5

votes

Ladies: Extra Mini-Periods?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 27, 2011 at 5:07 PM

Here's a bizarre development on my Paleo progress: I've had two extra "mini" periods in between my standard cycles. The first one was the first month I started Paleo and I had at least two weeks where I had "breakthrough" bleeding before my actual period. The second one just started today, and I just finished my last period two weeks ago.

My questions is: WTF? My periods have always been pretty regular, even when not on birth control, so to have random cramps and light bleeding between cycles is more than a little annoying. I am currently on very low-dosage hormonal BC, and have had problems in the past with hormonal mood swings and breakouts. I've also severely struggled with cutting out sweets on Paleo, so I've cheated more often that I should, but the extra periods only seem to pop up when I'm being super-strict.

Are these extra periods just my hormones trying to exercise their autonomy? Has this happened to anyone else? If so, what did you do?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 24, 2013
at 05:05 PM

Kelleil, I'm in my mid-30s.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 24, 2013
at 05:05 PM

ZAKitten, that's a legitimate complaint. We use condoms. ;)

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on January 27, 2013
at 11:01 PM

My only complaint about the FAM method is that you need some alternate form of BC during the times you're most likely to look sexy be horny.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on June 30, 2012
at 01:37 AM

What if you are in your late 30s and progesterone is getting hard to come by?

57fe410364322da1273494ded305c742

(109)

on May 01, 2012
at 06:07 AM

Thanks for the great information, gilliebean! I was just telling my husband tonight how when I was younger I never paid any attention to my body or my hormones or my cycle. Now that my life is settled down, I notice much more and it is really helpful in many ways.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on March 04, 2012
at 08:22 PM

If you are on birth control, it sometimes happens. If not - you might be pregnant :)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 04, 2012
at 07:29 PM

This! My mom always had a wild cycle (until an emergency hysterectomy in her 40's), and she noticed that in the late spring, early summer she lost a LOT of blood and had a hard time keeping up with anemia- eventually her OB/GYN figured it was b/c that was fishing season and we eat a TON of seafood (breakfast, lunch, and dinner!) during that time! The omega-3's really impacted this, and my mom had to bump up the hormones a little bit during this time because she didn't want to give up the other benefits of omega-3's.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on June 16, 2011
at 07:57 PM

I'll be 27 this fall. After a full month of "hardcore" paleo, the situation righted itself. I'm still on the pill, and really, I'm ok with that. I'll go off it when I want to try to get pregnant, but until then, I'm not feeling condoms or the rhythm method.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:49 AM

How old are you?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:18 PM

I hope so too! Nothing worse than double periods and severe cramps. If they've ever done an ultra sound they'd see the fibroids, big or tiny.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:43 AM

Yeah, I've only been paleo for about 2.5 months, and I honestly have not done a great job. Sugar has been a real problem, so I've been trying to get back to the strict version, and that's when mini-period #2 popped up. Hopefully if can keep it up this will balance itself out.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:35 AM

Yeah, it's looking cutting out sweets cold turkey is a factor. Hopefully things will balance out once I get better about staying strict and not falling prey to my wretched sugar cravings.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Last lady doc visit was about 5 or 6 mos ago, and everything was good to go. I've been checked for endometriosis in the past, and that was all clear, but never been checked for fibroids. Hoping that once I lose weight and get adjusted to paleo, things will even out.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:27 AM

Whoa. I never even thought of that. I have been taking two pills in the am and then an extra two at night to combat inflammation from the carb cheats. Should probably cut back to once a day if that's the case... Thanks for the heads up.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:24 AM

Definitely think the cheats/carb spikes are playing a role in it somehow. I've also only been doing it for 2.5 mos, and I know both my hormones and my metabolism have been really screwed for years now. It's going to take a while for things to even out, and if the mini-periods aren't stopping, it'll be time for a gyno chat. Thanks for the input and advice!

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:20 AM

I have lost about 15 lbs in 2.5 mos on Paleo, but I have had problems with cheating on sweets and baked goods, so it's fluctuated over the weeks. The first month I did hardcore, and then I've been strict again this week. I'm thinking that most likely has something to do with it.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Wow, thank you so much for this info! I went off BC about a year ago, and my hormones went bananas. My skin got worse, mood swings like whoa, and terrible heavy cramps bleeding. I've only been on Paleo for 2.5 mos, so this might be something I have to talk to my doc about in a couple of months. Thanks for the links and the insight...this will definitely make for some good research, which is always a bonus.

