What is Amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea is absence of menstrual period (one or more menstrual periods) in a woman. Amenorrhea is of two types, primary amenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea. Normally a female starts menstruating before age of 16 years and when a female do not have first menstrual period by the age of 16 years, it is called primary amenorrhea. Secondary amenorrhea is amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) in a female who is already menstruating. Amenorrhea is symptom and not a disease. Symptom of amenorrhea is generally not due to any serious underlying disease. But for a woman stopping of menstruation for some unknown reason can be frustrating and waiting for menstrual period to start (except in case of pregnancy) may not be easy, even if the underlying cause is not serious.

In case of amenorrhea, if the root cause can be diagnosed, treatment of the root cause generally resolves the symptoms of absence menstrual period in most of the cases, except few cases of primary amenorrhea where it may not be possible to establish normal menstruation.

In most cases secondary amenorrhea is most commonly due to pregnancy, if the woman is healthy and sexually active, although there are several other causes of secondary amenorrhea.

Symptoms of amenorrhea:

Symptom of amenorrhea is obviously the absence of normal menstrual period. In case of secondary amenorrhea the menstrual period should be absent for three months or more. For diagnosis of secondary amenorrhea period should be absent for three to six moths or more.

In secondary as well as primary amenorrhea, depending on the cause of amenorrhea, there may be other associated symptoms such as headache, growth of excessive hairs (known as hirsutism) in some particular areas of the body, change in vision etc.

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