Amenorrhea - Absent Menstruation
IntroductionAmenorrhea is a medical term that means the absence of menstruation. Amenorrhea is considered a symptom and not a disease because it usually results from another condition. There are numerous reasons for a missed period for females that are not pregnant, lactating, or in menopause. Most of the conditions that cause amenorrhea respond to treatment.
SymptomsThe primary symptom of amenorrhea is no menstrual period. Primary amenorrhea is characterized by no first menstrual period by the age of 16. For females that have menstruated, secondary amenorrhea is characterized in as no periods for six months or longer. Females with secondary amenorrhea may experience other symptoms that are associated with the underlying cause of amenorrhea.
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or computed tomography (CT) may be done of your head if your doctor suspects that you may have a pituitary tumor. A pelvic ultrasound, laparoscopy, or hysteroscopy may be used to reveal structural abnormalities in your reproductive organs. An ultrasound creates images by using sound waves. A technician or your doctor will simply place a small conduction device on your skin. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that allows your doctor to view your pelvic cavity. It involves inserting a thin tube with a lighting device through a small incision in you abdomen. A laparoscopy is an outpatient test that uses general anesthesia. A hysteroscopy uses a viewing instrument that is inserted through your vagina and cervix to examine the inside of the uterus.
Am I at RiskYoung females who have not experienced their first period by the average age of 12 may be at risk for amenorrhea. Females that have menstruated and exercise excessively and use hormone supplements or have low body fat, low body weight, or obesity have an increased risk of amenorrhea.
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The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on April 13th, 2016. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.