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Amenorrhoea Definition

Amenorrhoea, a term derived from the Greek “a”=negative, “men”=month, “rhoea”=flow, is a condition wherein a female does not experience a menstrual period. Amenorrhoea is also a symptom of various causes. For women where menstrual cycles never start, a condition called primary amenorrhoea, the condition may be caused by several developmental problems such as failure of ovaries to maintain or receive eggs cells as well as congenital absence of one's uterus. Delay in a female's pubertal development may also cause primary amenorrhea. Secondary amenorrhoea, wherein menstruation cycles cease, is usually caused by hormonal problems from the pituitary gland and hypothalamus. This can also occur when a female experiences premature menopause and intrauterine scar formation.

Amenorrhoea Treatment

Treatments for amenorrhoea vary on a case-to-case basis. For women with low estrogen levels, estrogen therapy may be used, while those with key issues may need surgical correction. Treatments are not needed if a woman has no plans of having biological children, especially if the cause of amenorrhoea is not life threatening. The best way to cure athletic amenorrhoea is to reduce the amount of exercise. On the other hand, drug-induced amenorrhoea can be cured by stopping medication on doctor's advice.

Amenorrhoea Types

Two types of this condition include “exercise amenorrhoea” and “drug-induced amenorrhoea”. In exercise amenorrhoea, women who perform too much exercise regularly are at risk of developing the condition. For many years, doctors believed that low levels of body fat and exercise-related chemicals can disrupt sex hormones. However, new studies have shown that the body composition and hormonal levels in patients with amenorrhoea are the same as normal women. Instead, women with amenorrhoea have low energy availability since women who exercise extremely do not have enough calories to maintain normal menstrual cycles. Exercise amenorrhoea can cause severe bone loss, which could result in osteopenia and osteoporosis. However, intervention and awareness can prevent this condition to occur in female athletes. Sports at high risk of causing exercise amenorrhoea include ballet, swimming, cycling, cross country, rowing, diving, track and field, gymnastics, figure skating and other strenuous sports. In drug-induced amenorrhoea, various medications such as contraceptives can induce amenorrhoea in healthy women. The lack of menstrual periods begins after starting the medications, which could last up to a year after stopping the medications.

Drugs used for treatment of Amenorrhoea


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