Amenorrhea – the absence of menstruation — can happen during puberty or later in life. Primary amenorrhea describes a condition in which you haven’t had any menstrual periods by age 16. Secondary amenorrhea occurs when you were previously menstruating, but then stopped having periods. Pregnancy may be your first thought if you miss a period, but there are many possible explanations for absence of menstruation. A sign, not a disease, amenorrhea seldom results from a serious condition. However, not knowing why menstruation has stopped can be stressful, and waiting for it to recur may feel like a lifetime. But don’t hit the panic button. With a little investigation into your medical history and an accurate description of what you’re experiencing, you and your doctor can usually get to the root of the problem. Treating the underlying problem can resolve amenorrhea.
The main indication that you might have amenorrhea is that you don’t have menstrual periods. Here’s what to look for in primary and secondary amenorrhea:
- Primary amenorrhea. You have no menstrual period by age 16.
- Secondary amenorrhea. You have no periods for three to six months or longer.
Depending on the cause of amenorrhea, you might experience other signs or symptoms along with the absence of periods, such as milky nipple discharge, headache, vision changes, or excessive hair growth on your face and torso (hirsutism).
When to seek medical advice
For primary or secondary amenorrhea, consult your doctor if:
You’ve never had a menstrual period, and you’re age 16 or older.
You’ve previously menstruated, but have missed three or more periods in a row.
Lifestyle and home remedies
The best way to avoid an interruption in your menstrual cycle is to maintain a healthy lifestyle:
- Make changes in your diet and exercise activity to achieve a healthy weight.
- Strive for a healthy balance in work, recreation and rest.
- Assess areas of stress and conflict in your life. If you can’t decrease stress on your own, ask for help from family, friends or your doctor.
Be aware of changes in your menstrual cycle and check with your doctor if you have concerns. Keep a record of when your periods occur. Note the date your period starts, how long it lasts and any troublesome symptoms you might experience.
Talk to your mother, sister or other close female relatives. Has anyone else in your family had a similar problem? Gathering this information can help your doctor determine what’s causing your amenorrhea. Amenorrhea may cause anxiety, but by working with your doctor, you can determine the cause and find ways to regulate your cycle.
Integrative Medicine Treatment Options
We combine the best of conventional medicine with the best of complementary and alternative therapies to give you optimal results.
Here are some options we use at Alliance Integrative Medicine LOCATED IN Cincinnati, Ohio
- Medication, Herbal Therapies and Supplements
- Energy Healing
- Mind/Body Relaxation Techniques
Our amenorrhea patients come to us from Hyde Park, Loveland, Westchester/Liberty Township, Mason and Indian Hill as well as Reading, Springdale, Terrace Park, Blue Ash, Finneytown and from all over the United States.