What is Amenorrhea?

The absence of menstruation is known as amenorrhea. This condition can be physiological and have natural causes or it can be associated with a certain spectrum of disorders.

A woman who has missed a minimum of three periods in a row will be diagnosed with amenorrhea. Also, girls who have not started menstruating by the age of 15 will be diagnosed with amenorrhea.

Although amenorrhea will naturally be caused by pregnancy and menopause, other causes include problems within the reproductive system’s organs or the glands that assist in the regulation of hormone balance. Examples may include hyperprolactemia, cushing’s disease, hyperthyroidism, anovulation and premature ovarian failure and cervical stenosis.

Certain lifestyle factors can also contribute to the development of amenorrhea. For example, not eating enough food or exercising too much could result in missed periods. excess stress, excessive weight loss and conflict may even be to blame. Additionally, some medications and narcotics are often associated with this condition. Amenorrhea can naturally occur after discontinuation of oral contraception, however, it can only last for a few months. If it lasts for over six months after discontinuation , this disorder cannot connected to the pill use.

What are the Symptoms of Amenorrhea?

The absence of menstruation is the primary sign associated with amenorrhea.

However, depending upon the actual cause of the amenorrhea, other symptoms might also be present.

Symptoms include

  • Acne
  • Pelvic pain
  • Excessive facial hair
  • Changes in vision
  • Hair loss
  • Headache
  • Absence of menstruation
  • Milky discharge from the nipples

Amenorrhea Causes

Amenorrhea can occur as a result of natural causes, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. Certain hormonal contraception, such as contraceptive pills, injections, implants and intrauterine devices, can also cause periods to stop.

Other medications are known to stop periods too.

Some types of the following medications might cause amenorrhea as a side effect:

  • Allergy medications
  • Antidepressants
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Chemotherapy

Sometimes amenorrhea can occur due to lifestyle factors. Very low body weight can cause hormonal disruption in the body which might cause periods to stop. Extreme exercise regimes can lead to low body fat and extreme energy expenditure which could cause amenorrhea. Finally, stress can impact hormonal balances which can stop regular menstruation.

In some cases, amenorrhea occurs as a result of underlying medical conditions which cause hormone imbalances, such as:

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Underactive or overactive thyroid
  • Tumor on the pituitary gland
  • Early menopause

It’s also possible for structural problems with the sexual organs to cause amenorrhea, such as:

  • Scarring on the uterus
  • Lack of reproductive organs due to problems in fetal development
  • Obstruction of the vagina, such as a membrane or wall, which blocks menstrual bleeding

How is Amenorrhea Treated?

In order to resolve amenorrhea, the underlying cause has to be pinpointed and treated.

When conflict, stress, or an unhealthy lifestyle are to blame, decreasing stress levels and finding a balance between rest, recreation, and work may help regulate menstruation. For some women, contraceptives or hormone therapies could work on restarting the menstrual cycle again. If amenorrhea is caused by pituitary or thyroid disorders, medications might be administered to treat those conditions. In the event that a structural blockage or a tumor is the cause of amenorrhea, surgery might be required to remove the blockage.

Amenorrhea Prevention

Amenorrhea which is caused by underlying medical conditions or problems with the sexual organs cannot be prevented, but there may be treatments available to alleviate the root cause and allow normal, regular menstruation.

In instances of amenorrhea which is caused by lifestyle factors, prevention may be possible. Those who have a very low body weight should try to gain weight until they reach a normal BMI to reduce their risk. If the low weight occurred as a result of another condition, such as anorexia, bulimia or depression, this issue should be treated first.

Athletes should take great care to ensure they maintain a healthy body weight and minimize stress while following an intense exercise regime. Frequent assessments with a doctor and regular blood tests might help to pinpoint any physical warning signs that the body is under undue stress in order that lifestyle factors can be changed before amenorrhea begins.

Finally, those who struggle with stress should visit their GP or consider seeking out therapy to help them cope with their stress levels. Meditation, moderate exercise and good sleep hygiene are all examples of tactics which could be used to prevent stress.