The Little Amenorrhea Guide: Causes and Symptoms
Amenorrhea is a medical term used to describe the absence of one or more missed menstrual periods in women. Women who continuously miss at least 3 menstrual periods in a row suffer from amenorrhea. If you ignore the early amenorrhea symptoms, you may end up facing a serious disease.
It occurs in women who have started menstruating but later do not menstruate for 3 or more months. It may be because of menopause, pregnancy, while they are breastfeeding or because of hormonal contraceptives. Here are some of the major causes and symptoms of amenorrhea to be aware of:
There are various reasons why women do not have periods. Some of them are normal causes and others are the side effects of poor lifestyle, certain medications or medical problems. The normal causes of missed menstrual periods are pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. The other causes include:
- There are other causes like problems with the reproductive organs. These problems lead to problems in a woman’s regular menstrual cycle. This can include problems with the glands like pituitary glands, which make the ovaries produce hormones responsible for a woman’s menstruation system.
- Women on contraceptives may not have periods, and may even take some time to start menstruating after stopping the pills. This is because the woman’s body may need some time to get adjusted to hormone changes in the body so that you can start getting periods as usual. Not only do oral contraceptives lead to amenorrhea, the injected type can cause amenorrhea.
- Some medications including antidepressants, allergy medications, cancer chemotherapy and blood pressure drugs can stop menstruation too.
- Lifestyle changes can also lead to amenorrhea. Low body weight, about 10% lower than the normal weight affects the body’s hormonal functions and can stop woman’s periods. Even women suffering from eating disorders where they eat too much or too little may stop getting periods because of unusual hormonal changes in their bodies.
- Athletes participating in activities requiring rigorous training and high energy expenditure and those with low body fat can also end up with irregular menstrual cycles.
- Stress can temporarily affect the functioning of glands which control the body’s hormone levels while menstruating. This can lead to the woman not menstruating for some time. However this is not permanent, and the woman usually gets regular menstrual periods once the stress reduces.
- Many medical problems like PCOS lead to an imbalance in the body’s hormone levels wherein the woman stops menstruating.
- Even problems with sexual organs can cause amenorrhea in some women.
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The main symptom of amenorrhea is obviously the absence of menstrual periods. In addition to this, and based on the cause, there may be other symptoms like hair loss, headache, a milky discharge from the nipples, acne, vision changes and pelvic pain.
Some women may start getting more facial hair. In some cases, the woman may also suffer from vaginal dryness, disordered sleep, hot flashes or night sweats.
Amenorrhea is not a permanent disorder and can be easily treated. Many women refrain from consulting their doctor if they do not get their periods for 3 or more months, thinking it is because of a pregnancy. As there are so many other causes of amenorrhea, do consult your doctor if you or anyone you know suffers from irregular periods.
Womenosophy does not provide any professional medical advice. The information mentioned above is provided for educational purpose only.