What Causes Amenorrhea?
Periods are an essential part of a female’s reproductive health. When they do not occur, the most common reason can be you are pregnant, if you are sexually active. However, there can be other reasons too.
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation or missing one or more menstrual periods. Amenorrhea can have serious complications and may even cause infertility in some cases.
You must take your periods and their frequency seriously. If you do not get them for more than three months and you are not pregnant, you must visit the healthcare provider soon. To get an expert opinion, you can visit the best gynecologist in Islamabad.
There are two types of amenorrhea.
Primary amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation in someone who has not had a period by age 15. Hormone levels are the most important cause of primary amenorrhea. However, there could be some anatomical or structural problems that can cause amenorrhea.
Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of three or more periods in a row. Secondary amenorrhea happens in someone who has had periods in the past but has now started missing menstrual periods occasionally.
The most common cause of secondary amenorrhea is pregnancy, although problems with hormones also can cause secondary amenorrhea. You must visit the doctor soon if you do not get periods for more than three months.
Amenorrhea can be because by several reasons. Some are physiologically normal, while others may be a side effect of medication or a sign of a medical problem.
Normally, you may experience amenorrhea for a few natural reasons, such as:
People who take oral contraceptives may not have periods. Once you stop taking these pills, it may take some time before regular ovulation and menstruation returns and occurs regularly.
Certain medications can cause menstrual periods to stop, including some types:
Blood pressure drugs
Lifestyle contributes a lot to normal menstruation. Sometimes lifestyle factors contribute to amenorrhea, for instance:
- Low body weight.
If you have excessively low body weight- about 10% under your normal weight — you may have irregular menstruation and, sometimes, amenorrhea. Low body weight interrupts many hormonal functions in the body, potentially stopping ovulation from happening.
Women with any eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia, often stop having periods or may have irregular periods because of these abnormal hormonal changes.
Stress can temporarily alter the functioning of your hypothalamus, an area of your brain that controls the functions of the pituitary gland — the gland responsible for the production of many of the gonadal hormones controlling your menstrual cycles. These irregularities may result in stopping ovulation and menstruation.
Excessive exercise can also cause amenorrhea. Women who take part in activities that require very strenuous exercise and hard work may have irregular menstrual cycles.
Hormonal problems can cause several health complications. Amenorrhea is one of them. One of the most common causes of hormonal imbalance is PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
An overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) or underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) can also cause irregularities in menstruation. If you have any symptoms of thyroid disease, you must visit the healthcare provider soon as it can lead to various complications. And if you have a diagnosed thyroid problem, you must attend follow-up visits with the doctor and take medicines on time.
Menopause in women usually begins at around age 50. If menopause starts at 40 or before, the ovarian eggs decrease in number, and the menstruation stops.
Anatomical or structural problems with the sexual organs, like ovaries, uterus, and vagina can cause amenorrhea. Examples include:
Lack of reproductive organs
Structural abnormality of the vagina
The Bottom Line
Periods are essential for your reproductive health. If they do not happen at the right time, you must consult a healthcare provider. The most common cause of missed periods is pregnancy. However, it can happen due to other reasons as well. Therefore visiting a doctor is a must. To get an expert opinion, you can consult Medicare Cardiac & General Hospital.