3edf46d729f17cfff798b66eaa1ecb02

(334)

on April 28, 2011
at 01:22 AM

TCOYF changed my life! Seriously. They should hand out that book instead of tampons in the 5th grade sex ed classes.

3edf46d729f17cfff798b66eaa1ecb02

(334)

on April 28, 2011
at 01:20 AM

TCOF changed my life! Seriously. They should hand out that book instead of tampons in the 5th grade sex ed classes.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Hi A! Yes, the author of "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" does talk in more detail about what sorts of things to watch out for related to your cycle that can signal thyroid issues - both hyper and hypo. Those things include: excessively high or low BBTs, extremely heavy or light menses, extremely short or long cycles, etc. She also recommends the book "The Thyroid Solution" by Dr. Ridha Arem, which I haven't read at all; so I cannot comment on it.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on April 28, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Hey gilliebean, can you expand on this a little? "When you pay attention to your cycle, you can learn all sorts of things about your body, aside from when you're fertile and when you're not, such as whether or not you have thyroid issues." Do they talk more about thyroid & cycle issues in the book? Somewhere else you can recommend for thyroid & cycle issues? Very interested in this.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:56 PM

That said, if people think they're following FAM but all they're actually doing is RM, then yes - they should be very careful... Because they have no idea what's actually going on inside them. As the saying goes, "You can't manage what you don't measure!" So if you're not recording your BBT and cervical fluid (plus other things) in a chart each cycle, you're not gonna have a clear picture of what's happening inside your body!!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:54 PM

The Rhythm Method assumes that a cycle is always 28 days and that just isn't the case for every woman! I have a friend who successfully follows FAM (and has for all 6 years of her marriage) and she ovulates about 4 or 5 times a year. Those are long cycles! FAM allows you to see and figure out when you're ovulating and when you're spotting or having cramps for other reasons. RM does none of that. It's not the same thing at all. I get upset when FAM is passed off as the same thing as RM; because it isn't. It's like saying that being gluten-free is the same thing as paleo. It's not.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:47 PM

I want to clarify: FAM is not the same as the Rhythm Method (RM). FAM involves careful monitoring and recording of basal body temperatures (BBT), cervical fluid and uterine height (optional). RM does none of that and is essentially guess work. The book I mentioned (and others like it) gets more detailed: when you record your BBTs and pay attention to and record your cervical fluid and uterine height (along with other things like cramps, spotting, tender breasts etc) you can begin to get a clear picture of what your hormones are doing. Most of all, you know without a doubt when you've ovulated!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:39 PM

P.S. I love your handle. Have I mentioned that yet?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Rhythm Method is guess work. FAM is knowing exactly what's going on.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:35 PM

It's not "basically the rhythm method." FAM is careful monitoring and recording of basal body temperatures, cervical fluid and uterine height (optional). Rhythm Method does none of that.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Totally agree! I can't do bc and most women I know react horribly to it. What you are suggesting is basically the rhythm method and no matter how much we tune into our cycle, there is a huge risk in rm. Not to knock you at all. We just must be very careful with rm.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Totally agree about the cheats!!

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:32 PM

thanks for this post, i just learned a lot!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:17 PM

I feel strongly about it. I'm sure that's evident tho... ;) Assuming a woman's cycle is an average of 28 days, she's only able to conceive for about 7 of those days. When you pay attention to your cycle, you can learn all sorts of things about your body, aside from when you're fertile and when you're not, such as whether or not you have thyroid issues. Being aware of your fertility cycle is a wonderful way to take control of your body as a woman!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I wanted to suggest getting off the pill but there are so few natural and reliable options for women.

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19 Answers

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10
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:02 PM

Whoo! Sit down with a nice hot cup of tea. I've got a big answer. Pardon me, while I dust off my soapbox. ;)

...

DISCLAIMER #1: If you want to have children some day, then you should seek specific professional guidance (ie someone who deals specifically with reproductive health) when dealing with reproductive hormones. What you do today could have serious consequences years from now. That said, most women can correct years of hormonal imbalance in just a few cycles and still conceive.

