Hypothalamic Amenorrhea with Nicola Rinaldi, PhD

CW: Specific calorie amounts mentioned at these points in the show:

  • 15:49:15:52

  • 17.26- 17:38

  • 46:12-46:13

Hypothalamic Amenorrhea (HA), or a lack of menstruation caused by the disfunction of the hypothalamus, affects many people in the world. It happens often when someone is under-fueling their bodies. It is a common condition with atheletes, but can affect anyone who menstruates and does not take in enough energy. While it might sound nice to not have a period, the hormones that cause menstruation affect many aspects of health and can lead to infertility if not addressed. Nicola Rinaldi, PhD has done a lot of research on HA, and experienced it herself. She now spends her time spreading the word about the causes and treatments for HA. Resources can be found on the episode page of the website: www.donoharmpodcast.orgonce the episode goes public.

In the episode:

  • Nicola's story

  • Calorie Intake in relation to menstruation

  • Calorie Intake in relation to bone density

  • PCOS vs HA

  • Using OCP to “jumpstart” menstruation (and why it doesn't work)

About Nicole: 

Dr. Nicola Rinaldi has a PhD in biology from MIT. Since experiencing hypothalamic amenorrhea (missing periods) herself, Dr. Rinaldi has been on a mission to spread awareness of the condition and how to recover. In 2016 she published the book "No Period. Now What?", updated March of 2019 to be more Health At Every Size aligned. This book is a comprehensive resource that includes much of the medical and scientific research that underlies our current understanding of the triggers for amenorrhea, what steps to take for recovery, and treatments to use for recovery and pregnancy as needed. In addition, Dr. Rinaldi performed the largest survey to date of women who likewise experienced amenorrhea, and includes results from the survey answering many of the common questions women have, such as "How long will it take to recover?" "Will I be able to get pregnant?" and "Will I resume cycling after pregnancy?". Finally, the book includes Dr. Rinaldi's own story along with those of hundreds of other women, providing hope and reassurance to women following in their footsteps. Since publishing "No Period. Now What?" Dr. Rinaldi has been on a mission to spread awareness about hypothalamic amenorrhea and recovery, appearing as a guest on dozens of podcasts, attending and presenting at industry conferences, as well as continuing to participate in ongoing academic research studies. She now also works with clients on period recovery and getting pregnant.


Information sheet on HA, and first chapter of No Period. Now What? - free download: http://noperiod.info/HA

Information sheet on HA versus PCOS, and relevant chapter of No Period. Now What? - free download: http://noperiod.info/HAvsPCOS

New research on HA versus PCOS: http://noperiod.info/HAvsPCOS2

Time to recovery is not correlated with length of amenorrhea: http://noperiod.info/time

FB support group: http://noperiod.info/support

EBook + paperback: http://noperiod.info/book

Personal recovery/fertility support: http://noperiod.info/appointments

Book Links:

Health at Every Size

Body Respect

Body Kindness