Advertisement

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.

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

More About this Book

Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era

America's best-selling book on all aspects of women's health With more than four million copies sold, "Our Bodies, Ourselves" is "the" classic resource that women of all ages can turn to for...

Continue Learning about Amenorrhea

How is amenorrhea further classified?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Amenorrhea can be further classified into ovulatory amenorrhea (when an egg is released) and anovula...
More Answers
Are there medications to treat secondary amenorrhea?
Sigma NursingSigma Nursing
Treatment options for secondary amenorrhea will vary based on the cause of the absent period. Second...
More Answers
What increases my risk for amenorrhea?
Sigma NursingSigma Nursing
Because amenorrhea can be caused by a number of conditions, several risk factors must be considered:...
More Answers
Is it normal to not have a period for several months?
Darcy N. Bryan, MDDarcy N. Bryan, MD
Women who don't menstruate for several months are defined as having amenorrhea. In this video, Darcy...
More Answers

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.