DISCLAIMER #2: It's hard to say what's "normal" for someone doing paleo while on the pill, because I don't think being on the pill can be considered paleo. As people following a paleo diet, we're basically trying to regulate our hormones by eating quality food and getting quality sleep. Unless we have a real medical condition that requires prescribed hormones (the use of which usually tends to follow natural rhythms); we should not be messing with our body's natural monthly hormonal rhythms by using the pill.

...

So here's another situation where it's important to understand how the hormones are working and how they affect your body.

Abridged from "Taking Charge of Your Fertility":

Every cycle, under the influence of Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), about two dozen eggs start to mature. Each egg is encased in a follicle. The follicles produce Estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone necessary for ovulation to occur. Eventually, when Estrogen reaches a threshold that is high enough, one eggs bursts out (ovulation!). This usually takes about two weeks from the beginning of menses but can take anywhere from 8 days to several months!

Following the release of the egg, the follicle that held the egg begins to release progesterone (typically for only 12 to 16 days). This is known as the Luteal Phase. Progesterone prevents the release of all other eggs and causes the uterine lining to thicken in prep for a fertilized egg. In 12 to 16 days, if a fertilized egg has not been implanted into the uterline lining, the follicle (corpus luteum) disintegrates and its flow of progesterone stops. The uterine lining begins to shed (menses) and the cycling begins again.

So that's the natural progression of things. But when you take a low-dose pill, it is pumping progesterone into your body for three weeks out of four, thus making your body think it's in the luteal phase (or think it's pregnant!). On the fourth week, when you stop the pill (or take the "other" pill), you stop the flow of progesterone. Your body responds by shedding the uterine lining (menses). Also in that placebo week, your body thinks, "Finally, we get to release an egg!" And it prepares to release an egg by upping the production of estrogen and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). But after seven days, you start taking the progesterone again, before your body has released an egg! And your body is confused!

Here's a few potential situations given the information you've shared:

  1. Ovulation (even though you're taking the pill, you could still be ovulating - ovulation is also associated with spotting, dull aches and cramps). Your body is still trying to up it's estrogen production, even while you're pumping it full of progesterone (especially on low dose!). And eventually it makes enough to ovulate (So, yes! You could get pregnant while on the pill!). Or...

  2. Sudden drop in estrogen. Your body fights the progesterone with estrogen for a week and then gives up. This sudden drop in estrogen, often causes some mid-cycle spotting which is common and is nothing to be concerned about; but isn't often associated with cramps. Or...

  3. Implantation (a fertilized egg has implanted into the uterine wall). You may actually have released an egg, and it may have burrowed into the uterine wall...! Or...

  4. Any serious reproductive problem. Having a period every two weeks is not optimal and could signal reproductive problems in the future.

Because the "extra periods" seem to pop when you are being "strict paleo" I would suggest that it's likely #2 or #1. Your body is fighting back with proper estrogen levels then falling off. Or if the cramps really are like a normal period, I would suggest that your lose dose pill is possibly ineffective and you may be at risk of getting pregnant! Your hormones may just be trying to exercise their autonomy, as you said!

All other health concerns aside, I recommend getting off the pill and leveling out your hormones to really determine the health of your reproductive cycle, in consultation with your healthcare professional, of course!

Instead of using the pill, I highly recommend using Fertility Awareness Method. I've used fertility awareness method (FAM) with my husband for 4+ years and it's been effective thus far! You just have to get used to taking your temp every morning (or just during your fertile phase) and to checking your vaginal fluids. It's super easy! We just avoid sex when I'm fertile (or we use a condom). And we have sex when I'm not fertile. Takes the guess-work out of it!!

Get this book: Taking Charge of Your Fertility

And visit this website: Taking Charge of Your Fertility

The information in the book will blow your mind. I was sooo mad that I hadn't been taught any of the information found therein while I was in biology class or sex ed in high school. We should all know this stuff!! And if you're serious about ensuring that you're regulating all your hormones effectively (via the paleo diet), then you should seriously consider, allowing all your hormones to do their thing naturally!

And please... GET OFF THE PILL!!

