In today’s podcast I’m going to be answering all your questions related to how long it takes to recovery from hypothalamic amenorrhea including:
- Whether the length of time you have a missing period influences your time to recover from hypothalamic amenorrhea and regain your menstrual cycle
- What are the factors that influence how long it takes to recover your period from hypothalamic amenorrhea
- The average length of time it takes most people to get their period back from hypothalamic amenorrhea (as little as 3 months in some cases!)
- Why some people get their periods back faster than others during hypothalamic amenorrhea recovery
- Reasons why it might be taking longer for your period to come back during hypothalamic amenorrhea recovery
Hello and welcome back to Holistic Health Radio. I’m your host, Sarah Liz King. I’m an exercise physiologist and health coach empowering you to find your healthy balance with food, fitness, and your body. Through my one-to-one coaching programs, both myself and my team help women regain their periods, find food, freedom, and have a healthier relationship with exercise, all while gaining body confidence.
This episode is proudly supported by my upcoming group program, Healing Hypothalamic Amenorrhea, a hybrid eight-week, one-to-one and group coaching program with supportive materials, hormone nourishing recipes, recovery-friendly workouts, and workbooks designed to help you recover your period while improving your relationship with food, exercise, and your body.
Enrollments are now open and the course commences on October 16th as open to participants worldwide. Now if you’re listening to this episode and it’s after October 16th, do not stress, we run this course multiple times during the year so be sure to check out the link in the show notes for all of the details or you can head to www.saralizzking.com forward slash
healing-HA to sign up and secure your spot. Now, today I’m going to talk about how long does it actually take to recover your period? The burning question on everyone’s mind. So I’m going to be answering the question of whether the length of time that you have a missing period influences your time to recovery.
What are the factors that influence your time to recovery and why some people get their periods back faster than others? So let’s start with the first question, which is, does the length of time that you have a missing period influence how long it takes to recover your period? And the answer might surprise you, but the answer is no.
The number of years that your period is missing does not seem to influence how long it can take your period to recover. That means someone that might have had a missing period for 10 years, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to take them 10 times longer to get their periods back. They might be able to get their periods back in as little as three to six months. Conversely, someone who’s only had a missing period for maybe six to nine months.
That doesn’t mean that they’re gonna get their period back necessarily faster. That is because it has to do more with how quickly you are making the necessary changes to recover your period and how consistent you are being with them over that period of time. That is the biggest determining factor on whether or not you get your period back faster or slower. So it leads me to my next question, which is
What are the factors that influence your time to recovery? And the first one is really whether you’re resisting making the necessary changes to your lifestyle and you’re eating, you’re exercise. And the reason that you’re resisting these is because of fears or discomfort or worry.
And it is oftentimes why it takes people so long to recover their periods, because they know what they need to be doing, but there are so many fears and worries and unhelpful beliefs that lie underneath it all that actually prevent people from taking the necessary action that they need. This is why some people kind of like tiptoe or dip their toes into recovery and then…
retreat back and they might do this for months or even years at a time and feel so frustrated with the process because they’re simply not making enough of those changes and even if they do make enough of those changes, they’re not giving it enough time to be effective for their periods to return. The people that I see who and work with who get their periods back the fastest are the ones that are most willing to go.
Yep, you know what? In these first few weeks, I’m gonna really work on my nutrition as guided by you. And then I’m really gonna make sure that I’m modifying exercise and really allowing my body to rest and relax. And I’m gonna do everything in my capabilities to really manage my stress and make my body feel safe. The people who are willing to do that and put in that groundwork in that short period of time in the first kind of like few weeks and months of their recovery,
means that they’re getting to this point where they’re actually doing all of the things quite quickly. And once they’re doing all of the things necessary for period recovery, so eating enough, resting enough, managing stress, then it’s actually about the patience, the waiting, and ensuring that you stay consistent with all of those habits that we’ve implemented in the first instance, and then it’s just a matter of time before your periods return. Obviously these habits,
are important, but there’s other factors thinking about, you know, making sure that you are weight restored, thinking about kind of in terms of eating enough, it’s not just eating enough, but making sure that you’ve got that regularity and adequacy of your meals and then also kind of like facing your food fears and breaking down your food rules and then similarly with exercise, if you’re giving up structured exercise, not kind of like going towards
walking, lots of incidental movement, all of those kinds of things. So even though I’ve kind of created this picture of like, oh, you really only have to master three things and then you’ll get there, there is a lot of nuance in those specific brackets of eating enough, allowing your body to rest more and stress management. And there is no one size fits all approach.
because everyone’s life looks different, everyone’s starting points look different, which is why having someone to go to, you can not only give you a plan, but also give you the tools to overcome those fears, those worries that were making you so resistant to change in the first place, it’s gonna ensure that you are so successful on this journey. It doesn’t take unnecessarily long and it doesn’t feel as painful as kind of what you’ve been doing before, which is maybe dipping your toes in and then retreating back.
to safety. The second thing that can often, I guess, prolong your recovery is finding yourself stuck in quasi recovery, or you’re not really fully ready yet to commit to all in, or what whatever that looks like for you to recover your period. So I often term quasi recovery as
somewhere where you’ve like done something, life is definitely better, you’re definitely eating better, you’re definitely not doing as intense workouts, maybe you’ve toned it down in terms of like how much stress you’re experiencing, but you’ve kind of lulled yourself into this false sense of security where you go, well, that’s enough, I don’t need to change anymore, I just need to stick with this, where in your heart of hearts, you know you need to be doing more for your periods to come back. And…
You know, I often have this kind of conversation with people in a discovery call where I go, well, what do you think you need to start doing? What do you think maybe you need to stop doing that might be getting in the way? And there are always like a long list of suggestions that come up from the individual themselves. But it is really about kind of like, well, what’s preventing you from committing fully? And a lot of the times it’s like, well, you know, I’ve sat through this initial discomfort to get where I am right now. I just can’t imagine.
