Amenorrhea Overview

During childhood and after menopause, there is a natural absence of menses (menstrual period) for females.  Amenorrhea is the term used to describe an absent menstrual bleeding in a woman who is within reproductive age. There are two types of amenorrhea—primary amenorrhea is when a young woman has not had her first period by age 16, while secondary amenorrhea is when a woman who has had normal menstrual cycles suddenly stops getting her period.  Often times, amenorrhea is a symptom of a medical condition and can be successfully treated.

Unlike primary amenorrhea where the cause is still mostly unknown, there are known reasons why a woman might experience secondary amenorrhea.  Some of these causes include pregnancy, breast feeding, certain birth control pills and menopause.  Secondary amenorrhea may also be caused by stress, poor nutrition, extreme weight loss or gain, drug use, depression and hormonal imbalances.

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