Amenorrhoea is a symptom that describes the cessation of menstrual periods for any reason from pregnancy to stress and menopause. The term applies in two conditions: primary and secondary amenorrhoea.

Primary amenorrhoea describes someone who has never had a menstrual period. This is the case for people who have developmental or hormonal condition such as Turner’s syndrome, androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) or hermaphroditism.

Secondary amenorrhoea refers to women who has previously had a normal menstrual cycle but for any reason has ceased for at least three months.  The most common cause is through pregnancy, but it can also occur to breastfeeding women, menopause or may be drug related. A cessation of menstrual periods occurs through some contraception methods. Menstrual cycles can also be disrupted due to heavy exercise, stress or weight loss (such as through eating disorders like anorexia nervosa). This is because these events cause changes in the level of hormones that are normally used to regulate the menstrual cycle. For this reason, diet and the intake of vitamins and minerals required for a healthy productive body is also a factor that can influence the menstrual cycle.

Treatment for amenorrhoea varies based on the cause for the condition and therefore relies on an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional.

Amenorrhoea from the Greek words: a = negative, men = month, rhoia = flow

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