much more discomfort I’m going to have to sit through to get to where I need to be. And that is so common for people going through this process. And I want you to know that you’re not alone, but lulling yourself into this false sense of security, staying stuck in quasi recovery will only prolong the process. And then the last, I guess, major one that I see that can prolong a person’s recovery.
is only addressing some of the pillars of recovery and neglecting others. For example, you only work on your eating behaviors or your relationship with food, but you completely neglect exercise. So you might continue doing something excessively or maybe you swap something high intensity for something lower intensity, but you’re still doing like a very large volume of it. So
walking is like one of the most common ones, or someone saying like, oh, I’m gonna do like yoga or Pilates, but then when we get to the nuts and bolts of it, it’s like, well, they’re going first thing in the morning without enough nourishment in their body, or they feel like they have to do it every day. And if they don’t, they feel really guilty or stressed about it. And so they go, yes, but I’m eating more, so surely that’s fine. Well, actually, no, the reason that we need to make all of the changes all at once is because they have.
different physiological impacts on our body that make it perceive that sense of kind of safety, which then allows our period to recover. It’s not enough to just do one. Let me tell you, if you’re only doing one, if you’re only doing food, if you’re only doing exercise, only doing stress management, then you’re not getting the full kind of picture of HA recovery, and it’s gonna prolong your time to regaining that first cycle and beyond. And I guess,
The next one is being in denial, being in denial that you actually have a problem in the first place going like, well, I’m not thinking about getting pregnant anytime soon. Like a missing period isn’t really that big of a deal. And you can’t start recovery if you are not willing to admit that this is an actual problem. I think part of the reason why people kind of sweep it under the rug.
also has to do with our medical community. A lot of people go to the doctor and they go, I have a missing period, can you run some blood tests? You get the blood test back and then the doctor says to you, oh, all of your hormones are quote unquote normal. Let me tell you, there is nothing normal about a missing period. And if you’re not ovulating, we can’t take those hormone levels and actually say, okay, well they would be in.
you know, your follicular phase or your luteal phase, because the hormone ranges that are quote unquote normal change depending on what phase of your cycle that you are in. And if you’re not having a cycle, well, what are we comparing things to? Nothing. And so if you are having that experience, it’s so, I guess, common for people to walk away and go, oh, I guess I don’t need to worry about that. Or for the doctor to say,
we can put you on oral contraceptive, which is just like a big bandaid over an open wound, which doesn’t fix anything. And you kind of sweep the problem under the rug and forget about it. Or you get a misdiagnosis of something else like PCOS, which is what happened to me. And then you think, oh my goodness, well, I have to continue with all of these restrictive eating behaviors and ample exercise, because that is, I guess, the most common.
information I’m being given around managing PCOS, whereas in actual fact you don’t have PCOS at all. So denial of the problem obviously prolongs your time to recovery because you just don’t think that there’s anything problematic about a missing purine in the first place and I can tell you there are so many long-term health implications of not having a menstrual cycle so definitely don’t let it go on for longer than it needs to.
And the very final one is you’re unwilling to gain weight or allow your body to change. Body changes are almost always a necessary part of recovery and it might be scary, it might be uncomfortable, but it’s also so worth it. Your body needs energy and if that energy results in your body changing, then so be it. It is the only way forward. And
As long as you keep resisting that weight gain, your body’s gonna keep staying stuck in this no period place. And for a lot of people, I guess, the discomfort of going through the weight gain, the assumption is it’s gonna be so horrific. And what I can tell you is it is mildly uncomfortable. But there are so many other things you gain through the process of recovery. And yes, you gain weight, but what else do you gain? You gain freedom. You gain your health back.
gain your life back, you have so much more mental freedom because your body isn’t you know restricted and undernourished. So really focusing on all of the other things that you gain and prioritising learning how to work on body acceptance and body neutrality will allow you to move through that process with so much more compassion and reframe that critical voice that you might be having in your head around your body or what body changes mean for you. So
Although I can’t tell you exactly how long your period recovery is going to take, what I can say is the faster you make those changes and the more consistently that you stick to all of the necessary, very nuanced changes that you need to make to recover your period, the faster that you will get it back. As little as three to six months for some people, sometimes less than that, but you actually have to have a plan, make sure that you are addressing all of those.
little things like I said you know even though it’s just like quarter to eating enough it’s making sure that you’ve got the regularity down the adequacy down making sure that you’re having the right timing if you are doing any forms of movement the movement side of things making sure that is the right amount for you not too much especially if you have an active job and then obviously sometimes the missing piece of the puzzle is that kind of weight and stress side of things so
Hopefully this was enlightening for you. If you believe that you might be stuck in one of these situations, just know that you’re not alone. The best way to kind of make your recovery, take leaps and bounds forward is to get support. So the Healing H.A. program is always available to you. Definitely check it out by clicking the link in the show notes. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to give it a five-star rating and review on Apple podcasts or Spotify. It really helps support us.
Or if you’re watching on YouTube, give it a thumbs up and subscribe so you never miss a new video. We release one every single week. But I will leave it there for today. And again, I will be back next week with a fresh new episode that you can wrap your ears around. So keep looking after yourself until then.
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