Amenorrhoea is the absence of normal menstruation in a woman of reproductive age. It can be primary – meaning that a cycle never started. Or it can be secondary – meaning that the woman has previously experienced a menstrual cycle, but for some reason it has stopped.
Primary amenorrhoea can be caused by the congenital lack of a uterus, for example, but as secondary amenorrhoea is far more common, we’ll look at that now.
What can cause secondary amenorrhoea and what can this cause?
Secondary amenorrhoea is diagnosed after 3 absent cycle in a previously regular woman, or longer in a woman with previously irregular cycle. Assuming the cause of a stopped cycle is not due to a pregnancy, some reasons include:
- Eating disorders
- Drug interactions
- Over exercising
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Many women with PCOS have irregular menstrual cycles. This common syndrome is a leading cause of infrequent periods and is known to cause amenorrhoea. This can cause the infertility these woman often struggle with
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