Learn About Amenorrhea

What is the definition of Amenorrhea?

Absence of a woman's monthly menstrual period is called amenorrhea.

Primary amenorrhea is when a girl has not yet started her monthly periods, and she:

  • Has gone through other normal changes that occur during puberty
  • Is older than 15
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What are the alternative names for Amenorrhea?

Primary amenorrhea; No periods - primary; Absent periods - primary; Absent menses - primary; Absence of periods - primary

What are the causes of Amenorrhea?

Most girls begin their periods between ages 9 and 18. The average is around 12 years old. If no periods have occurred when a girl is older than 15, further testing may be needed. The need is more urgent if she has gone through other normal changes that occur during puberty.

Being born with incompletely formed genital or pelvic organs can lead to a lack of menstrual periods. Some of these defects include:

  • Blockages or narrowing of the cervix
  • Hymen that has no opening
  • Missing uterus or vagina
  • Vaginal septum (a wall that divides the vagina into 2 sections)

Hormones play a big role in a woman's menstrual cycle. Hormone problems can occur when:

  • Changes occur to the parts of the brain where hormones that help manage the menstrual cycle are produced.
  • The ovaries are not working correctly.

Either of these problems may be due to:

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Chronic or long-term illnesses, such as cystic fibrosis or heart disease
  • Genetic defects or disorders
  • Infections that occur in the womb or after birth
  • Other birth defects
  • Poor nutrition
  • Tumors

In many cases, the cause of primary amenorrhea is not known.

What are the symptoms of Amenorrhea?

A female with amenorrhea will have no menstrual flow. She may have other signs of puberty.

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What are the current treatments for Amenorrhea?

Treatment depends on the cause of the missing period. Lack of periods that is caused by birth defects may require hormone medicines, surgery, or both.

If the amenorrhea is caused by a tumor in the brain:

  • Medicines may shrink certain types of tumors.
  • Surgery to remove the tumor may also be needed.
  • Radiation therapy is usually only done when other treatments have not worked.

If the problem is caused by a systemic disease, treatment of the disease may allow menstruation to begin.

If the cause is the bulimia, anorexia or too much exercise, periods will often begin when the weight returns to normal or the exercise level is decreased.

If the amenorrhea cannot be corrected, hormone medicines can sometimes be used. Medicines can help the woman feel more like her friends and female family members. They can also protect the bones from becoming too thin (osteoporosis).

Who are the top Amenorrhea Local Doctors?
Highly rated in

Mass General Brigham

Pediatric Endocrine Associates

55 Fruit St 
Boston, MA 2114

Madhusmita Misra is an Endocrinologist and a Pediatrics doctor in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Misra has been practicing medicine for over 35 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Amenorrhea. She is also highly rated in 12 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Amenorrhea, Obesity, Obesity in Children, and Osteoporosis. She is licensed to treat patients in Massachusetts. Dr. Misra is currently accepting new patients.

Highly rated in
Reproductive Medicine
Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cooper Institute For Reproductive Hormonal Disorders In Melrose Park

7447 Old York Rd 
Melrose Park, PA 19027

Jerome Check is a Reproductive Medicine specialist and an Obstetrics and Gynecologist in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. Dr. Check is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Amenorrhea. He is also highly rated in 11 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Amenorrhea, Infertility, Mittelschmerz, and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. He is licensed to treat patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Dr. Check is currently accepting new patients.

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Highly rated in
Sports Medicine

Sports Medicine Division

319 Longwood Ave 
Boston, MA 2115

Kathryn Ackerman is a Sports Medicine specialist and an Endocrinologist in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Ackerman has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Amenorrhea. She is also highly rated in 2 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Amenorrhea, Osteoporosis, Low Testosterone, and Malnutrition. She is licensed to treat patients in Massachusetts. Dr. Ackerman is currently accepting new patients.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Amenorrhea?

The outlook depends on the cause of the amenorrhea and whether it can be corrected with treatment or lifestyle changes.

Periods are not likely to start on their own if the amenorrhea was caused by one of the following conditions:

  • Birth defects of the female organs
  • Craniopharyngioma (a tumor near the pituitary gland at the base of the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Genetic disorders

You may have emotional distress because you feel different from friends or family. Or, you may worry that you might not be able to have children.

When should I contact a medical professional for Amenorrhea?

Call your provider if your daughter is older than 15 and has not yet begun menstruating, or if she is 14 and shows no other signs of puberty.

Primary amenorrhea
Normal uterine anatomy (cut section)
Absence of menstruation (amenorrhea)
What are the latest Amenorrhea Clinical Trials?
Prospective Multicentric Study Estimating the Interest of a Vaginal Swab in Detection of Placental Alpha-Microglobulin-1 (Partosure®) in the Prediction of Preterm Birth
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Follow-up During the Peripubertal Period of Preterm Children (Under 35 Weeks of Amenorrhea) Included in the EPIPOD Protocol : Evaluation of Insulin Resistance and of Neuropsychological Development
What are the Latest Advances for Amenorrhea?
Effectiveness and safety of KunXian capsule for the treatment of IgA nephropathy.
Aggressive giant prolactinoma: a case report.
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Case report: Birth achieved after effective ovarian stimulation combined with dexamethasone in a patient with resistant ovary syndrome.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: June 08, 2020
Published By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Bulun SE. Physiology and pathology of the female reproductive axis. In: Melmed S, Auchus RJ, Goldfine AB, Koenig RJ, Rosen CJ, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 17.

Lobo RA. Primary and secondary amenorrhea and precocious puberty: etiology, diagnostic evaluation, management. In: Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Lentz GM, Valea FA, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 38.

Magowan BA, Owen P, Thomson A. The normal menstrual cycle and amenorrhoea. In: Magowan BA, Owen P, Thomson A, eds. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 4th ed. Elsevier; 2019:chap 4.