Know Everything about Amenorrhea: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments

Know Everything about Amenorrhea: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments

What Is Amenorrhea and How It Affects Menstruating Women? 

In medical terms, amenorrhea is the missing of one or more menstrual periods in menstruating women. It generally has two types—primary and secondary amenorrhea. In the former, a girl has delayed menarche, which is her first period. In the latter, a girl or a woman misses her period for three consecutive months or above.

There can be several reasons behind the cease of menstruation. It does not at all indicate that a woman is infertile or there is something seriously wrong with her. But it is extremely important to take care of menstrual health and hygiene for a healthy and happy life.

At Wonderize, we understand the importance of menstrual health for a woman. In this blog post, we have discussed the types, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of amenorrhea.

Types of amenorrhea

As discussed above, there are two types of amenorrhea and we discuss those in detail here.

1. Primary amenorrhea: In this condition, menstruation does not start during puberty. The condition is rare and in the United States, it affects less than one percent of individuals. However, the incidence of primary amenorrhea in India is many times higher compared to the US. As per a study, 11.1 percent of adolescent girls who complained of menstrual disorders had primary amenorrhea.

2. Secondary amenorrhea: In this condition, menstruation starts but stops occurring for a certain time. Though this is normal during breastfeeding or pregnancy, it can be diagnosed with some tests. In the US, it is estimated to affect about four percent of women in their lifetime. In a community-based study of Indian women, 20.3 percent complained of amenorrhea whereas 4.7 percent were found to have the condition on examination. Also, 22.4 percent were found to have oligomenorrhea.

Symptoms of amenorrhea

The absence of a menstrual period is the main symptom of amenorrhea. Secondary symptoms can include:

> Nausea
> Headache
> Loss of vision
> Hair loss
> Facial hair
> Changes in breast size
> Pelvic pain
> Acne and pimples


Causes of amenorrhea

> Early menopause or family history of amenorrhea
A genetic defect such as Turner syndrome
Severely underweight or overweight
Poor diet or eating disorder
Heavy exercise
Excessive stress
Chemotherapy and radiation treatment
Thyroid or pituitary gland
Hypothalamic disease


Diagnosis of amenorrhea

Amenorrhea can be diagnosed by several methods. Below are some tests that are effective in diagnosing the condition.

> Physical test: A pelvic check or a general physical test can show signs of puberty.

> Thyroid function test: In this, the doctor will test the amount of thyroid-stimulating hormone in the blood and determine if the thyroid is working properly.

Ovary function test: This test determines if the ovaries are working properly by measuring the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone in the blood.

Prolactin test: This test determines the levels of the prolactin hormone in the body. A low level of prolactin hormone may indicate a tumor in the pituitary gland.

Imaging test: This uses ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to check for any anomalies in the tissues or reproductive organs.

Male hormone test: This test determines the level of testosterone, or male hormones, in the body of a girl or woman. The test is recommended if a person has a low-pitch voice or prominent facial hair.

Female hormone test: This test determines the level of estrogen, or female hormones, in the body of a woman or girl.


Treatment of amenorrhea

Here are some treatment methods of primary and secondary amenorrhea: 

1. Good diet: In case the person is habituated to taking an unbalanced and unwholesome diet, a well-balanced diet of nutritious and wholesome food will help.

2.Stress alleviation: If the person suffers from mental or emotional stress, psychotherapy and counseling can help.

3. Lifestyle factors: If the person is obsessive about their fitness regimen, then a change of diet and exercise plan can improve the condition. Apart from that, sufficient rest, relaxation, and recreation can improve lifestyle and make one feel good.

4. Hypoactive thyroid: A hypoactive, or underactive, the thyroid can affect menstruation and cause it to stop. To reactivate the thyroid, the treatment can include a thyroid hormone known as thyroxine.

5. Polycystic ovary syndrome: This hormonal disorder causes ovary inflammation with the formation of small cysts on the outer edges. If polycystic ovary syndrome has resulted in excessive weight gain, then doctors may prescribe some medications and a weight-loss diet.

6. Premature ovary failure: In this condition, the ovaries fail to release eggs or produce normal amounts of estrogen hormone regularly. In this case, hormone replacement therapy can resume menstruation.


7. Menopause: It is the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles and fertility. It begins around the age of 50 but is even seen in women of the age of 40 years.


Finally, it may be concluded

Amenorrhea is not a disease and it does not mean that a woman is infertile. Most people who suffer from the condition get their monthly periods back after simple treatments and lifestyle changes. Though there is no need to panic after missing periods for a certain duration, one should not take it lightly. If a woman misses her regular periods for at least three consecutive months, or irregular periods for six months in a row or more, then it is extremely crucial to consult with a doctor.