What is Amenorrhea?
Amenorrhea is the absence of a normal monthly period.
There are two types of amenorrhea:
- Primary amenorrhea is when a girl has never had a period. Most girls start their period by the time they are 16
- Secondary amenorrhea is when a girl who has had periods stops having them for several months. This is the most common type of amenorrhea.
What causes amenorrhea?
Possible causes include:
- Eating disorders and weight changes
- Excess exercise (also called athletic amenorrhea)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – the ovaries produce excessive amounts of male hormones, causing irregular periods and other symptoms
- Premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) – the ovaries do not make enough estrogen to cause periods
- Endocrine problems
- Chronic illness such as Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle disease, lupus and diabetes
- Certain medications
- Congenital defect of the reproductive tract
How is amenorrhea diagnosed?
How is amenorrhea treated?
Treatment for amenorrhea will depend on the cause and may include lifestyle changes and medical treatment, including:
- Changes in your exercise habits
- Changes in your diet
- Stress management
- Hormone therapy or other medications