This post is all about periods, nope not punctuation, menstruation. Menses, time of the month, or my personal favorite Satan’s Waterfall. If that’s not for you, you’re going to want to jump ship to one of our other articles. Yes, this post is all about how my period improved after losing weight…you’ve been warned.
Pre-Weight Loss Periods
I’m not sure about anyone else but at my heaviest BMI of 44%, my periods were very irregular. I went off the pill 2 years before having weight loss surgery and it was pure chaos in my lady bits. Let’s face it, I wasn’t in great health, so this wasn’t exactly shocking to me.
Sometimes I’d get my periods every 2 weeks, sometimes once every 3 months. Each period was equally horrible. Some were 10-12 days long accompanied by terrible migraines, horrible cramping, and heavy. Like bleeding thru tampons in an hour at work heavy. I had to start wearing tampons with overnight pads at the same time, I even kept spare panties in my purse for period emergencies.
I spoke with my gynecologist, she told me that my periods are heavier after getting off the pill but also losing weight would help. After a long discussion, she ordered me an ultrasound for PCOS. She did not explain how that test was conducted internally and externally, so that was fun to learn in the ultrasound room.
Spoiler alert…I have PCOS too. My gyno explained that losing weight would help the symptoms BUT…PCOS would make it really hard to lose weight. Well no shit.
Bariatric Surgery Prep
I chose to get Weight Loss Surgery after 18 months of consultations, pre-op work, and getting my health in order. My bariatric team told me to bring sanitary napkins (seriously what an old-timey phrase, they’re pads) to the hospital. Apparently, some people start their period right after surgery while they are in the hospital. I put some in my go-bag.
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Post-Op Weight Loss Surgery
Thankfully, I did not get my period while I was recovering from surgery in the hospital. I got it 2 weeks after my surgery. Not trying to be dramatic, ok maybe I am, but there was so much blood…so heavy…Dexter crime scene heavy.
It last 2 full weeks. My whole body went haywire. All of my autoimmune issues flared up at once too. Not Cool. Don’t worry this story ends with a happy ending, keep reading.
My period ended and 27 days later I got my period again. I was, what’s the word, ah yes befuddled. That’s a normal time frame to get your period in. Clearly a fluke, my inner dialogue discussed in length.
Then 28 days later it happened again, I got my period. I’ve had a year straight of regular periods now. My periods last between 5-6 days, with only 2 or 3 days of heaviness. Guess what, that’s normal.
How Weight Loss Impacted my Periods
Remember that Carry at the prom period I had directly after surgery? Well, when I was 259lbs and beginning to lose weight my body was decreasing hormones, especially estrogen. According to Obesitycoverage.com
When you are overweight your body produces more estrogen. When you lose weight, the estrogen is decreased and the testosterone to estrogen ratio is increased.
In other words, this is probably why I had a bad period and health flare-ups.
The good news is that losing weight did regulate my periods. I still have another 40lbs to lose, but my body feels healthy. It’s hard to explain, it’s like an internal shift in how good you feel.
This may sound weird but I feel more in touch with my body by actually having a normal cycle. Yup, I’ve become one of “those” women. I started using bougie period products, which I swear are life-changing. I use the menstrual cup Flex, Honeypot pads/liners, and the occasional tampon. Complete game-changer, and I swear my vagina is happier than ever.
Turns out, weight loss is beneficial for your health in several ways, at first it may not seem like it, but give it time and you’ll hopefully see a difference. Always, Always consult a doctor if you have questions on your period, health, or want to know if weight loss surgery is right for you. It was right for me, but it’s not the right fit for everyone