Amenorrhea: What Causes The Absence Of Menstruation

The absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea) is a common type of menstrual problem in women of reproductive age. This condition involves an absence of menstruation for 3 months or longer in a sexually mature woman who is not pregnant or breastfeeding.

Amenorrhea is a symptom of other disorders, which can range from minor to serious. It is a symptom with many potential causes.

Primary amenorrhoea (menstrual cycles never starting) may be caused by developmental problems, such as the congenital absence of the uterus or failure of the ovary to receive or maintain egg cells.

Also, delay in pubertal development will lead to primary amenorrhea. It is defined as an absence of secondary sexual characteristics by age 14 with no menarche or normal secondary sexual characteristics but no menarche by 16 years of age.

Secondary amenorrhoea (menstrual cycles ceasing) is often caused by hormonal disturbances from the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland, from premature menopause or intrauterine scar formation (intrauterine adhesion/asherman’s syndrome.

It is defined as the absence of menses for three months in a woman with previously normal menstruation, or nine months for women with a history of oligomenorrhoea (a condition in which you have infrequent menstrual periods

The most common cause of amenorrhea is pregnancy. Other causes of amenorrhea include problems with the reproductive organs or with the glands that help regulate hormone levels. Treatment of the underlying condition often resolves amenorrhea.

The main sign of amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual periods. Depending on the cause, you might experience other signs or symptoms along with the absence of periods, such as:
Milky nipple discharge
Hair loss
Vision changes
Excess facial hair
Pelvic pain

Causes of Amenorrhea
Amenorrhea can occur for a variety of reasons. Some are normal during the course of a woman’s life, while others may be a side effect of medication or a sign of a medical problem.
Conditions that can cause amenorrhea include the following:
Eating disorders (e.g., anorexia, bulimia)
Excessive exercise and a poor diet
Extreme physical or emotional stress
Hormonal problems that involve the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, ovary, or adrenal glands
Medications (e.g., contraceptives)
Very low body weight

Natural Amenorrhea
During the normal course of your life, you may experience amenorrhea for natural reasons, such as:
Some women who take birth control pills may not have periods. Even after stopping oral contraceptives, it may take some time before regular ovulation and menstruation return. Contraceptives that are injected or implanted also may cause amenorrhea, as can some types of intrauterine devices.
Certain medications can cause menstrual periods to stop, including some types of:
Cancer chemotherapy
Blood pressure drugs
Allergy medications

Lifestyle factors
Sometimes lifestyle factors contribute to amenorrhea. For instance…

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