Health Question:
I am an athlete with no periods, am I safe?


I'm an athlete with very low body fat. I have not menstruated spontaneously for 2 years, but induce it with hormones every 6 months. Since I am not menstruating does that mean I'm not ovulating and unable to become pregnant? While this isn't a great form of birth control, will it still work?

You are correct that you are not ovulating if you have no periods. Periods occur 14 days after ovulation - unless a woman gets pregnant.

However, this is an unreliable method of birth control, because when your body does transition from not-ovulating to ovulating, you likely won't know it - until 14 days after ovulation, when you get your period. (Of course if you got pregnant then you won't have a period.)

In other words, if you are not having regular monthly periods, there is no advance warning or predictor for ovulation. And if sperm are already inside your reproductive system when ovulation occurs, you can easily get pregnant.

You can learn the signs of ovulation and fertility by studying fertility awareness.

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