Periods post gastric bypass

The process of having weight loss surgery and in my case, a gastric bypass is a bit of a wild ride at times and this has a lot to do with your hormones and how they are affected. The rapid weight loss and the changes in your body are responsible for lots of things for example the really common rapid hair loss many people experience after surgery but one thing I didn’t expect was for it to completely mess with my cycle too.

I need to preface this with the fact that I have a Mirena IUD and that can be held responsible for some of the weirdness of my cycle since it is a hormonal form of contraception. Having a Mirena I don’t necessarily expect a regular cycle because the Mirena can completely take away your periods but I find I tend to still have a light one if and when I do.

Since my gastric bypass surgery 18 months ago I have had 9 periods (I have a tracking app I use not a crazy good memory!) This is about half of what you would expect if things were ‘normal’ going on a normal 28 day cycle.

Not only are my periods a little bit few and far between but the gap between them has gone like this 2 months, 2.5 months, 2.5 weeks, 1 month, 6 weeks, 4 months, 6 weeks and 2 months. Then just to add insult to injury they can last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.

During the rapid weight loss phase this is to be expected a bit I think. Your body is dropping weight like crazy, your hormones are all over the place and of course things like periods get interrupted. I’ve been under my goal weight for 9 months now though and my cycle really evened out like I expected. I think I just need to give it more time.

When I was on hormonal pill based forms of contraception before I had my son I usually had my period about every 4 weeks for 5 days. From what you can see above now I just never know what to expect. I have to say I’ve done my fair share of pregnancy tests during this time wondering if my Mirena had failed because when you haven’t had your period for two months, if you’re anything like me, you start to freak out a bit.

I have also heard from ladies going through menopause when they have had weight loss surgery that the effects of it can be extremely heightened and the mood swings and hot flushes et cetera can get a bit out of control. This is apparently to be expected but if you are considering surgery these are things that you need to be aware of.

Another interesting thing I observe when I get my period now is that my weight can shoot up by about a couple of kilos in a couple of days and my tummy will look visibly bloated and bigger until it’s all over. The weight thing drives me nuts but now that I’ve recognised the pattern and know why its happening I’m not so concerned about it when it does happen.

Once my period has gone my weight drops and my tummy deflates and I breathe a big sigh of relief. I guess because of my increased weight before I never noticed the bloating in my tummy but now I can’t miss it. I can always tell instantly in the mirror first thing in the morning when my tummy goes down that my period is pretty much over, handy new signalling system maybe?

Have you noticed your cycle go crazy since surgery? Let me know in the comments below if it’s something that took you completely by surprise too.

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There are 5 comments for this article
  1. Carolyn at 4:54 pm

    Already going through menopause I think…have some blood tests done next week to confirm but no periods for 2 years. So it will be interesting how surgery effects this.

  2. Kylee Gray at 8:37 am

    Thanks for that. I have just come out of surgery a week and a half ago and have had my period since the day before surgery. I too have the Mirena. This article has put my mind at rest!

  3. Paula at 5:18 pm

    I am 54 and haven’t had a period for over 10 years due to my age and mirenas.. I have completed menopause and had my gastric sleeve surgery five days ago. Today I was surprised to find I have a light mucky period. It was the last thing I expected. It’s very light but I’m not sure if that’s normal or not given my age and the fact that I have already fully completed menopause. Any suggestions?

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