T Nation

Birth Control or No Period?

I’m not sure your background with females, but I’m guessing you have a LOT more knowledge than 95% of people out there. Anyways, here’s my question:

I’m a 17 year old female (5’0, 40kg) who loves strength and conditioning. I had a low grade eating disorder three years ago and lost my period. My doctor then put me on Yasmin, a progesterone based birth control pill, which I’ve been taking for the past two years.

I’ve recently been hearing a lot about the negative effects of birth control for performance and body composition, and since I’m going to be an adult next year, I have the freedom to go off the pill. However, to get my natural cycle back, I’ll have to gain at least 3-4% bodyfat, which I’m not willing to do. Is it better to stay on birth control or just not have a cycle?


This is really not my area of expertise and the last thing I want to do is give someone “medical advice”. The one thing I can say is that I researched this a bit and out of all the birth control pills, Yasmin is the one with the least negative impact on body comp and performance.

If you had, as in past tense, an eating disorder, then your recovery from said disorder would allow you to gain the small amount of body fat it would require for you to have normal menses.

Your body has such a low body fat percentage that it has rendered you temporarily infertile. While you think this may not be an issue because of your age, you’re sacrificing your bone health as well. Funnily enough, the possible negative performance effects of Yasmin are FAR outweighed by the decrease in performance and energy levels that one would experience at BF%’s like yours.

You have a CLEAR INDICATOR from your body that you are damaging yourself. Listen to it.


I agree with @flappinit I think you need to put on some weight, judging by the pics you posted.