Long-term menstrual and reproductive function in patients with bulimia nervosa

Scott J Crow, Paul Thuras, Pamela K. Keel, James E. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: Menstrual dysfunction occurs frequently in patients with bulimia nervosa. Whether this is associated with diminished fertility is unknown. This study examined menstrual and reproductive function in bulimia nervosa patients retrospectively, with 10-15-year follow-ups. Method: A total of 173 women with bulimia nervosa were interviewed an average of 11.5 years (SD=1.9) after initial assessment with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and a questionnaire about menstruation, pregnancy, and eating disorder symptoms. Results: At baseline assessment, 38.2% of the subjects reported regular menses, and 4.6% reported amenorrhea. At follow-up, the rate of amenorrhea was 16.8% (2.9% because of pregnancy). At baseline, 34.7% of the subjects had experienced at least one pregnancy. At follow-up, 74.6% had been pregnant at least once, and 1.7% reported an inability to conceive. Conclusions: These results suggest that while menstrual irregularities are common, bulimia nervosa appears to have little impact on later ability to achieve pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1048-1050
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


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