Amenorrhea is the medical term for when a woman doesn’t have menstrual periods. It is when you aren’t getting your periods even though you’ve been through puberty, aren’t pregnant, and haven’t gone through menopause.
The main causes of primary amenorrhea include family history, genetics, and lifestyle, whereas pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause are the main causes of secondary amenorrhea. Other possible causes include:
Amenorrhea is divided into two categories.
Primary Amenorrhea When a young woman reaches the age of 15 and has not had her first period.
Secondary Amenorrhea occurs when you have had regular menstrual periods, but then they stop for three or more months.
The main symptom of amenorrhea is the absence of your monthly period. It often signifies a more significant health problem or condition. Related symptoms can include:
Women with the following factors are more at risk:
Your doctor will begin by reviewing your medical history and performing a physical and pelvic examination. They may request a pregnancy test if you're sexually active to rule out pregnancy as a cause.
Finding out what's causing your amenorrhea may require a variety of tests. One or more of the following diagnostic tests may be ordered by your doctor:
These tests measure the amounts of hormones in your blood like follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin, and male hormones.
They include Ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These tests can reveal abnormalities in your reproductive organs or locate tumors if present.
Your doctor will prescribe a hormonal drug that, when stopped, should result in menstrual bleeding. If you don't, a lack of estrogen may cause amenorrhea.
To examine the inside of your uterus, your doctor will insert a small illuminated camera into your vagina and cervix.
It looks for gene mutations that could cause your ovaries to stop operating, as well as detecting missing or partially missing X chromosomes (Turner's syndrome).
Identifies missing, extra, or mutated cells in your chromosomes to help diagnose amenorrhea-causing factors.
Amenorrhea has various differential diagnoses, including genetic abnormalities, endocrine problems, psychological, environmental, and structural anomalies. Obtaining a complete history and performing a thorough physical examination is necessary for a timely and accurate diagnostic workup.
The causes of amenorrhea can cause other problems as well. These include:
The treatment options for Amenorrhea differ depending on the cause. You may need to make lifestyle modifications, such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management. Hormonal medications and birth control pills might help you get your period started. Hormone therapy may be used to bring your hormones back into balance.
Surgery is uncommon. However, it may be required in some instances, such as:
Maintain a balanced diet and healthy workout routine. Consult your doctor if you are underweight or overweight and achieve a healthy balance. Keep track of your periods each month once you start menstruating. This can help in the early detection of amenorrhea and the diagnosis and treatment of the condition. It's also a good idea to do it if you want to get pregnant in the future.
Amenorrhea can be caused by lifestyle factors such as too much exercise or too little food, so strike a balance between work, recreation, and rest. Assess your life for areas of stress and conflict. If you cannot reduce stress on your own, seek assistance from family, friends, or your physician. Changes in your menstrual cycle should be noted, and you should consult your doctor if you have any concerns regarding it. Keep track of the dates of your periods. Keep track of when while noting any troublesome symptoms you experience.
Some causes of amenorrhea can be managed by medical (drug) therapy. Examples include the following:
Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on April 26, 2023.