Menstrual cycles or “periods” are considered a vital sign, a sign that gives insight into the overall health of your body. When you have normal menstrual cycles, your hormones including estrogen are (usually) at normal levels. Estrogen is extremely important in building strong bones. Estrogen controls the cells that build bone (osteoblasts) and the cells that break down bone (osteoclasts).
If you haven’t had your period for 6 months or more you may have hypothalamic amenorrhea (no menstrual cycle due to altered hormonal signaling). This could mean that your estrogen is very low and your bones are at risk. Low estrogen levels not only affect your reproductive potential but affect your bones and can lead to low bone mass (fragile bones that can easily break) and future risk of fractures. The best treatment is to resume having your menstrual cycle and increase your estrogen level naturally. Protect your bones! Talk to a healthcare provider if you think you could be affected. Knowledge is power!