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What is amenorrhea?

Some women experience the absence of menstrual periods or extremely light periods; this is called amenorrhea. Primary amenorrhea is the condition of never having had a period by the latest age at which menstruation usually starts (age eighteen). Secondary amenorrhea is the cessation of menstruation after at least one period. Some causes of amenorrhea are pregnancy; menopause; breast-feeding; heavy athletic training; emotional factors; stress; previous use of birth control pills; excessive dieting or anorexia; starvation; use of some drugs; a congenital defect of the genital tract; hormone imbalance; cysts or tumors; chronic illness; and chromosomal abnormalities. Often, amenorrhea is caused by a combination of several of these factors. Since amenorrhea is a frequent symptom of infertility, medical textbooks and practitioners pay considerably more attention to it than to premenstrual changes or painful periods, although the latter two are far more common.

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Continue Learning about Amenorrhea

Are there medications to treat secondary amenorrhea?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Treatment options for secondary amenorrhea will vary based on the cause of the absent period. Second...
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Is amenorrhea serious?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Most of the causes of amenorrhea are treatable with medication or healthy lifestyle changes, but ame...
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Are there medications to treat primary amenorrhea?
Diana MeeksDiana Meeks
Treatment options for primary amenorrhea will vary based on the cause of the absent period. Primary ...
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How is amenorrhea further classified?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Amenorrhea can be further classified into ovulatory amenorrhea (when an egg is released) and anovula...
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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.