Q: I stopped the pill three months ago and my period hasn't come yet. What does this mean?

Usually, your regular menstrual period comes because you have ovulated and menstrual bleeding results from a decrease in natural hormone levels about 14 days after the ovulation, if you're not pregnant.

While you take the pill (oral contraceptives) your ovulation is suppressed. The pill prevents ovulation, and the menstrual period comes because of the sudden decrease in hormone levels during the one week per month when she doesn't take pills, or takes pills that don't contain hormones. Because their cycle is controlled by the pills, women taking oral contraceptives are used to getting regular menstrual periods every 28 days.

When you stop taking the pill entirely, the constant hormone level that suppresses ovulation stops. Your body has to start its own hormone production and may sometimes need some time to regain its normal rhythm. The ovary itself has to get ready so that an egg can mature and be released. While there are several hundred thousand eggs in the ovaries ready to mature, they may need some time before your first new ovulation.

In about 10% of If your menstrual cycle has not returned by three months or more after you stop the pill, you probably want to see your ob-gyn and discuss what to do next.

Your doctor may do some tests and in about one-half of women with post-pill amenorrhea there is an umderlying reason found.