Amenorrhea is defined as the absence of menstruation. This is normal before puberty (puberty normally occurs by age 14), after Menopause, and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is considered abnormal at any other time in a woman’s life. This article shares the possible causes for amenorrhea at times in a female’s life when it is considered abnormal.
Amenorrhea causes are multiple and range between ovary problems and anorexia. Anovulation is a main cause of amenorrhea as well as other problems like tumors, cysts or fibroids. Endocrinal problems are also very frequent causes of amenorrhea. These problems can be of a multitude of types. Lack of menstrual periods can also be determined by problems like bulimia, anorexia, excessively low body weight, anxiety, depression, stress. Women who practice sports or who have constant intense physical activity might suffer from amenorrhea. There can be many other factors that determine amenorrhea, but the bottom line is that absence of a menstrual period is not a disease in itself, but a signal that something else is wrong in the body. Once the real cause of amenorrhea is discovered and solved, the menstrual periods will become regular again.
There are many reasons for amenorrhea to occur
- Stress: Stress levels can affect the hypothalamus which in turn controls the hormones production. When the hormones balance is disturbed, amenorrhea can occur.
- Contraceptive Pills: Intake of contraceptive pills can cause this condition. It may take months for the periods to start after giving up the contraceptive pills. These pills cause suppression of menses.
- Breast Feeding: During breastfeeding, it may happen, that ovulation takes place, but periods do not.
- Pregnancy: The primary reason is pregnancy. When the egg is fertilized, it is implanted in the uterus lining, therefore the uterus does not shed its lining and periods do not occur.
- Obesity: Like weight loss, obesity to causes hormonal imbalance.
- Medications: Certain medications like anti-depressants or steroids can cause amenorrhea.
- Weight loss: Sudden and drastic weight loss disrupts the hormonal balance.
- Thyroid: Thyroid issues like underactive thyroid condition, known as hypothyroidism can also result in irregularities.
- Scarring: Scaring of the uterine lining could be another reason.
Treatment will vary depending on what is causing the condition. A physician may prescribe hormone replacement therapy to initiate menstruation. Eating, or exercise disorders may be treated with counseling or therapy. Normal menstruation should resume when underlying conditions or conflicts are resolved.
Certain tests and examinations like blood tests, pregnancy test, physical examination, pelvic examination, imaging tests and laparoscopy can detect the cause of amenorrhea. The treatment depends on the cause of the condition. Treatment can be done to achieve relief from the symptoms. In cases of abnormalities and genetic disorders, surgery may have to be performed to correct the condition.
Amenorrhea is also known as a symptom of an underlying disorder in the body system. Depending on the condition of Amenorrhea the symptoms can vary from lactation in a non-pregnant lady to hot flushes. Common symptoms are headache or visual disability which could be a sign of the presence of a tumor in the cranium, increased growth of hair which could be a sign of increased level of androgen hormone in the body, hot flushes, vaginal dryness, disordered sleep resulted by ovarian failure, considerable weight gain or loss and excessive stress and anxiety associated with disorder in the psychological process.
Amenorrhea treatment could be diversified depending on the underlying disorder causing it. In case of malnutrition induced by improper dieting can be repaired by having a balanced diet. In case of overweight patients intake of fat should be controlled and body weight should be brought down to an ideal level. If the excessive workout is the cause of Amenorrhea then bring down your exercising schedule to a moderate level. Attending distressing programs in case of excessive stress and anxiety and avoiding conflict can help restore normal menstruation. Lastly living a healthy life and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help you avoid Amenorrhea to a large extent. Give up smoking and avoid drinking to get rid of these complications.
Women who are suffering from this condition and wish to get pregnant may receive treatment of assisted reproductive technologies and administration of gonadotropin medications. Many herbal therapies are also available for the treatment of amenorrhea.
Treating amenorrhea depends on it main cause. If the woman does not want to conceive further, the treatment is unnecessary. If it is medication induced, one should stop taking those medications. The amenorrhea specialist doctor diagnoses such a condition by doing a blood test to test the hormone levels. A pelvic examination and ultrasound may be conducted.
If a girl is over 14 years of age and menstruation has not begun or if a female’s menstrual cycle ceases for unknown reasons, it is best to seek a consultation with an amenorrhea specialist doctor.