National Eating Disorders Association

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When did your period return?

Hi There,

This is my first post. I am 24 and I have been anorexic/bulimic for about 4.5 years. During this time I lost my period.

About 4-5 months ago, I started to want to recover but I wasn't ready to give up my eating disorder completely so I kept up with some behaviors. This helped me gain to a more healthy weight and "fooled" some people, but I was still using behaviors daily.

On December 22nd I got my period for the first time in 4+ years. I was so excited! It was light and only lasted three days but it still gave me hope that I hadn't completely destroyed by body and could one day have kids (I am married and just bought a house and my husband and I really want to start a family). At this point, I was still using some behaviors. The more I thought about it, the more I was sick of being a slave to my eating disorder. Once night I just sort of snapped and decided that I was done.

It has now been three weeks of eating healthy and behavior-free. I went to the doctor and I am at a healthy weight and BMI and all my blood work looks good. I am also working with a nutritionist. I am working hard to add calories. I am eating well with a healthy exercise schedule. I am excited to add more foods in, it's just hard with feeling so uncomfortably full but I have a good nutritionist who is helping me go at a comfortable pace.

I am feeling a bit bummed/frustrated that I haven't had my period since the first time I got it back in December. I am wondering how long it took everyone else to get theirs back and when it became regular.

I am loving having my life back and not having everything revolve around my eating disorder. My quality of life is so much better. I know I am just starting this long process, but it feels really good so far.

I'm really looking forward to getting to know everyone and getting/giving support to all in recovery.

Thank your in advance for any replies/advice,


It was well over a year

It was well over a year before I finally got my period back, maybe even over 2 years. I was at a healthy weight, and I thought something was wrong with my body because I still wasn't getting a period. Fortunately, my doctor assured me that it was okay, and with time I finally got it again. Then I stopped getting it for a few months. Then I got it. Then it stopped etc...
Mine is never regular and skips months all the time, but I am perfectly healthy. Mine skipping is due in part to it being extremely light before, and the fact that I am a competitive runner. Seeing that you exercise, this could be making your period skip or be extremely light too! This is just the case for myself. I am no medical professional, so as always, talking to a physician would be the best help to you. I don't think you should really worry about it too much if your body feels good otherwise!
And by the way congrats on the recovery! I love your attitude with loving your new life! Best of luck to you I hope that everything continues to go so well!


I got my eating disorder when

I got my eating disorder when i was in 9th grade and was hospitalized within a year(my heart rate was super low when i was in the ICU) and never had a regular period even before my disorder, but here is the thing, My mom never had a regular period in her life either. So i dont know if its genetics but i hardly ever get my period, but i am scared because its almost been a year since my last period. It is difficult especially because I can’t tell my mom because she will bring me to the doctor and I get anxiety attacks when I am at the doctor’s office.

my BMI

My BMi was in normal range for about 18 months before it came back (i had been underweight for 3 years beforehand), so it takes a long time, but it does come back... urgh... amenorrhoea is the only thing i'll miss about my disorder. in the meantime make sure you do a pregnancy test at least once a month - they are relatively cheap from large pharmacies.

Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your replies.

I'm currently at a BMI in the normal range, whereas I used to be very underweight. I feel healthy at this weight but also know as I increase calories I may go up some. Still struggling with bloating and full feeling, hoping that it eases. It was getting better but then I added this week, which I am proud of, but not excited to feel so full again.

I know my recovery hasn't been long, but that one initial period before I began true recovery gave me so much hope and I find myself frusturated that I haven't gotten it again. I know I need to be patient, but it hard. Never thought I would want my period back so much! In terms of taking a pregnancy test every month, if I am not getting my period, can I still get pregnant? I was under the impression I couldn't.

Thanks everyone,


I am so happy to hear about

I am so happy to hear about your progress! but i have had two periods since my recovery and hadnt had another for almost a year and it is really confusing

Hi keiko29,

I think cateka just meant that you should make sure that your lack of period is due to amenorrhea rather than pregnancy at any given time. If you got pregnant and assumed that it was just the lingering effect of your ED, you might miss a critical period of prenatal care.

