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Delayed Menstrual Periods: Care Instructions

Menstrual flow


If you don't get your period every month as expected or don't get your first period by the time you are 15, it is called amenorrhea.

Amenorrhea can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it's caused by a problem with the reproductive organs or another medical problem. Other times it's caused by doing hard exercise for long periods of time. It can also happen if you don't eat well or if you diet too much or have an eating disorder. Pregnancy and certain types of birth control can also delay your periods.

Your doctor will want to find out why your period hasn't started. You may need to make some diet and exercise changes. These may help start your period. Or you may need treatment for another problem.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Include vegetables and fruits, whole grain foods, and protein foods.
  • Stay at a healthy weight. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you.
  • Get regular exercise. But do not do hard, long exercise. Ask your doctor how much is too much.

When should you call for help?

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get your period as expected.
  • You think you might be pregnant.

Where can you learn more?

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.