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1797 Pitkin Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11212

347-955-3465

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1797 Pitkin Avenue

Brooklyn, NY 11212

347-955-3465

24/7 Customer Support

Amenorrhea (Absence of Period)

Amenorrhea (Absence of Period)

• Amenorrhea refers to the absence of menstrual periods. It may be either primary; a woman never developed menstrual periods. Or secondary; absence of menstrual periods in a woman who was previously menstruating.
• Genetic or inborn conditions are the most common causes of primary amenorrhea.
• Amenorrhea may result from disorders of the ovaries, Pituitary gland, hypothalamus, or uterus.
• Intensive exercising, extreme weight loss, physical illness, and stress can all result in amenorrhea.
• Amenorrhea is a symptom and not a disease in itself. Therefore amenorrhea can only be prevented to the extent of that the underlying cause.
• Infertility and possible bone loss (osteoporosis) are complications of amenorrhea.
• Treatments may include surgical correction of anatomical abnormalities, medications or hormone therapies, and treatment of any underlying conditions responsible for amenorrhea.
• The outlook for amenorrhea varies according to the cause of the amenorrhea.

What causes amenorrhea?

The normal menstrual cycle occurs because of changing levels of hormones made and secreted by the ovaries. The ovaries respond to hormonal signals from the pituitary gland located at the brain’s base, which, in turn, is controlled by hormones produced in the hypothalamus of the brain. Disorders that affect any component of this regulatory cycle can lead to amenorrhea. However, a common cause of amenorrhea in young females sometimes overlooked or misunderstood by the individual and others, is an undiagnosed pregnancy. Amenorrhea in pregnancy is a normal physiological function. Occasionally, the same underlying problem can cause or contribute to either primary or secondary amenorrhea. 

Primary amenorrhea

Primary amenorrhea is typically the result of a genetic or anatomic condition in young females that never develop menstrual periods (by age 16) and is not pregnant. Many genetic conditions characterized by amenorrhea are circumstances in which some or all of the internal female organs either fail to form during fetal development or fail to function appropriately. Diseases of the pituitary gland and hypothalamus (a region of the brain that is important for the control of hormone production) can also cause primary amenorrhea since these areas play a critical role in regulating ovarian hormones. Gonadal dysgenesis, a condition in which the ovaries are prematurely depleted of follicles and oocytes (egg cells), leads to premature failure of the ovaries. It is one of the most common causes of primary amenorrhea in young women. Another genetic cause is Turner syndrome, in which women lack all or part of one of the two X chromosomes usually present in the female. In Turner’s syndrome, the ovaries are replaced by scar tissue, and estrogen production is minimal, resulting in amenorrhea. Estrogen-induced maturation of the external female genitalia and sex characteristics also fails to occur in Turner syndrome. Other conditions that may be causes of primary amenorrhea include androgen insensitivity (in which individuals have XY (male) chromosomes but do not develop the external characteristics of males due to a lack of response to testosterone and its effects), congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Secondary amenorrhea

Pregnancy is a prominent cause of amenorrhea and is the most common reason for secondary amenorrhea. Further causes are varied and may include conditions that affect the ovaries, uterus, hypothalamus, or pituitary gland.
Hypothalamic amenorrhea is due to a disruption in the regulator hormones produced by the hypothalamus in the brain. These hormones influence the pituitary gland, which in turn sends signals to the ovaries to produce the characteristic cyclic hormones. Many conditions can affect the hypothalamus:
• extreme weight loss,
• emotional or physical stress
• rigorous exercise, and
• severe illness.

Other types of medical conditions can cause secondary amenorrhea:
• tumors or other diseases of the pituitary gland that lead to elevated levels of the hormone prolactin (which is involved in milk production) also cause amenorrhea due to the elevated prolactin levels;
• hypothyroidism;
• elevated levels of androgens (male hormones), either from outside sources or from disorders that cause the body to produce too high levels of male hormones;
• ovarian failure (premature ovarian failure or early menopause);
• polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); and
• Asherman’s syndrome, a uterine disease that results from scarring of the uterine lining following instrumentation (such as dilation and curettage) of the uterine cavity to manage postpartum bleeding or infection.

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER:

By reading this website, you acknowledge that you are responsible for your own health decisions. The information throughout this medical website is not intended to be taken as medical advice. The information provided is intended for general information regarding our multi-specialty clinic in Brooklyn and the best OBGYN Brooklyn Services. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact our Gynecologist Brooklyn specialist for a personal consultation. Avoid worrisome self-diagnosis, the best urogynecology doctors will properly diagnose your problem and refer you to a GYN Brownsville specialist if necessary. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition.