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10 January 2017

Causes for Missed Periods or Amenorrhea

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Written by Dr. Weena Krutsawad
Amenorrhea or long missed periods can affect the menstrual cycle to a large extent. Here are some causes of amenorrhea and how menstruation is affected by it.

Amenorrhea or long missed periods can affect the menstrual cycle to a large extent. Here are some causes of amenorrhea and how menstruation is affected by it.

Amenorrhea is a condition means an abnormal absence of menstruation cycles that comes monthly or simply long time missed periods. There are various reasons that could lead to amenorrhea be it genetic, physiological, hormonal or deteriorating health or malnutrition. There are certain ways in which you can try to regularize delayed menstruation cycle on monthly basis. This condition of amenorrhea or irregular periods is broadly classified into two main categories:  primary amenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea.

What is primary amenorrhea: Primary amenorrhea is a medical condition in young adolescent girls or teenage girls those who have not yet experienced their first menstrual period cycle up till the age of 16 years, that is, even after hitting puberty age.

1. Underdeveloped sexual organs: In some conditions or cases a genetic damage or defect during fetal development could lead to the medical condition of amenorrhea in young girls and teenage girls. Malfunctioning of ovaries or poorly dysfunction of reproductive organs can come in the way of menstruation. A reproductive defect in the reproductive system could mean that some part of the system like the cervix, uterus or the vagina didn’t form properly to function at their respective time, and that's the reason why a physiological process of menstruation cycle didn’t take place at the right time.

2. Problems in the central nervous system:  A malfunctioning of the pituitary gland, which controls most of the hormonal functions of your body can delay the period cycle or mess up one’s menstrual period cycle. In addition to this, an injury to the brain or the spinal cord could also be a big reason for primary amenorrhea condition in young girls.

Secondary amenorrhea: This medical condition of Amenorrhea is linked up with women who suffer from long time missing periods due to some gynecological problems, complications of medications, malfunctioning of the glands or hormonal disturbance in the body. Secondary, amenorrhea is also been seen in women who had been menstruating normally and now suffers from missing periods for a long time due to the other medical condition mentioned here:

Natural causes of missing periods: The time when missing period seems normal that is during:

1. Pregnancy: During pregnancy phase, the fetus develops and grows inside the womb of the woman, which simply means that the uterus lining doesn’t shed out and this prohibits menstruation in women.

2. Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding helps the new mother to delay menstruation. It works as a natural method of family planning by delaying menstruation or period cycle.

3. Menopause: Menopause is the phase between 45-50 years of age that is seen with a total absence of menstruation cycle.

Gynecological problems: Sometimes some health conditions can also disrupt normal menstrual periods and  become a cause of secondary amenorrhea in women

1. PCOS/PCOD: Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a lifestyle condition that affects ovulation and chances of conceiving. In this condition of PCOS, the woman’s body produces more androgens than usual, which gives rise to fluid-filled cysts inside the ovaries might be painful sometimes and interferes with the release of the eggs that is needed to fertilization. Women who are suffering from PCOS either suffer from amenorrhea or have irregular periods with unusual bleeding. This medical condition also affects a woman’s fertility vastly. 

Medications and treatments: Missing period or long delayed menses could also be a side-effect of certain medications or an outcome of some medical procedure or treatments, like:

1. Contraceptives: Many women show concern about delayed or missing periods after discontinuing oral birth control pills. Exceptionally, intra-uterine devices can also lead to amenorrhea- primary or secondary. Some medications may also be the concern like antidepressants, blood pressure drugs allergy pills can cause more severe effects.

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