Amenorrhea: When Missing Periods Can Be Abnormal

amenorrhea or absence of periods

Your period, your faithful monthly guest, has suddenly disappeared. No blood, no cramps – NOTHING. Before you panic and imagine the worst Hollywood scenario, let's take a deep breath and investigate. Amenorrhea (yes, that's the scientific term for the absence of periods) could well be the culprit behind this sudden disappearance. ️‍♀️

But behind this barbaric word hide incredible secrets! Surprise pregnancy, crazy stress, hormones on vacation in Ibiza... the reasons for amenorrhea are as numerous as they are surprising.

So, are you ready to unravel the mystery and find your menstrual cycle? Dive with us into this fascinating investigation and discover what's really going on behind the scenes in your body!

What is amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea refers to the absence of periods in a woman of childbearing age. She may be primary, if a teenage girl has never had her period by the age of 16, or secondary, if a woman who had regular cycles stops having her period for more than three months.

This condition is normal during pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause. Apart from these cases, it can indicate a malfunction and requires an assessment to determine the cause.

The different types of amenorrhea

Amenorrhea, a medical term for the absence of menstruation, manifests itself in two distinct forms, each with its own implications and causes.

  • Primary amenorrhea : This form of amenorrhea refers to the absence of the start of menstruation in young girls beyond the expected age, usually between 11 and 14 years old. The reasons can be diverse, ranging from genetic disorders to hormonal abnormalities, or even malformations of the genital organs. Often this indicates incomplete development of the reproductive organs or a disruption in the hormonal network.
  • Secondary amenorrhea : Unlike primary, secondary amenorrhea occurs in women who have previously had regular menstrual cycles, but experience an interruption of their periods for three months or more. Triggers include hormonal imbalances, excessive stress, or medical conditions such as endometriosis.

    What are the symptoms of missed periods?

    Besides missed periods, symptoms associated with amenorrhea may include:

    • Mood swings
    • Weight gain
    • A sleep disorder
    • Abdominal pain
    • Acne
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue
    • Personalized vaginal discharge unusual
    • A decrease in sexual desire

    Although all the symptoms mentioned above can indicate amenorrhea, it can actually be other medical conditions, such as hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, chronic diseases such as diabetes, gynecological diseases such as endometriosis and ovarian tumors or hormonal contraceptives.

    Investigation into the causes and risk factors for missing periods

    cause lack of menstruation

    The causes of amenorrhea are as numerous as they are surprising, and some of them may be hidden behind unsuspected risk factors.

    Why did your period decide to take a break?

    • Hormonal changes related to puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
    • Chronic stress.
    • Malnutrition or obesity.
    • Certain medications, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, or oral contraceptives.
    • Certain diseases, such as hypothyroidism or endometriosis.
    • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia.
    • Hormonal disorders, including excessive or insufficient production of estrogen.
    • Intensive practice of sport or overwork.

    What type of contraception can cause a missed period?

    Certain contraceptive methods can actually play a role in missing periods. We explain which ones and how!

    The hormonal culprits

    • Pills, patches, vaginal rings and implants : These contraceptives deliver hormones that regulate ovulation and thicken cervical mucus, which can prevent sperm from meeting the egg. As a result, menstrual bleeding, which has become unnecessary, may stop completely or become very light.

    Please note: This is not a pregnancy! This absence of periods is a normal and reversible effect of hormonal contraception.

    • Hormonal IUD: Just like the hormonal contraceptives mentioned above, some IUDs release hormones that can cause amenorrhea.

    Advantage: fewer rules, fewer worries! 🩸

    Permanent solutions

    • Tubal ligation : This method of female sterilization blocks the passage of eggs to the uterus, making periods useless. Amenorrhea is therefore an expected side effect.

    Reminder: a total or partial withdrawal this sterilization is definitive.

    In short, missing periods can be a normal, reversible side effect of some contraceptive methods. If this worries you, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor.

    What are the treatments for amenorrhea?

    If the absence of rules bothers you, know that solutions exist!

    The first step is a medical consultation. Your doctor will assess the cause of your amenorrhea and offer you the treatment best suited to your situation.

    Depending on the diagnosis, options may include:

    • Adjustment of contraception: If your hormonal contraception is the cause of amenorrhea, your doctor may suggest changing your method or dosage.
    • Hormone therapy: In some cases, hormonal therapy may be necessary to regulate hormones and restore periods.
    • Treating the underlying problem: If amenorrhea is due to another medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder or polycystic ovarian syndrome, treating that condition can also help restore periods.
    • Psychological support : Stress can also affect the menstrual cycle. If you suffer from stress or anxiety, therapy can help you manage these emotions and get back into a regular cycle.

    How to prevent the absence of periods?

    To prevent amenorrhea, it is recommended to:

    • Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly: it can help maintain a healthy weight and regulate hormone levels.

    • Reduce your stress level: Stress can disrupt hormone levels and cause menstrual disruption. It is therefore important to manage stress through relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing and yoga.

    • Limit the consumption of chemicals and processed foods: Consuming chemicals and processed foods can disrupt hormone levels and cause menstrual disruption.

    • Avoid excessive physical activity or exertion: Exercise is important for health, but excessive physical activity or overexertion can cause hormonal disruptions

    By adopting good lifestyle habits and immediately reporting any suspicious symptoms, you will significantly reduce the risk of suffering from amenorrhea.

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    The articles on the site contain general information which may contain errors. These articles should in no way be considered as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions or doubts, always make an appointment with your doctor or gynecologist.

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