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How is amenorrhea diagnosed?

Darcy N. Bryan, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Amenorrhea is diagnosed by a patient's history, says Darcy Bryan, MD, of Riverside Community Hospital. In this video, she shares what it means, and how the cause can be evaluated.

The causes of amenorrhea can be determined through a number of tests. A pregnancy test will indicate if the absence of menstruation signifies an abnormality in the body, rather than the natural amenorrhea in pregnancy or breastfeeding women. Primary amenorrhea is diagnosed by checking for other results of puberty such as breast development and bodily hair. To diagnose secondary amenorrhea, doctors ask about the regularity of previous menstruation cycles, medication, nutritional or exercise habits, and family history. Pelvic exams can be done to check for problems with the reproductive organs such as tumors. Other imaging tests like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or ultrasound can also detect tumors or growths. Furthermore, blood tests can check for hormonal imbalances by measuring both estrogen and androgen levels in the blood. Finally, doctors can prescribe a hormone medication called progestogen, which can determine if a lack of estrogen is the cause of amenorrhea.

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