Good luck starting your family!!


period recovery

Hi, this is my first post as well. I have been in recovery throughout college and I regained my period about 2 years ago and had it consistently for about a year an a half or more... it's always been very short and light, but at least I got it. I lost it again this past november so it's been about 6 months. My mom found out and is extremely concerned. I didn't tell her because I was scared of her reaction, but opened up to a few friends. I didn't go to the doctor because I didn't want to deal with it. Now, she's found out and I'm having to take control of the situation.
I made an appointment with my primary doctor, does anyone have any reccomendations about things to do to get it back again? My weight hasn't dropped and I'm still eating normally, so I'm not sure how to recover it.

Hi sjm1234,

I think you're doing everything right! A doctor would be able to give you a more accurate sense of whether or not there's something to be worried about. As brookespre said earlier, athletes often lose their period, even if they're at a healthy weight. Stress and commonplace illnesses can also definitely affect your menstrual cycle. I would just relax and wait until the appointment.

Let us know how it goes!


I noticed this was more

I noticed this was more recent so thought I'd add. I gained most of my weight back recently (past 6 months) but still have not gotten my period. I'm not an athlete, have been to the doctor and she said there is nothing medically wrong with me at this point, that was when I was still significantly underweight and I have gained since then. I haven't had my period in two years. I'm scared I might never get it back.

I'm in the same boat as you

I'm in the same boat as you and I don't know what else I can do to try and get it back. I was never under or over weight during my eating disorder so I honestly don't know what is still causing my lack of period. All I've researched is that our reproductive organs can sheink back to pre-puberty size during an eating disorder and our hormones can be lacking in reproductive hormones and therefore we lack a period. But its been so long!

When did your period return

Hi Keiko
I'm 31 years old and struggle most days to remain in recovery from anorexia and bulimia. I was diagnosed 6 years ago and went through therapy, which has helped a lot, but every day is still very challenging. Unfortunately I still have some issues from when my disorders were really bad. One that you mention is return of menses. It took a year and a half before my period returned and it is still irregular today. I struggle with infertility due to this as well. It looks like its been a while since you've last posted, I hope you are doing well and remaining in recovery! Let me know if you need anything!

OMG, mine took 3 months to finally kick back in...

I was busy working and very nervous and yet still exercising excessively. Then noticed period was missing for a few months. When I finally gained some weight and relaxed my exercise routine a bit, then my period returned .

Getting Your Period Back

This is my first post on here, so hi everyone.
So I had anorexia from 2011-2015 and for a period of 6mos in 2015 I participated in bulimic behaviors. I lost my period in January of 2016 and I still have not gotten it back. (I had been on bc prior but got off because I stopped having a period for it to regulate). I have not participated in eating disorder behaviors in over 2 years and I still have not gotten my period back. I am a healthy weight and I do not over exercise. I have been to many doctors about this out of concern for my health and fertility. Each time, the doctors either told me not to worry about it until I want to get pregnant or that I should be grateful I don't have to deal with a period. I want to fix whatever issue is going on before the time comes where I want to get pregnant and for my own health and wellbeing. How and when did you guys get your periods back?

I never lost my period, even

I never lost my period, even at my lowest weight, despite being severely underweight according to those BMI charts. I insisted that that (plus the fact my bloodwork was in a very healthy range) proved my eating habits were actually healthy, though I was told that you don't lose your period for being underweight, but for the stress your body is going through and that's not even required to diagnose anorexia anymore. This comes from a dietitian who specialises in eating disorders, I'd say it's believable. What if your problem is just stress and you only need to relax about it? :-S Once I thought I was pregnant when I was a teen and I was so scared about it I skipped 2 months. :-P

This is so interesting to

This is so interesting to hear! I have never lost my period completely and have often used this as an excuse to continue behaviors. I've felt that I'm not sick enough because I still have my period. I'm so comforted and encouraged to know I'm not alone!

a long time!

