Amenorrhea – Where do you look when your periods stop?

Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation  

In 2014 I moved to London and my periods stopped.  

Within a couple of months the stress I had placed myself under to get a flat and job resulted in me eating very little and dropping from 50/55kg to 41.7kg.  

Prior to 2014, my periods came every month. I rarely had any symptoms in the week leading to my period, but when it came, it was nothing short of horrendous.  

If it came at night (which frequently it did), then I would have a mass exodus of everything and anything from my body leaving me sleeping on the bathroom floor in an exhausted heap because I was fed up of going from my bed to the bathroom every five seconds. If it wasn’t that, then I would get restless leg syndrome and my legs would constantly shake beyond my control or ability to stop it. Even when exhausted they would continue to shake.  

The cramping pain would be equally unbearable by day, living on painkillers for a week at the maximum dosage I was allowed, often having to take time off work.  

Moving to London was a huge step up for me and while I had lived away from home when I was 16 and was used to being away from family, now the sole responsibility of finding somewhere to live was on my shoulders. And yet, I wasn’t completely alone. In hindsight, I had tons of support but couldn’t see it and I had the belief that I had to do it all by myself.  

It wasn’t until my periods stopped that I realised how much I had shut myself off from acknowledging and claiming that I was actually a woman. I know – the oddity of this statement has not been lost on me. 

Once the periods stopped I had the space to see and feel what my relationship with myself truly was. I had a long-lasting momentum of constantly ignoring my body, where any messages would get smothered with gaming, my food choices, self-criticism or negative thoughts. It was through the support of the Universal Medicine modalities that I started to heal and see how my choices were impacting on my body and any future choices. 

I continued to live in a victim mode and acted like a small child for some time further because at the time it seemed convenient to absolve myself of any responsibility for the state my choices got me to, but things started to turn around with the combined help of Universal Medicine modalities, practitioners of esoteric healing modalities and conventional medicine.  

With the Esoteric practitioners, I worked through my hurts, expectations and beliefs. I joined a sacred movement class and during this time I got to see how my behaviour of throwing a tantrum as a kid and getting attention was still being played out in my 20’s. Eventually, I learnt that such behaviour only drained my energy and since it wasn’t getting the desired response, it started to fall away.  

My journey of rebuilding my relationship with myself started with the Gentle Breath Mediation once a day. Esoteric Yoga I later found to be a huge support in rebuilding a connection with my body and the essence within it. I began to see that at my core I wasn’t something to be ignored but actually very beautiful and worth taking care of. I laid a foundation to build a relationship with my body whereby I trusted and followed more how my body was needing me to live than what was coming through my head.  

Of conventional medicine, I had all the appropriate tests and scans and it all boiled it down to I had to gain more weight. At one point I tried to force the weight gain but it wouldn’t work, so I gave up. Within a space of about a year my weight stabilised at around 52-55 but still no period.  

Over the course of these four years, conventional medicine would suggest the pill to give me a fake period. I didn’t want to take the pill and carry on as usual as somewhere deep down I had a sense that the root of the matter wasn’t going to be healed if I did do this. Eventually, I would take the pill for one or two courses then drop it. Months passed then I’d pick it up and drop it again. However, towards the end I found that this resistance to taking the pill built up more hardness towards myself. In the end I went back to the pill when I felt it was supportive to prevent bone density degradation.  

When I did have a bleed from these induced periods the way I experienced them during my teenage/early 20s came flooding back in, waiting for me to address it. I found that while wearing pads, my pelvic floor and groin muscles would be super tight, and having become more aware and taken greater care of my body this behaviour felt very painful. Over time I learned to relax my muscles and not tense up and clench in fear of something bad happening. I found this to be a supportive aspect of the pill as it did get me to look at how I was with myself during my period.  

Over time and as my relationship with my body strengthened, the scared little girl persona dropped away. The weight returned naturally, I felt more steady in myself and found that the best place to be is not in my head (mind) but in the stillness of my body which without fail every time made sense and a massive difference. 

Between January and April 2018, I wanted to change jobs but couldn’t due to certain circumstances. In reaction, I started to eat more (working in a restaurant made this extra, super easy to do) and went up to 65k. Now I was well over the recommended weight from the doctor but felt this was not a true weight for me either. What did happen though was my natural cycle restarted.  

Since my periods came back I have had to relearn how to be with the process. It is still syncing itself as in, it is still taking time to regain a steady set number of days, but the way I am with it now has changed.  

Before the pause in periods, I would get no pre-menstrual symptoms. The week before my first returned period it felt like my breasts were constantly on fire and I actually thought I was becoming mentally unstable because I was so reactive. It was only once my first returned period came did I realise that I wasn’t going mad but it was pre-menstrual tension. I know now that these before symptoms are a message to be listened to and since I’ve been looking at that and as a result of observing how I live between the periods, each week before my period the tension has lessened in intensity, I no longer feel like I want to bite someone’s head off! Likewise, when my period has come, I have not had such extreme symptoms like I used to have. I have not experienced restless legs nor do I live on painkillers anymore.  

I now marvel at how supportive and responsive my body is back with me, either starting my period in the night, or just after work or on my day off, giving me the first day/hours a chance to rest. I also love how the flow works as well, very light in the evenings and moderate during the day and consistent throughout and over the months.   

These days I take far more care of myself while I am on my period than I did ever before and I know that how I am living will be all brought back to me in the periods to come. I have this in my consideration whereas before I did not. I never had any connection between how I was living and the symptoms I was experiencing. 

