Hormones often cause this problem. They start changes in the body that result in a period. They may be lowered by:
Poor habits, such as lack of nutrition, too much physical activity, too much weight loss, or a lot of stress
Health problems, such as polycystic ovary syndrome
This problem is more common in high-level athletes, such as long-distance runners. Faulty genes may also raise the risk in some women.
Primary amenorrhea is when the first period has not happened in a young woman aged 5 years or older. Secondary is when a woman with regular periods has not had a period in 3 months in a row or a woman with irregular periods has not had a period in 6 months in a row.
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. You will also be asked about your history of periods. A physical exam will be done. This is enough to make the diagnosis.
More testing will need to be done to find the cause of the amenorrhea.
Treatment depends on the cause. It may be treated by things like:
Eating a healthy diet
Exercising less often
Managing health problems
Correcting birth defects with surgery
Female athletes can lower the risk by staying at a healthy weight by eating foods that support their level of training.
Amenorrhea. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/amenorrhea.html. Updated May 24, 2017. Accessed January 17, 2020.
Azurah AG, Zainuddin AA, et al. Diagnostic pitfalls in the evaluation and management of amenorrhea in adolescents. J Reprod Med. 2013 Jul-Aug;58(708):324-36.
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