Amenorrhoea is the failure to menstruate and it is usually described as being primary or secondary.

Primary Amenorrhoea is the failure to begin menstruation by the age of 16 and the usual cause is the late onset of puberty. There are many reasons why puberty may be delayed, but the most common reason is due to a disruption between the ovaries and pituitary gland, this is because a girl needs to reach a critical weight before the body will trigger puberty.

Seondary Amenorrhoea occurs when a woman stops menstruation for at least three months after she has already been having a more normal menstrual cycle. The most obvious reason for a woman to stop having periods is because she is pregnant, but other things can trigger it such as:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Excessive Dieting/Sudden and Rapid Weight loss
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Tumours (not necessarily malignant)
  • Stress
  • Chronic Diseases (such as with the thyroid)
  • Anaemia
  • Shock
  • Some Tranquilisers and Anti-depressants
  • Stopping the contraceptive pill may cause the normal cycle to be disrupted
  • Ovarian failure before the age of 40
  • Damage to the pituitary gland
  • Haemorrhage in childbirth

Of course Amenorrhoea is permanent after the menopause has taken place.

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