Knowing what I have learnt through this experience I consider having had Amenorrhea a blessing as it has allowed me to stop what I was doing and go deeper into the relationship I have with myself which ultimately then affects the relationship I have with life and everything and everyone else around me. There is far more to learn and this time I approach it more openly and want to enjoy getting to know and care for myself deeper as this then equally extends outwardly.  

By Leigh, UK

For further inspiration…

Periods and joy in the same sentence? Totally possible.. Shevon shares her experience.

A woman’s cycle is an opportunity each and every month.. what are the different phases of our menstrual cycle and what are they showing us? Check out this three-minute video.

20 thoughts on “Amenorrhea – Where do you look when your periods stop?

  1. When we have a condition that develops, or get diagnosed with an illness, or perhaps as in this case have a stop to our periods – each of these situations is an offering of an opportunity. An opportunity to listen to the body and its communications of what is needed. This is the part that Leigh has also connected to as the ‘blessing’ – for if we do not stop and listen, then we often end up continuing down the same track and hence snowballing the condition to worsen until such time that we will be pulled to a stop to listen. No one is free of this – we all have things the body communicates to us, and sometimes we are ready to listen and other times we are not, because we are not quite ready or wanting to take the next step in responsibility and deeper care for ourselves. But that day reamains awaiting – till such time that we do, and then the repercussions are amazing and we get to feel the support that is there for us.

  2. Leigh, what an honest sharing and thank you so very much! In all our experiences when we share what we have lived and learned, we then offer all other women an opportunity to heal and learn something as well, and that offering is an acceleration in a way, as it may have taken us a lot longer to come to a similar understanding of our experience otherwise. In what you shared here, any woman can draw something from your sharing – I have not had amenorrhea, but I have had some painful periods – allowing me to reflect on how my month was leading up to the period and considering in what way I may have contributed to my body then needing to clear the unsupportive choices. Blogs that allow us to ponder and feel are powerful indeed.

  3. Thank you Leigh for your openness and honesty. This is a very touching and supportive article to read. At the end when you talk about enjoying the ongoing process of getting to know yourself, your body and how to care for both, I can feel the permission and invitation for us all to do the same.

    1. Well said Matilda, all of these blogs offer such inspiration to us all… a gift to embrace indeed!

  4. It’s crazy how we seek so many answers in life, in books, magazines and TV shows and the like when our bodies are telling us everything that we ever need to know, if we just stop and are willing to listen.

    1. There’s a whole symphony going on inside all of us all of the time. It’s often a very discordant symphony due to how badly we all treat our bodies but it’s a divine method of communication non the less.

  5. Super awesome sharing Leigh thank-you – we simply are not taught to join the dots between “how I was living and the symptoms I was experiencing.” Universal Medicine has put healing back into our hands and your experience shows the foundational responsibility and empowerment that comes with this awareness.

    1. The truth is there aren’t really lots of dots to join, life is one big personal dot. Everything that happens both in our bodies and in our lives is because of us, we are the dot, all roads lead back to us, it just suits us all to pretend that they don’t because then we don’t have to take responsibility for any of it, someone else can sort it out (which they can’t but we live in false hope).

  6. Thank you Leigh for so open sharing about what I am sure many young women are experiencing. I had a 6 months period of not bleeding when I was 20 and had no understanding of why this was so. In hindsight my body was very clearly communicating with me that how I was living and more so how I was relating to my self and others was simply not working. Our body is not our enemy, or something to impose our will over. Our body is the best personal life coach we can have and it is always there communicating back to us what the effect is of our daily choices.

    1. Our bodies are the Gateway to God, the marble staircase that leads directly to Him and it is because most of us don’t pay our bodies the slightest bit of attention until they either ‘let us down’ or we’re either happy or dissatisfied with them that most of us don’t live with any true sense of God. God resides ‘within’ and there’s no way to truly go within without going into the body. You can’t side step the body and get to God, it’s just not possible.

      1. How I am loving this, Alexis “You can’t side step the body and get to God, it’s just not possible.” I am learning more and more the truth of this and how it is only by returning to the body and going within that we connect back to our soul and so in turn, God.

    2. ‘Our body is the best personal life coach we can have and it is always there communicating back to us what the effect is of our daily choices.’ This last sentence Carolien is an absolute stunner. A billboard poster for us all to read, listen to and apply. Thank you.

    3. Carolien, I love how you have expressed this – “Our body is not our enemy, or something to impose our will over. Our body is the best personal life coach we can have and it is always there communicating back to us what the effect is of our daily choices.”

  7. A woman’s body is constantly communicating as it adjusts through the monthly cycle and it calls on us to respond by nurturing our delicate body in tune with the ebb and flow of our hormones.

  8. Loved reading this Leigh. The body awareness you describe is so interesting. You have me pondering my relationship with my body and I get the sense that there’s so much I can learn from simply being present and paying attention to what I feel.

    1. Leonne, well said – we can use the term ‘listen to your body’ in a loose way, but to really tune into how one is feeling both on a feeling level as well as on a physical level is very powerful indeed.

  9. Loved your sharing Leigh If I had read this piece when I was a younger woman with very painful heavy periods it would of inspired me no end to of made those very necessary changes in being more self caring and self nurturing. It goes to show our wise bodies never lie and reflect exactly how we live life.

    1. If I had read this when I was younger I would have arrogantly dismissed it as having nothing to do with me. My arrogance was a force and no amount of truth was going to get so much as a foot in the door. My arrogance came from my alignment to a consciousness that prevented me from seeing the truth and in turn not seeing the truth kept me aligned to the same consciousness. The only reason why I’m now able to see and feel the truth in such sharings is because I have changed the way that I move, which in turn has changed the consciousness that I’m aligned to.

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