Are you getting your period? - Periods and bone health

If you're not getting you're period, you could be at an increased risk of bone injury.

As a dietitian, this is one of my most talked about topics with clients - especially young runners.

As a runner, you are already at increased risk of a stress fracture due to the repetitive movements.

If you are a teen athlete, this is even more important. As a teen you are in the very unique stage of your life where your bones are still developing and getting stronger. Once you reach the age of about 23, your growth plates close and your bones don't grow in the same way as they did before. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are fuelling your body well to set yourself up with strong bones for the rest of your life.

Key points from the video:

  • Irregular or absent periods are really common among sports that emphasis leanness for either speed or aesthetics.

  • However, this is not good or healthy or normal! Absent periods are a sign that you aren't getting in enough calories to support your body's processes + training.

  • If you aren't eating enough calories, your body begins to shut down less essential systems, such as your reproductive system.

  • When it does that, your body produces less oestrogen. Oestrogen is really important for bone strength.

  • That is why dietitians see a lot more bone injuries and stress fractures among athletes who have not had a period in a while.