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Is it ever normal to experience amenorrhea?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Amenorrhea can be caused by a number of different conditions. Primary amenorrhea (when menstruation has not started by age 16) requires a visit to the doctor because the delay of puberty can indicate an underlying reproductive problem. However, secondary amenorrhea (a break in menstruation after it has already started) can be normal in a woman's development and reproduction. A break of three months or more should be cause for a doctor's visit (six months if periods have a history of irregularity). It is normal to experience amenorrhea only in the time before puberty occurs, during pregnancy, during breastfeeding for some women, and after menopause.

Dr. Shelley C. Giebel, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

Women can also stop having menstrual cycles on the birth control pills, this is called pill amenorrhea.  The pill generally makes your period shorter and lighter and eventually it can stop altogether.  So if you have just a small amount of brownish mucus during your placebo pills (the non-hormone pills at the end of your pill packet) that would be considered a normal menstrual cycle on the birth control pill.

The lining of the uterus normally built up during the month is not being produced, so your periods over time will indeed get lighter and shorter.  If the menstrual cycle completely stops, talk to your doctor to possibly switch to a different birth control pill so that you will have a light period so you know you aren't pregnant.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.