The absence of menstrual cycle is also called amenorrhea. The two types of amenorrhea are: primary (when there was no menstrual cycle up to the age of 16) and secondary (when there are no menstrual cycles for 3-6 months, after there were regular cycles).
The amenorrhea should be viewed as a symptom, not as a disease. The first thing you think for sure is “I’m pregnant!”. Nevertheless, you need to know that there are multitudes of reasons that can cause the menstrual irregularities.
An expert’s advice is very important in this situation to investigate and discover the causes of these disorders.
Causes And Symptoms
Primary amenorrhea can be caused by:
- Hormonal imbalances
- Psychiatric disorders
- Eating disorders
- Quick weight loss
- Chronic disease
- Turner syndrome (Turner syndrome – a genetic condition in girls, and it means the lack of an X chromosome in each cell of the body)
- Congenital malformations (the absence of the vagina or uterus)
- Imperforate hymen (the absence of openings that allow a menstrual bleeding)
- Strenuous exercise
An intense exercise can delay the installation of the menstrual cycle. In addition, some drugs such as the antidepressants, tranquilizers, steroids and heroin can induce the amenorrhea.
It is more frequent than primary amenorrhea because there are more causes for it:
- Some medications (antidepressants, chemotherapy)
- Excessive weight loss
- Strenuous physical exercise (sports performance)
- Premature menopause (before the age of 40)
- Ovarian tumors
- Hormonal disorders such as the polycystic ovary syndrome
- Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)
Sometimes when you stop taking birth control pills it is possible to have menstruation delay for 1-2 months.
Identifying the cause of amenorrhea can be a difficult process at times, but first you must begin by conducting a pregnancy test (when the menstruation delayed by 1-3 weeks). The androgen excess, the estrogen deficiency or other endocrine problems should be considered in this particular situation.
In addition, the secretion of prolactin in the blood and the thyroid-stimulating hormone should also be checked.
Methods Of Treatment
The method of treatment is determined according to the cause amenorrhea. In most cases, the primary amenorrhea does not require treatment. The diagnosis is decided after a medical examination, according to the history of disease and the symptoms. The first step of the investigation is eliminating the hypothesis of pregnancy. Then a series of blood tests follow, accompanied by hormone levels and thyroid gland tests.
- The hormonal imbalance can be fixed by the administration of progesterone
- For the polycystic ovary syndrome, the experts often recommend taking birth control pills
- It is indicated for the overweight people lose body weight
- A change in lifestyle (less physical effort and a balanced diet) can be helpful for the young athletes
- The surgical intervention is rarely used, only in the case of genital tract abnormalities or the endocrine diseases
How Can It Be Prevented?
The primary amenorrhea caused by the genital diseases can not be prevented. Although many of the recorded amenorrhea cases can not be prevented, the experts recommend:
- A balanced diet
- Moderate physical activity
- Avoiding stress
- Avoiding tobacco and the stimulant substances
- More rest