Period Pieces

Week of:
Aug 23, 2019

Missed period, not pregnant

Dear Alice,

I usually get my period every three weeks. But it has been five weeks now and I haven't gotten it. Pregnancy is not an option because I haven't had any sexual intercourse. So what is the problem? Should I be worried?

— Missing monthlies

No period and underweight — What could it be?

Alice,

What should my normal body weight be? I am 4 feet 11 inches tall and I weigh 75 pounds presently. I think that I am underweight because I haven't had my period in almost a year. If I were of normal weight, what percentage of my calories should come from fat?

— Weight conscious

Menstruation after stopping birth control pills

1) Dear Alice,
My period is irregular and I was told by a doctor to take a pill for 3 months to regulate my menstruation. I am done taking the pill and waiting for my period to get back. Is there a chance that my period may delay after I quit taking the pill? When will it get back?

2) Dear Alice,
You are wonderful! I feel really good having you out there for me and the rest of the Columbia community. My question is short and sweet: having recently broken up with my boyfriend, I decided I wanted to try life without the pill and so I stopped. Now it has been one month and I should have gotten my period on Friday or Saturday (it is Tuesday), but I still don't feel it coming. Is everything okay? How long until my period will be regular again?
Thanks.
— M.

Phases of the menstrual cycle

1) Alice,

You've mentioned a lot in this service about a woman's menstrual cycle, and the risks involved with unprotected sex. Details that you have mentioned include, for example, the high risk of pregnancy (i.e., as a result of unprotected sex or failed contraception) during the "fertile period" of a woman's cycle. What I would like to know is: what (typically) are the various stages in the cycle (e.g., ovulation followed by menstruation, etc.), when do they typically occur in the cycle, and, most importantly, WHEN are the (typical, of course) fertile and infertile (minimum chance of pregnancy) parts of the cycle?

— Wanting to better understand what my partner goes through

2) Hey Alice,

When calculating the length of your menstrual cycle, what is considered to be the actual first day of your cycle? Is it the first day there is "red" bleeding, or does it also include the first day or two of brown discharge?

— Confused