Amenorrhea refers to the absence of menstrual cycle. It can be classified as primary and secondary. In primary amenorrhea, girls do not start menses till 15 years of age. Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menses (by 3 cycles) in women who have had periods previously.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and Risk Factors of secondary amenorrhea

  • Birth control pills may lead to amenorrhea. Sometimes, even after stopping the pills, periods may not resume.
  • Medication used to treat cancer, blood pressure, depression and sometimes allergy can cause amenorrhea.
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome often causes amenorrhea.
  • Growth in the pituitary, hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can all lead to amenorrhea.
  • Women who have a family history of amenorrhea are more prone to it.
  • High intensity exercise with lack of nutritious food can also cause it.


  • Inability to conceive
  • Miscarriage after conception
  • Mental stress


Diagnosis includes a pelvic exam and tests to check on other normal developmental changes. The tests prescribed may include hormonal tests, pregnancy test, thyroid function and ovary function test. After getting the results of these tests, an ultrasound or MRI may be needed.


Hormonal disorders and thyroid issues can be treated with medicines. However, a tumour may necessitate surgery.


  • Following a healthy lifestyle
  • Eating nutritious food
  • Exercising
  • Stress reduction
  • Keeping track of periods and noting any irregularity

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