My situation was kind of weird. When I entered treatment I got a period right away, but then didn't get another one for 10 months and then after that I didn't get another one until 17 months and now its starting to get regular. So I guess I would say a year and a half at least for me to have two in a row. I was anorexic/exercise bulimic for 7 years. I think it takes a long time to recover from how long we hurt ourselves.

I feel you

Trust me girl I feel you. My eating disorder started 2018, after a long 2 1/2 years of tragic life changing events and depression. When it started I was slightly overweight due to the fact I was so stressed and I over ate. I lost weight pretty quickly. I never had a heavy period to begin with, in fact it was very very light but I lost it about 3 months into my eating disorder and haven’t got it ever since. I never got underweight but I would have been if it wasn’t for my doctor who told me they would put me in a hospital if I lost any more weight. I’ve only had my eating disorder for 7 months and I’m currently in therapy so I can’t say much on when or why my period isn’t coming because I’m not underweight but I’m sure it’s just the fact that we all lost a significant amount of weight in a very unhealthy way so our body just needs a bit of time for the damage we did to it ❤️


Aren't allowed to mention any type of weight numbers.

You don’t always lose your

You don’t always lose your period when you have an eating disorder some people do and some people don’t . Everyone’s body is different I would say are a doctor better cannot tell you when it will return mine has never been regular but there could be many reasons for that including my eating disorder but other things too stress etc. I would say talk to a doctor everyone has a different experience

Hermione3 is right

Of the 28 years I've struggled with various eating disorders, I never lost my period, but that doesn't mean the inside of me is any less sick than someone who has lost it. At times, I've felt not sick enough because this never happened to me.


I've had the same experience!

any tips to how to get them back?


I really want to get my periods back and recover but i don't know where to start, its hard, please help any tips on what to eat and your daily routine ?.

We can’t offer specific

We can’t offer specific advise because every body is different and has different needs. The best way to answer these questions is to seek out a nutritionist and therapist who specialize in eating disorders. They will help you set up a meal plan and routine that will get you on your path to recovery.
Stay strong. I know giving up control like that can be hard, but you sound motivated and so brave. You can do this.

NEDA Resources

Hi renette, welcome to the NEDA forums! As a reminder, per our Community Guidelines, we cannot provide each other medical or diet advice. What we can do is support each other through these forums and NEDA resources. If you need some help, please call our toll-free helpine at 1-800-931-2237, Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM and Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM to speak to a trained volunteer who can help with treatment options and general support.

My period

I was 13 when I first got into having an eating disorder. In February I started restricting what I ate and exercising. I thought that since I had finally gotten my period the month before I could start losing weight, it wasn’t bad at first, but by June I was walking in circles, going to the gym, and not eating enough. I went into the hospital on June 13th until July 8th, after that I went to a partial program for four weeks and finally met my goal weight. I’ve been at this weight (healthy) since August and I eat enough and feel healthy in every way except not getting my period. I had a doctors appointment on Wednesday and she said I have to gain more weight (I’m not underweight) and I’m having a lot of trouble I don’t believe that this will help. Also, in August I was healthy but a test showed my estrogen level was low, what should I do?? I eat healthy and I make sure I drink 8ish cups of water, help!?

Hi lexyb! Your post was

Hi lexyb! Your post was edited slightly as it mentioned specific foods which can be triggering to other members. You can review our community guidelines here:     


The best thing you can do is talk to a medical professional about these issues. Unfortunately, since we are not professionals, we cannot answer your questions. Please keep us posted.

welcome keiko29

I think everyone is different with the periods, mine is still light and infrequent, but it was before I got sick as well. It can take a long time because your body will only put energy into reproduction when you have some to spare. All the tissues you damaged during the anorexia/bulimia must be repaired and you must be otherwise healthy before your body is ready to take on the challenge of creating and nourishing a child. So my only advice is to keep eating well and be patient. You can also bring your concerns to a doctor. Wishing you the best! I am so happy to hear your life is otherwise moving forward so swimmingly.


So I went to the regular doctor and they said everything was fine, my weight is the same as the last time they checked my estradile but the estrogen levels are even lower, if weight doesn’t change it what else can I do???