Women's health question
April 28, 2008 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Ever since I quit smoking, I've ceased to get my period.

I quit smoking two months ago, and I've skipped two periods. Completely. Before this my periods were totally regular. I know there is likely a perfectly reasonable medical explanation for this. What is it?
posted by prior to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
The obvious one? Are you pregnant?
posted by WinnipegDragon at 2:30 PM on April 28, 2008

Response by poster: Nope, I'm gay.
posted by prior at 2:37 PM on April 28, 2008 [3 favorites]

Are you very skinny? I once missed 6 months of periods just randomly, and again missed 3 months after I went off birth control. Might be worth talking to a gynecologist about, when it's convenient.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:09 PM on April 28, 2008

I am sure you expected this, and it probably goes without saying, but you should really probably see a doctor to ensure that there is nothing seriously wrong. It could be something as benign as the stress of quitting smoking screwing with your hormones, or something totally unrelated to your smoking.

If you've had weight fluctuations due to your quitting smoking, that could also affect your menstrual cycle, but usually not having your period is related to weight loss and most people gain weight when they quit smoking.
posted by tastybrains at 3:14 PM on April 28, 2008

Stress can really mess with your menstrual cycle - and for me at least - quitting smoking is incredibly stressful. Did you miss it entirely, or was it just very, very light? I guess the responsible thing would be to go to the doctor - but if it were me, I'd wait one more month and see if it shows up.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:14 PM on April 28, 2008

are you still consuming nicotine? if not, then it's probably the withdrawal. the biochemical stress is telling your body, "hey, girlfriend, something weird's going on, better not spawn right now." if you feel otherwise okay, i'd wait another month or two before going to a doctor.

of course, if you are not feeling okay, go to a doctor pronto.

also, if you are using nicotine replacement therapy, also go see a doctor.
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:19 PM on April 28, 2008

Lesbians seem to be at higher risk for PCOS, which can cause period irregularities. Have you always been very regular?

Wild possibility: have you been eating more junk food as a replacement for cigarettes? Gained any weight? If so, maybe you have undiagnosed PCOS, you're messing with your insulin levels, and your period is all wacky now.
posted by peep at 5:32 PM on April 28, 2008

There is a connection, how much, I don't know, between nicotine and menstruation/uterine function. When I was smoking, I never experienced period cramps. During several months of my early quit, I did, and now it's intermittent. However, here's some studies for you.

My period is mostly regular now (2 years on). Get a doctor to look into it though. Might be coincidental.
posted by b33j at 6:11 PM on April 28, 2008

I was going to say the same thing as b33j, in that there is some correlation between nicotine and menstruation.

However, it could also be a coincidence, and something could be really screwed up in there. I would see a doctor.
posted by muddgirl at 6:24 PM on April 28, 2008

I can't think of a simple reason that quitting smoking would make your periods stop. I, too, would suggest running this by a gynecologist-type doctor.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:38 PM on April 28, 2008

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