Birth control pills in anorexia treatment

In a good example of new scientific knowledge not making it to the people who need it, many physicians are still prescribing birth control pills to anorexics to "jump start" their menstrual cycles.

This is not a good idea. At best, hormone pills mask health status. At worst, it damages bone further.

Having a period is not, sadly, a guarantee of medical recovery either. Many bulimics and a good proportion of seriously ill anorexics have regular menstrual cycles.

Real recovery means full nutrition. There are no short cuts through that basic fact.


  1. I'm so glad you pointed out that return of menstrual cycle is not a reliablesign of returning health. I got mine back at a weight that is so hideously low it's insane. One day it just showed up. It baffled my doctor. And I kept having a cycle even when my weight plummeted lower. At my physically sickest state (and mind) I'd say in that warped anorexic state of mind, "I'm not anorexic anymore! My period returned!" Love that DSM criteria. I think normal periods are a lot more common amongst adults with anorexia then teenagers. I know many adults w/ anorexia that still had pretty regular cycles. This is a point that fools those with anorexia into thinking they are okay. As well as misinformed physicians.

    Thank you for pointing this out.

  2. Thank you so much for posting this. I live in hope for the day when this ridiculous Diagnostic Criteria is removed from the DSM. I developed Anorexia Nervosa pre-puberty but I still started Menstruation as normal and have continued to Menstruate normally throughout my illness. At a BMI of 12.9, when I was turning yellow as my Liver started shutting down, I still Menstruated once a month with a perfectly normal flow. At a BMI of approximately 14.5 I had tests run which showed that not only was I Menstruating I was Ovulating as well. Having a Period is absolutely NO indication of Health or severity of Illness.

  3. I got so pissed off cos I started my period after 9 months of not having them,, and it was on the day I ate nothing, and when I felt physically and mentally worse than ever. My BMI is 15.7, so althought thats seen as anorexic usually, I just had all of that taken away, seemingly Im 'all better now' < Piss take, because like I say, I am worse than ever. Grr :/


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