest and fittest I have in months however still no period !! My doctor has told me not to worry but it's hard not to when I would love a family one day! It also feels unnatural to not have a period for so long.

I have had two sets of blood tests which I will post below, my LH level appears to be decreasing. I have the ranges for the different parts of the cycle however I am not having a cycle therefore don't know where I compare. I am being sent for more bloods in Jan including my LH level, FHS level and oestrogen.

If anyone can shed any light or give any advice on what I can do or not do then I would be so grateful! I worry about infirtility a lot

May 2014 -

FSH = 5.0 U/L

LH = 1.7 U/L

Prolactin = 184 mu/L (range 59 - 619)

August 2014 -

FSH = 2.9 U/L

LH = 0.2 U/L

Prolactin = 146 mu/L (range 59 - 619)

3 Replies

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  • Firstly, congratulations. You have a lot going on, and it sounds like the thryoid problems are under control, which is great news.

    On the PCOS side, I'm afraid the blood test results you have posted don't mean much, as I have no medical background, therefore can't comment on what they mean.

    It certainly is possible that your lack of periods, at least initially, was down to a combination of your thyroid problems and marathon training - it is common for women who train hard for events like this, for their bodies to think along the lines of self preservation, and stop periods. I don't know much about the impact of thyroid problems, but it sounds like given that you are not training for a marathon this year & the thyroid problems should be stabilised, it's a certainly a surprise that the periods have not restarted.

    Firstly, I assume you are eating differently to help with your thyroid problems? Are you still running/training hard? If so are you eating appropriately? If your body still thinks you are underweight, this could be a cause of the problems. That said, your body has been under a great deal of stress, and it may simply need more time to recover? I have had problems with my period, and know that it is extremely worrying, but being stressed will not help.

    If you think that the above points have been addressed and are not the cause of the problems, then in order to get a diagnose confirmed of PCOS, your doctor should really be testing your hormone levels, eg testosterone. The results above only really confirm if you are ovulating or not, and given you have not had a period in over a year, I'm guessing your hormones are all over the place anyway. You should also request an ultrasound to check if there are any cysts on your ovaries. Lots of little cysts are an indicator of PCOS, although it is possible to have PCOS but have no cysts on your ovaries.

    Note that the NHS website says:

    "A diagnosis of PCOS can usually be made if other rare causes of the same symptoms have been ruled out and you meet at least two of the following three criteria:

    •you have irregular or infrequent periods - this indicates your ovaries do not regularly release eggs (ovulate)

    •blood tests show you have high levels of male hormones (androgens), such as testosterone (or sometimes just the signs of excess male hormones even if the blood test is normal)

    •scans show you have polycystic ovaries

    As only two of these need to be present to diagnose PCOS, you will not necessarily have to have an ultrasound scan and blood test before the condition can be confirmed."

    You may also have other symptoms, so should talk to your doctor about:

    Checking your blood pressure. (can be higher in women with PCOS, eg my resting heart rate is 49, and my blood pressure is 122/60. The 122 figure is considered high for me, given the other two figures, therefore is determined as pre-hypertension: you are presumably fit and otherwise healthy due to your fitness regime, so any thing that differs from the accepted normal of 120/80 might be of concern to your GP)

    You may also need a blood test to screen for diabetes and/or a high cholesterol level. Women with PCOS, often suffer with metabolic syndrome, which means they can't process sugar well, therefore meaning they are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This would be an especially useful test as I assume that you are relatively slim and fit due to your marathon training? Assuming you have gone back to a 'normal' diet, and are no longer training in the same way you were, you might feel that you have put on weight - perhaps more than you expected? If this is down to the metabolic syndrome and not your thryoid problems, it may be an indicator of PCOS.

  • Note; with the blood tests you have indicated, it certainly could be a possibility that you are ovulating but not having periods, which is certainly possible, as you will see from other posts on this site. I also have had this experience. If you are concerned, the main thing is to discuss it with your GP.

  • Hello,

    Sorry for the late reply! This was all very interesting to read, I'm going to ask about a scan at my next doctors app.

    My cousin has just been diagnosed with PCO and my brother has cysts on his kidneys, so I'm thinking it could be heireditry.

    I have run in over 4 months and the doctor told me to only do gentle excercise, I workout once a week if that! My weight is on the lower side at 7stone, but I am a very petite build at 5ft1 and have always been roughly between 7st 2 - 7st 5. In general I eat a good balanced healthy diet.

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