Do You Miss Your Period ?
The menstrual cycle can be affected by many internal factors. Factors such as hormonal levels changes, prolonged stress, illness, as well as external or environmental factors. Missed period is rarely a sign of a serious problem or an underlying medical condition. However, longer duration of missed period may be a symptom of of a disease or chronic condition. Amenorrhea is a medical term for the absence of menstrual periods.
This is when period is absent during the reproductive years . It is characterized by absence of menstruation for one or more menstrual periodic months during the reproductive years which is between puberty and menopause. It is not a disease, also not a symptom of infertility. However, it can be a sign of a health problem that needs some attention. Around puberty, menstruation begins, and then it normally occurs about once a month until the age of 50 years or beyond. At this time, periods stop altogether, as menopause begins.
- Primary amenorrhea
This is when menstruation does not begin during puberty that is, woman had never menstruated. It is a condition when a young lady has not had her first menstruation before age 16.
- Secondary amenorrhea:
This is occurs when a woman who has had normal menstrual cycles missed monthly period for 3 or more months.
Causes of Amenorrhea
Common cause of missed periods in young females is sometimes overlooked or misunderstood by the individual
- Primary Amenorrhea
- Genetic and anatomical cause: This is majorly caused by genetic and anatomical dysfunction. Genetic cause includes
- Absence of ovary; this lead to anovulation resulting to absence of menstruation.
- Gonadal dysgenesis: a congenital developmental condition of the reproductive system in which the ovaries are prematurely depleted of follicles and oocytes (egg cells), resulting to premature failure of the ovaries
- Turner’s syndrome: it is a chromosomal disorder in which women are lacking all or part of one of the two X chromosomes normally present in the female. This results in minimal hormonal production for menstruation.
- Hormonal imbalance
The normal menstrual cycle is under the influence of levels of hormones. Gonadotropin releasing hormone produced and secreted by the hypothalamus gland which is located in the brain. Gonadotropin releasing hormone then acts on pituitary gland to release two hormones; follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone. These two hormones act on the ovaries which signal for the release of oestrogen and progesterone which are responsible for menstruation.
2. Secondary Amenorrhea
- Pregnancy: this is the process of carrying growing fetus which is a major cause of secondary amenorrhea.
- Hormonal dysfunction
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Ashermans syndrome
- Chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
- Medications e.g. oral contraceptive pills, psychotropic drugs
- Excessive weight gain or weight loss
- Depression or other psychiatric disorders
- Recreational drug abuse
- Excessive stress
- Excessive exercise
The main symptom of amenorrhea is the absence of monthly period.
Diagnosis for Amenorrhea
- Regular physical examination
- Pelvic examination.
- Pregnancy test for secondary amenorrhea.
Treatment options for this condition vary. It depends on the underlying cause. It includes;
- Lifestyle changes reducing weight, consumption of balanced meal.
- Physical activity
- Management of stress.
- Use of hormonal contraceptives pills.
- Surgery, which is not common but may be required.
Amenorrhea can be a symptom of infection, however seeking prompt medical attention is the best when experienced. You can always check with a doctor at eDokita. eDokita is a Health Technology Organisation with health professionals in providing health services to you at your own convenience. Talk to your eDokita. https://api.whatsapp.com/send?phone=09060002544