P.S. If you were consume soy products and have recently stopped because of paleo, you're getting a much lower dose of estrogen than you were previously. Something to consider.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Totally agree! I can't do bc and most women I know react horribly to it. What you are suggesting is basically the rhythm method and no matter how much we tune into our cycle, there is a huge risk in rm. Not to knock you at all. We just must be very careful with rm.

41dfb1a4fecb38d24075ff52f13ccb28

on April 28, 2011
at 12:38 AM

Hey gilliebean, can you expand on this a little? "When you pay attention to your cycle, you can learn all sorts of things about your body, aside from when you're fertile and when you're not, such as whether or not you have thyroid issues." Do they talk more about thyroid & cycle issues in the book? Somewhere else you can recommend for thyroid & cycle issues? Very interested in this.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:54 PM

The Rhythm Method assumes that a cycle is always 28 days and that just isn't the case for every woman! I have a friend who successfully follows FAM (and has for all 6 years of her marriage) and she ovulates about 4 or 5 times a year. Those are long cycles! FAM allows you to see and figure out when you're ovulating and when you're spotting or having cramps for other reasons. RM does none of that. It's not the same thing at all. I get upset when FAM is passed off as the same thing as RM; because it isn't. It's like saying that being gluten-free is the same thing as paleo. It's not.

3edf46d729f17cfff798b66eaa1ecb02

(334)

on April 28, 2011
at 01:22 AM

TCOYF changed my life! Seriously. They should hand out that book instead of tampons in the 5th grade sex ed classes.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:39 PM

P.S. I love your handle. Have I mentioned that yet?

Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:32 PM

thanks for this post, i just learned a lot!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:07 PM

I wanted to suggest getting off the pill but there are so few natural and reliable options for women.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:53 AM

Hi A! Yes, the author of "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" does talk in more detail about what sorts of things to watch out for related to your cycle that can signal thyroid issues - both hyper and hypo. Those things include: excessively high or low BBTs, extremely heavy or light menses, extremely short or long cycles, etc. She also recommends the book "The Thyroid Solution" by Dr. Ridha Arem, which I haven't read at all; so I cannot comment on it.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:35 PM

It's not "basically the rhythm method." FAM is careful monitoring and recording of basal body temperatures, cervical fluid and uterine height (optional). Rhythm Method does none of that.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:36 PM

Rhythm Method is guess work. FAM is knowing exactly what's going on.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:17 PM

I feel strongly about it. I'm sure that's evident tho... ;) Assuming a woman's cycle is an average of 28 days, she's only able to conceive for about 7 of those days. When you pay attention to your cycle, you can learn all sorts of things about your body, aside from when you're fertile and when you're not, such as whether or not you have thyroid issues. Being aware of your fertility cycle is a wonderful way to take control of your body as a woman!

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:56 PM

That said, if people think they're following FAM but all they're actually doing is RM, then yes - they should be very careful... Because they have no idea what's actually going on inside them. As the saying goes, "You can't manage what you don't measure!" So if you're not recording your BBT and cervical fluid (plus other things) in a chart each cycle, you're not gonna have a clear picture of what's happening inside your body!!

3edf46d729f17cfff798b66eaa1ecb02

(334)

on April 28, 2011
at 01:20 AM

TCOF changed my life! Seriously. They should hand out that book instead of tampons in the 5th grade sex ed classes.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 08:47 PM

I want to clarify: FAM is not the same as the Rhythm Method (RM). FAM involves careful monitoring and recording of basal body temperatures (BBT), cervical fluid and uterine height (optional). RM does none of that and is essentially guess work. The book I mentioned (and others like it) gets more detailed: when you record your BBTs and pay attention to and record your cervical fluid and uterine height (along with other things like cramps, spotting, tender breasts etc) you can begin to get a clear picture of what your hormones are doing. Most of all, you know without a doubt when you've ovulated!

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:17 AM

Wow, thank you so much for this info! I went off BC about a year ago, and my hormones went bananas. My skin got worse, mood swings like whoa, and terrible heavy cramps bleeding. I've only been on Paleo for 2.5 mos, so this might be something I have to talk to my doc about in a couple of months. Thanks for the links and the insight...this will definitely make for some good research, which is always a bonus.

