Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. Secondary amenorrhea occurs when you’ve had at least one menstrual period and you stop menstruating for three months or longer.
Secondary amenorrhea usually isn’t harmful to your health. Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual bleeding in a woman who had been menstruating but later stops menstruating for three or more months in the absence of pregnancy, lactation (production of breast milk), cycle suppression with a systemic hormonal contraceptive.
Several factors are responsible for secondary amenorrhea.
A hormonal imbalance is the most common cause of secondary amenorrhea. A hormonal imbalance can occur as a result of an overactive thyroid gland, low estrogen levels and high testosterone levels. Hormonal birth control can also contribute to secondary amenorrhea.
Conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to the growth of ovarian cysts.
Scar tissue that forms due to pelvic infections or multiple dilations and curettage (D and C) procedures can also prevent menstruation.
This surgical procedure is often used to remove excess tissue from the uterus. It’s also used to diagnose and treat abnormal uterine bleeding.
Body weight can affect menstruation. Emotional stress is another possible cause of secondary amenorrhea. Your body may respond to extreme stress by disrupting your normal menstrual cycle.
Amenorrhea is a symptom of an underlying disorder rather than a condition in and of itself. Additional symptoms may be present depending on the associated condition.
- Milky nipple discharge
- Hair loss
- Vision changes
- Excess facial hair
- Pelvic pain