What are the causes of amenorrhea?
- Pregnancy is the most common cause.
- Other reasons women may stop having periods:
- Contraceptives that contain hormones.
- Certain medications.
- Lifestyle factors, such as stress, body weight(too high or too low), too much exercise.
- Problems with hormone balance.
- Problems with the female reproductive (sex)organs.
- Reasons that a teen might not get her first period:
- Being overweight or underweight.
- Having female sex organs that didn't grow right.
- Problems in the parts of the brain that make hormones.
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What is amenorrhea?
- Amenorrhea (uh-men-o-REE-uh ) is the loss of menstrual periods.
- If a teenager does not have a menstrual period by age 16, it's called "primary amenorrhea."
- Secondary amenorrhea occurs when a woman stops having periods for three or more months in a row.
- Missing a period may be a sign that a woman is pregnant or something is not normal.
- It's important to contact a health care provider about missing a period.
Are there tests for amenorrhea?
- A health care provider can suggest tests to find the cause of amenorrhea.
- The first test is a pregnancy test.
- Next, blood tests may be done to check the level of hormones.
- Computed Tomograph (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the head may be done to look for problems with the parts of the brain that make hormones.
- An ultrasound test may be done to look at the female sex organs.
What are the symptoms of amenorrhea?
- The main symptom is losing or not starting the menstrual period.
- Sometimes women have other symptoms,too.
- Other symptoms may include headaches, changes in vision, hair loss, and growing facial hair.
- The symptoms depend on the cause of the amenorrhea.
How is amenorrhea treated?
- The type of treatment depends on the cause of the amenorrhea.
- If weight, stress, or physical activity is causing the amenorrhea, lifestyle changes may help.
- Medications are often used to treat the other causes of amenorrhea.
- It is important to talk to a health care provider about treatment options.
National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Content last reviewed on August 16, 2016