Post Pill Amenorrhea – Why Won’t My Period Start After Stopping Birth Control Pills?

Post Pill Amenorrhea – Why Won’t My Period Start After Stopping Birth Control Pills?


When you have stopped using birth control pills because you have decided to try a baby and your period does not resume its normal cycle, it can be very frustrating. This is a common problem for couples trying to conceive. Post-pill amenorrhea is the absence of a menstrual period for three months or more after stopping birth control pills.

Most women who experience this begin to wonder what is wrong with their bodies. The source of this problem lies in hormones in a woman’s body.

Birth control pills suppress the production of the pituitary gland by the hormones FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone). These hormones help stimulate the development of follicles in the ovaries. As the follicles grow, they produce estrogens. After they release an egg, they make progesterone.

Birth control pills contain estrogen and progesterone. If a woman is taking birth control pills, her body will think that she is ovulating due to the estrogen and progesterone in the medication. Your pituitary gland will stop producing FSH and LH. Without these two hormones, ovulation does not occur and it is almost impossible to get pregnant (there is always a small chance that birth control pills will not work for certain women).

After taking birth control pills for an extended period of time, the pituitary gland may continue to believe that there is a sufficient amount of estrogen and progesterone even after stopping the medication. This causes your body to not ovulate and subsequently not return to a normal menstrual cycle. This absence of a normal cycle may be the complete absence of an irregular period or periods.

If you experience this, you may be wondering how long this amenorrhea will last. Most women’s cycles return to normal in three to six months. Some women may have to wait up to two years for a normal cycle to return. Although it may appear that you will not become pregnant during the time you wait for your period to return, it is possible to become pregnant before your period returns. It is impossible to predict whether a woman will ovulate first or whether her period will return first.

What can you do if you are tired of waiting and what to do? Go see your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe clomiphene citrate to stimulate your pituitary gland to produce FSH and LH. Although clomiphene citrate is an often prescribed medication, there are other medications available that your doctor may prescribe for you.

Clomiphene citrate blocks estrogen receptors in the uterus. This tells your pituitary gland that there is no estrogen and that your body is not producing a mature follicle. The pituitary produces FSH. The FSH in your body causes the follicles to grow and produce progesterone when one breaks. Estrogen tells the lining of the uterus to grow so that a potential embryo has what it needs to survive. If the egg that is released is not fertilized, the lining of your uterus will peel off and have its period.

If you have stopped taking birth control pills and have not had a regular cycle, or if your doctor has diagnosed you with post-pill amenorrhea, do not worry. You are not the only one going through this. Many women experience this.




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