57fe410364322da1273494ded305c742

(109)

on May 01, 2012
at 06:07 AM

Thanks for the great information, gilliebean! I was just telling my husband tonight how when I was younger I never paid any attention to my body or my hormones or my cycle. Now that my life is settled down, I notice much more and it is really helpful in many ways.

19ff515e8ec02d95e8f2cf68c3ec1373

(1207)

on June 30, 2012
at 01:37 AM

What if you are in your late 30s and progesterone is getting hard to come by?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 24, 2013
at 05:05 PM

Kelleil, I'm in my mid-30s.

8292546789ca48c32ead34c6e884d059

on January 27, 2013
at 11:01 PM

My only complaint about the FAM method is that you need some alternate form of BC during the times you're most likely to look sexy be horny.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on February 24, 2013
at 05:05 PM

ZAKitten, that's a legitimate complaint. We use condoms. ;)

best answer

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:06 PM

How long have you been paleo? It can take months for a person's body to regulate properly on paleo. I'm 6 or 7 months in and still regulating. What I find now is that the slightest gluten will f#ck me up for a few days. In order to really figure out the balance of your body, you need to get rid of the cheats for at least 30 days - no exceptions. Sucks, sure but hey, double periods suck waaaay more.

Another component to review is your level of physical activity as well as the rate of your weight/body weight loss.

Finally, your BC could be playing a role. You may need a new one. Are you having more painful periods? There is a lot of info to consider so it is impossible for anyone to provide you a definitive answer.

Search this form for the elimination diet or go to Whole 9 for guidance. This could help you pinpoint the cause.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 27, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Totally agree about the cheats!!

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:24 AM

Definitely think the cheats/carb spikes are playing a role in it somehow. I've also only been doing it for 2.5 mos, and I know both my hormones and my metabolism have been really screwed for years now. It's going to take a while for things to even out, and if the mini-periods aren't stopping, it'll be time for a gyno chat. Thanks for the input and advice!

3
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on April 27, 2011
at 05:19 PM

Have you lost weight? Losing fat can affect estrogen levels and thus your cycle. The same thing happened to me my first few months on Paleo, but the "extra" periods have slowed as my weight loss slowed.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:20 AM

I have lost about 15 lbs in 2.5 mos on Paleo, but I have had problems with cheating on sweets and baked goods, so it's fluctuated over the weeks. The first month I did hardcore, and then I've been strict again this week. I'm thinking that most likely has something to do with it.

2
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on April 28, 2011
at 12:15 AM

i dont typically get a period because im on mirena (without hormonal birth control, my cycles vary WIDELY- can be anywhere from 19 days to 56 with no rhyme or reason and one of my ovaries ovulates just sort of whenever the hell she feels like it) but when i was following the robb wolf fish oil calculator and taking pretty high doses of omega-3, i had quite a bit of breakthrough bleeding. i actually didnt realize that omega-3 is a blood thinner. as soon as i cut back to just three pills a day, it stopped.

how much fish oil are you supplementing with?

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:27 AM

Whoa. I never even thought of that. I have been taking two pills in the am and then an extra two at night to combat inflammation from the carb cheats. Should probably cut back to once a day if that's the case... Thanks for the heads up.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 04, 2012
at 07:29 PM

This! My mom always had a wild cycle (until an emergency hysterectomy in her 40's), and she noticed that in the late spring, early summer she lost a LOT of blood and had a hard time keeping up with anemia- eventually her OB/GYN figured it was b/c that was fishing season and we eat a TON of seafood (breakfast, lunch, and dinner!) during that time! The omega-3's really impacted this, and my mom had to bump up the hormones a little bit during this time because she didn't want to give up the other benefits of omega-3's.

1
C46ed3d152acfa62cd98cd2777083e14

(10)

on June 29, 2012
at 11:24 PM

I also had this problem while doing strict VLC--sort of half a period for 4 months straight!! Not Fun! Another friend of mine experienced a 2-month mini-period when she was doing VLC.

I did a bit of research on the internet and found a few forum posts suggesting that the reason for this phenomenon is that hormones (estrogen, progesterone) are fat-soluble, and therefore build up in fat cells. If you're burning lots of fat, you release some of these stored hormones into circulation.

