Just today, I met a woman who enjoys not having periods. And sure, I understand the convenience of bleeding once every few months or less, but each time I have this discussion, I flood my patients with information in hopes that they see what they are missing. There are multiple reasons a woman may not be having regular periods.. Some women know that they have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), some women are hearing about PCOS for the first time, some have lost their cycle due to lifestyle choices such as over-exercise or under-eating, and some women are on hormonal birth control and using those methods intentionally to avoid bleeding.
It’s important to focus on a basic understanding of hormones and their roles in our bodies. The more we know and truly understand, the more we will embrace our periods and value all the changes that happen during our monthly cycles, and yes, that includes an average of 5-7 days of bleeding.
There are 3 female sex hormones: estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Each of these hormones plays a special role in keeping our bodies and minds healthy and vibrant. Here are just a few examples… this is by no means a comprehensive list.
Optimizes skin moisture and texture
Improves sexual desire
Protects against major chronic illnesses such as osteoporosis, dementia, heart disease, and stroke
Improves and calms mood
Promotes restful sleep
Minimizes PMS and heavy menses
Helps protect against breast and uterine cancer
Promotes implantation of a fertilized egg and maintains pregnancy
Optimizes strength and endurance
Improves sexual function
Supports fat burning
Maintains muscle mass, therefore supporting metabolism
Optimizes skin thickness and texture
So, when you have PCOS and you are not having regular monthly cycles, you are missing out on many of the above benefits. You may also have symptoms of hormone imbalance such as acne, hair growth on the face or body, hair loss on the head, weight gain, fatigue, infertility, and mood issues.
If you are not having periods for any other reason, you are still missing out on all of those powerful benefits. When women ask me, “Why should I have a period?” I can’t stop listing the reasons why! Your monthly period is a sign, telling you that your hormones are balanced. That you are getting the benefits. That your body is protected. That your mind is supported. And with this balance, should come acceptable and manageable monthly bleeding. Embrace your hormones!