Recovery of reproductive function in patients with anorexia nervosa: a 10-year follow-up study

Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 1986 Sep;22(5-6):293-6. doi: 10.1016/0028-2243(86)90117-6.


The recoveries of reproductive function and body weight of 21 patients with anorexia nervosa were studied in a 10-yr period from the time of their first presentation. The recovery rates of both menstruation and eating behavior were 81.0%, although at the end of the study period the rate of amenorrhea (19.0%) was still higher than that (6%) in women in the general population. The change of mean body weight in patients in whom regular menstruation was restored was not significantly different from that of patients in whom amenorrhea persisted. Of the patients, 16 married after treatment and 14 of these (87.5%) became pregnant after spontaneous (11 patients) or induced (3 patients) ovulation, and 12 delivered a baby. The present study suggests that resumption of regular menstruation may not depend only upon body weight gain, and that most patients may be able to have a child after appropriate treatments.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amenorrhea / etiology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / complications
  • Anorexia Nervosa / physiopathology*
  • Body Weight
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Menstruation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Time Factors