No idea if this is true or not, but 6 months prior to starting my VLC eating, I got the birth control shot (terrible experience, btw!!), and I could imagine that injections of 3 months' worth of synthetic progesterone all at once could cause higher levels of hormones to enter your fat cells. My friend with the similar experience was also on hormonal birth control.

Again, I have no firsthand knowledge here. I'd love to hear the opinion of someone with enough medical knowledge to comment on this hypothesis!

1
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 04, 2012
at 07:37 PM

When I used a low-dose birth control I had break-through bleeding almost all month (the wonderful 4 week period!). My OB/GYN thought I was still ovulating while on the pill, and because I still wanted to use the pill for birth control we upped the dose and the break through bleeding went away entirely. Changing your diet can have an effect your hormone levels, so maybe yours changed to the point where I was- and it's a little scary b/c it meant that you could possibly not be protected from pregnancy while this break-through bleeding is occuring.

If you want to continue using hormonal birth control without the breakthrough bleeding, I've had very positive experiences so far with the Nuvaring. None of the side effects I experienced on the pill, I'm no long ovulating, and it helps me regulate my cycle. When I am not on hormonal birth control my cycle varies wildly from just 20 days to up to 50 sometimes- has done since I was a preteen. Due to this, plus the fact that I am 20, in school, and can't afford the risk of pregnancy, I do not think that tracking my fertility would be the right option for me.

1
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on March 04, 2012
at 05:23 PM

Fibroids and polyps can bleed at any time, so you might want to get tested for these. Otherwise, it might just be that your body is still adjusting to Paleo.

1
C687adb6aeab5d10b73ae1e272bc348f

(664)

on February 11, 2012
at 04:50 AM

Your hormone sensitivity improves w/ reducing carbs/MegaTrans fats. So depending how your body adapted to the reduced sensitivity, you may experience different effects of the improved hormone function.

The effects on estrogen are particularly unpredictable, as far as hormones go, because unlike many other hormones estrogen levels are subject to both negative and positive feedback cycles. This is why improved estrogen sensitivity can both increase breast tenderness (through a positive feedback loop) and hot flashes (through a negative feedback loop).

(If you don't know what MegaTrans fats are, they're a kind of oxidized trans fat. Very bad. They come from all vegetable oils.)

0
03163a8115090c0a28f9f02c97f2c776

on August 01, 2013
at 10:11 PM

I'm on my 5th day in and spotting 7 days before my period is due. This never happens to me. I will monitor but having read the above am thinking it is likely to be diet related. Cheers. Am going to read more on oestrogen dominance.

0
7194d1ac849fc41e5791af318fbc8a1f

on January 27, 2013
at 03:48 PM

I am in my first month of strict paleo and my breakthrough bleeding began one week in and continues now sporadically. My doctor said it is common when making dietary changes that affect your hormone levels, which paleo does.

0
3491e51730101b18724dc57c86601173

(8395)

on November 08, 2012
at 01:07 AM

Take a look at your diet to see if you've added a lot of phytoestrogens. They can be found in flax and chia for example, also soy (soy is not paleo!).

I started to have spotting which turned into bleeding which turned into near hemorrhaging over the course of 8 weeks--it made me anemic, I bled so much. Turned out I was eating a lot of flax. As soon as I stopped the flax, the bleeding stopped too.

0
500e96538b88f9298e09280e35719f0d

on November 08, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I'm having the same problem. Break through bleeding in between periods, and now one long period that is lasting almost a month long. I'm wondering if I should up my carbs or fat. I don't have fibroids, I'm not on birth control, and I'm not pregnant. As soon as I began being stict with this paleo diet, the inter-menstrual started. I did a search and found out that the low carb diets cause inter-menstrual bleeding and spotting. All I can think is maybe uping the carbs or fats or both a little bit until I find a happy medium that my body likes. It said that it has something to do with the body being in ketosis.

0
609cb1fb6c58de76d6d4c7dabf7091a3

on May 01, 2012
at 06:00 AM

I also have experience this. I'm 43 and 5 weeks into the paleo. 18 days after my last period i had a day and a half of spotting and it happened right after intercourse with hubby, so I thought maybe that's what caused it, but I also suspected the diet, so that's why I searched on this site to find info and sure enough i'm not the only one who has experienced this. I too was a vegan before I started paleo. humm...

