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Isn’t it a cause of concern when Aunt Flo decides to disappear for months for no reason. It can be really worrisome for all of us if our period doesn’t visit on time. While it’s true that every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, some have shorter periods, while others have longer periods — but if you have missed your period for more than two or three months, it is a matter of concern.
In case of missed periods, the panic alarms are sure to start ringing. That prolonged cycle could immediately make you think that you are in trouble and something is going wrong with your health. So if you aren’t getting your periods even though you’ve been through puberty, aren’t pregnant, and haven’t gone through menopause then you might be dealing with Amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea is not a disease and not even a condition of the irregular period. It is the absence of a menstrual cycle for a prolonged period of time. There are two types of amenorrhea:
1. Primary amenorrhea: Primary amenorrhea can be described as a failure to reach menarche.
2. Secondary amenorrhea: Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of three or more periods by a woman who has previously had periods.
Dr Surabhi Siddhartha, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, Mumbai, says this condition can be temporary or permanent. But in most cases, it can be treated.
Amenorrhea is often a sign of another health issue rather than a disease itself, that can happen for many reasons. But primary amenorrhea and secondary amenorrhea have different causes.
Let’s first understand what causes primary amenorrhea:
Certain conditions such as Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), or underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), tumour in the pituitary gland causes hormonal fluctuations that can cause primary amenorrhea and other menstrual irregularities.
“Did you know that issues like uterine scarring can also invite amenorrhea as it will prevent normal buildup and shedding of the lining of one’s uterus. If there is any kind of obstruction in the vagina then this can be problematic as it can lead to primary amenorrhea,” says Dr Siddhartha.
Chromosomal or even genetic issues with ovaries (the female sex organs that hold the eggs) can lead to primary amenorrhea.
1. Chemotherapy and radiation can lead to secondary amenorrhea or the absence of a period.
2. Pregnancy and breastfeeding, menopause, using contraceptives can also make cause this condition.
3. Other causes are stress, certain medications, obesity, low weight, poor nutrition, or any chronic illness that can be worrisome as one can experience secondary amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea is reversible with treatment. Some treatment options require a change in your diet and in your lifestyle. Moreover, these are some ways to manage amenorrhea:
Obesity is one of the causes of secondary amenorrhea. So if you are overweight then you have to lose weight with the help of diet and exercise because being overweight can affect your menstrual cycle.
Changes in the menstrual cycle are mainly a result of hormonal imbalance which can be treated by hormonal therapy. So if you’re dealing with Amenorrhea, you will have to take hormonal therapy as suggested by the doctor.
Stress is a big enemy of your menstrual cycle. It can lead to hormonal imbalance which can impact your cycle negatively therefore you will have to de-stress by doing yoga or meditation.
If you’ve been suffering from this condition, or if you have missed your periods 3-4 times then do not delay anymore and seek immediate medical attention.