Menstruation, or a period, is part of a monthly cycle in women. If a women does not have or misses a period it is called amenorrhea. Types of amenorrhea include:
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Amenorrhea is most often caused by a problem with hormones. A number of hormones start changes in the body that result in a period. These hormones may be decreased by:
Problems may also be caused by damage to the uterus itself. This is less common.
Factors that may increase the risk of amenorrhea include:
Symptom for primary amenorrhea is:
Symptom for secondary amenorrhea is:
Call your doctor if you:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
The doctor may check for pregnancy or changes in hormones with:
Images of related organs or glands may be taken with:
Treatment will depend on what the cause is. Examples include:
Amenorrhea can not always be prevented. Steps that may help to prevent some amenorrhea include:
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Women's Health—Department of Health and Human Services
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Amenorrhea. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116009/Amenorrhea. Updated March 14, 2016. Accessed September 12, 2017.
Amenorrhea. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/amenorrhea.html. Updated May 2017. Accessed September 12, 2017.
Current evaluation of amenorrhea. American Society for Reproductive Medicine website. Available at: http://www.asrm.org/globalassets/asrm/asrm-content/news-and-publications/practice-guidelines/for-non-members/current_evaluation_of_amenorrhea-pdfnoprint.pdf. Published 2008. Accessed September 12, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Beverly Siegal, MD, FACOG Last Updated: 3/23/2018