0
E0ace8a5c204570601e65750e2118e16

on March 04, 2012
at 04:47 PM

I started a strict paleo diet 7 days ago, and had breakthrough bleeding on my low dose BC pill for the first time in over a year. Definitely a link. I'm sure it will sort out, just as it did before. The body makes adjustments as needed.

I could not believe how quickly I lost my sugar cravings and how quickly my appetite levelled out. I used to become ravenously hungry and now I just eat at appropriate times with very little hunger panic.

I'm adding some of my paleo/primal experiences to my blog as I go: ThisBlogIsForWomen

0
9d48ca1f58101f7d1b858b18ee791cb9

on February 13, 2012
at 07:38 AM

My 17 year old daughter (A) has been blood type o diet heading toward Paleo. Due to Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disorder wherein her body attacks her thyroid resulting in hypothyroidism, she takes synthroid. 5 months into diet change and 21 lbs lighter, she had break through bleeding but for the one month so far. I appreciate the info you have all provided. In an effort to give back, I'll share what I found very interesting. When A had the breakthrough bleeding, I started to wonder about a gluten connection with menses. (the gluten-free has been my family's most faithful part of the diet.) sure enough I found a connection between gluten and secondary ammenorhea. At 5.5 months of being on diet and 11 months since last period, another daughter (B) had a flood of a period. (prior to that doctor wanted to put her on pill!) Athlete daughter A also finding good info in Paleo Diet for athletes by Cordain and Friel. And (B) who loves to cook and has great trouble living without the carbs has found Paleo Comfort Foods by the Mayfields to be a blessing. Perhaps it will help some of you with "cheating". They have a nice almond flour (no grain) based bread.

0
7f41a9c2c0f7ba7f39f77f0b5eb31078

on April 28, 2011
at 12:44 AM

I don't want to hijack the thread, but since the topic is up.... I am looking into using Wild Carrot (dauco) seeds as birth control. There is some really good information at http://www.sisterzeus.com/qaluse.htm (there is a .pdf at the end with a lot more info as well) and many other places online if anyone is interested. Ruger

0
949d4d02ea7d1abd714cc3347c2c6854

on April 27, 2011
at 08:29 PM

I'm also having this problem, although I've only been eating a strict Paleo diet for a month (I was about 75% for several months before that, and a strict vegetarian for 17 years before that!). I just assumed there were some hormonal changes going on, so I'm going to wait a few months and see if it lines out. It really is quite an annoyance, so I hope you find some answers.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:43 AM

Yeah, I've only been paleo for about 2.5 months, and I honestly have not done a great job. Sugar has been a real problem, so I've been trying to get back to the strict version, and that's when mini-period #2 popped up. Hopefully if can keep it up this will balance itself out.

0
07327a8f46b87cba13712bb50cba97f2

(0)

on April 27, 2011
at 05:46 PM

This happened to me also.. i was very strick in my eating and cut everything out cold turkey... I was a major sweets eater and stopped it all at once... I was totally at a loss as to why this was happening. Im 37 and this has never happened before.... Maybe there is some link...

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:35 AM

Yeah, it's looking cutting out sweets cold turkey is a factor. Hopefully things will balance out once I get better about staying strict and not falling prey to my wretched sugar cravings.

0
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 27, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Actually mine is the opposite case, the heavier I got the more break thru and full double cycles I had, with increasingly painful cramping. Since I've gone Paleo and lost weight I've actually normalized and very little cramping.

HOWEVER, in my case I found out I had some fibroids and this, they told me, was why as I gain and loose weight it affects my cycle. Doesn't make sense to me but I'm at normal weight and normal cycles again. Whens the last time you had a check up?

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on April 28, 2011
at 09:18 PM

I hope so too! Nothing worse than double periods and severe cramps. If they've ever done an ultra sound they'd see the fibroids, big or tiny.

0a46a71bd3dca60276717f099b350132

(250)

on April 28, 2011
at 02:30 AM

Last lady doc visit was about 5 or 6 mos ago, and everything was good to go. I've been checked for endometriosis in the past, and that was all clear, but never been checked for fibroids. Hoping that once I lose weight and get adjusted to paleo, things will even out.

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