Overview

Most teens suffer problems with menstrual periods. Amenorrhea is a condition that affects the regular menstrual periods of teens. If the girls experience an absence of menstrual periods for more than three months in her menstrual cycles, the condition is referred to as “Amenorrhea”. There are two main types of amenorrhea- primary and secondary.

Primary Amenorrhea: It will be lifelong and may be there from the beginning. In primary amenorrhea, menstruation never begins at the time of puberty.

Secondary Amenorrhea: It can be due to some physical causes. This condition develops in the later stages. The menstrual cycles which have been regular becomes abnormal and irregular from a point of time. Sometimes, menstrual cycles may be absent.

Causes

Amenorrhea can occur due to various causes such as:

  • Abnormal ovulation: Irregular and infrequent menstruation can be a result of abnormalities in the ovulation process.

  • Pregnancy: Menstruation stops temporarily during pregnancy as they don’t ovulate when pregnant.

  • Eating disorder: Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia will result in overweight and will make it difficult to keep up a pregnancy. As a result, the reproductive system shuts down to protect the severely malnourished body.

  • Strenuous exercise or over exercise: Low body fat content due to over exercise may cause absent menstrual cycles.

  • Thyroid disorder: Absent menstrual cycles can even be a result of hypo/hyperthyroidism. Fluctuations in the thyroid hormone levels are the main cause for this.

  • Obesity: Excess fat cells in obese women may prevent the process of ovulation.

Diagnosis

The gynecologist or the health care provider will check the medical history and go through a physical examination (including pelvic examination) during the first stages of diagnosis. A girl/woman will be suggested to go for a diagnosis for amenorrhea if she misses 3 continuous menstrual cycles.

Treatment

Treatment will be determined based on the following factors:

  • Age of the individual.

  • Severity of the condition

  • Cause of the condition(if primary or secondary)

  • The individual’s resilience to certain medications, procedures or therapies.

  • Opinion or preference of the individual.

Common treatment options for amenorrhea will include:

  • Hormone treatment such as progesterone supplements

  • Ovulation inhibitors or oral contraceptives

  • Dietary changes

  • Calcium supplementation (for reducing bone loss)

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