Everything About Amenorrhea: Definition, Symptoms, Causes and Support
Primary, secondary or hypothalamic Amenorrhea is a tough diagnosis; especially if you are trying to conceive. Know which herbal supplements, natural hormone.
Your menstrual cycle will usually begin during puberty, and you’ll have periods throughout your life. Some people may have irregular periods for various reasons. When menstruation isn’t regular, there could be underlying health problems. Amenorrhea, which means no periods at all, is defined as the absence of menstruation in women of reproductive age. About 2-5% of women in the United States have this condition. This can be caused by both physiological and psychological factors, with some of the most common primary causes being pregnancy and menopause.
The most common cause of secondary amenorrhea is pregnancy. However, there are many other potential causes. Treatments will differ depending on the underlying cause of amenorrhea. In this article, we’ll explore these and other primary causes of amenorrhea as well as how to treat them effectively.
What Is Amenorrhea?
Amenorrhea is the medical term for the absence of menstrual periods in women of reproductive age. It can be a side effect of certain medications, such as birth control pills, or it can be caused by conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. Amenorrhea can also be due to lifestyle factors, such as excessive exercise, low body weight or sudden weight loss. In some cases, amenorrhea may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, such as pituitary tumors or eating disorders. If you are experiencing amenorrhea, it is important to see your doctor to determine and treat the cause appropriately, when possible.
What Are The Symptoms Of Amenorrhea?
Amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual bleeding. Women with amenorrhea may have no obvious symptoms other than the absence of menstrual periods. However, some women with amenorrhea may experience other symptoms that are tied to underlying problems causing or stemming from it, such as:
- Pelvic pain
- Headaches or vision changes (due to decreased estrogen levels)
- Hot flashes or night sweats (due to decreased estrogen levels)
- Loss of interest in sex (due to decreased estrogen levels)
- Acne (due to increased testosterone levels)
- Hirsutism (abnormal hair growth on the face, chest, and back due to increased testosterone levels)
What Causes Amenorrhea?
There are many possible causes of amenorrhea, including:
- Use of birth control pills, injections, or patches
- Excessive exercise
- Eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa
- Polycystic ovary syndrome / disorder (PCOS/PCOD)
- Premature ovarian failure
- Thyroid disorders
- Pituitary tumors
- Underweight or overweight
- Uterine scar tissue
What Kinds Of Amenorrhea Are There?
There are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary. Let’s take a closer look at each:
1) What is Primary Amenorrhea?
Primary amenorrhea is the delayed onset of menstruation in girls who have otherwise developed normally sexually. In other words, it’s when a girl hasn’t started her period by age 16.
This can be due to problems with the uterus, ovaries, or hormones. The uterus is the muscular organ where a baby grows during pregnancy. The ovaries are the organs that make eggs and hormones. Hormones are chemicals that control how different parts of the body work. Most of the time, primary amenorrhea is caused by problems with the patient’s hormones. This can happen if the pituitary gland does not make enough of the hormone that controls menstruation (gonadotropin). It can also happen if the ovaries do not respond to gonadotropin.
In some cases, primary amenorrhea is caused by problems with the uterus or vagina. These problems can prevent menstrual blood from flowing out of the body. Primary amenorrhea can also be caused by genetic conditions, such as Turner syndrome or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Treatments for primary amenorrhea depend on the underlying cause. If hormonal problems cause primary amenorrhea, treatment may include taking medication to help stimulate menstruation but these only cause bleeding and do not actually help ovulation. Also, they are dangerous. If primary amenorrhea is caused by a problem with the vagina or uterus, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. In some cases, no treatment is necessary. For example, if primary amenorrhea is caused by Turner syndrome, no treatment is currently available to stimulate menstruation. However, there are treatments available to manage associated health conditions.
2) What is Secondary Amenorrhea?
Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual periods in a woman who has previously had normal menstrual cycles. It is defined as the absence of menses for more than 90 days in a row.
The cause of secondary amenorrhea may be due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, or a variety of other conditions. It sounds ridiculous but pregnancy is registered as the most common cause of secondary amenorrhea, and periods usually return to normal once the pregnancy ends. Breastfeeding can also cause secondary amenorrhea, as prolactin, the hormone responsible for milk production, suppresses ovulation. Menopause is another common cause of secondary Amenorrhea, and periods will usually cease permanently once a woman has reached menopause. There are also a variety of other conditions that can cause secondary amenorrhea, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disorders, eating disorders, and certain medications. Secondary amenorrhea is generally not a cause for concern unless other underlying health issues exist.
If the cause of secondary amenorrhea is due to a medical condition, such as PCOS or thyroid disorder, medical treatments are usually offered but we do not concur. It is absolutely necessary to correct the underlying problem. If the cause is due to an eating disorder, treatment will focus on restoring a healthy weight and addressing any psychological issues. Changing the medication or removing it altogether such as birth control pills that cause hormone confusion and imbalance. One example is that it is difficult for progesterone to win over progestins (BCPs) once they have been introduced. In most cases, no treatment is necessary or even successful if going the chemical route. Many women, who are not trying to become pregnant and without other underlying health issues, simply take the time to heal naturally through diet and lifestyle changes, which can significantly affect PCOS through promoting insulin sensitivity. Destressing can also make a huge difference for many.
What Is Hypothalamic Amenorrhea?
Hypothalamic amenorrhea (HA) is a type of amenorrhea that occurs when the hypothalamus, a small region at the base of the brain, doesn’t signal the pituitary gland to release certain hormones needed for ovulation and menstruation.
How Is Amenorrhea Diagnosed?
Amenorrhea is diagnosed based on a woman’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam may be done to look for signs of an underlying medical condition. Blood or saliva tests may be done to check hormone levels and thyroid function and to rule out pregnancy. Imaging tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI, may be done to look for a mass or tumor.
Can You Get Pregnant With Amenorrhea?
If you have amenorrhea, you may wonder if getting pregnant is possible. The answer is yes, but it’s less likely if you have primary amenorrhea. If you have secondary amenorrhea, it’s possible to get pregnant if you ovulate (release an egg from your ovary). However, it’s more difficult to become pregnant with secondary amenorrhea because you may not ovulate as often. If you’re trying to conceive, there are many healthful, natural options. First determine the cause of your amenorrhea in order to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
What Is The Difference Between PCOS And Amenorrhea?
PCOS, or polycystic ovary syndrome, is a condition that can cause amenorrhea. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can cause missed or irregular periods and other symptoms such as excess hair growth and acne. However, not all women with PCOS will have amenorrhea. In fact, many women with PCOS have regular periods. In order to be diagnosed with PCOS, a woman must have at least two of the following three symptoms:
- Irregular or absent periods
- Elevated levels of androgens (male hormones)
- Polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound
Amenorrhea can also be caused by other conditions, such as thyroid disorders, premature ovarian failure, and pituitary tumors.
What Supplements Help Amenorrhea?
1) Fertile Balance Progesterone Cream
To maintain a healthy pregnancy, it is important to have the right balance of progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones work together to support the embryo’s development and ensure a healthy pregnancy. However, many women experience an imbalance of these hormones, which can lead to problems such as miscarriage or premature labor. Birth control pills are often prescribed to help correct this imbalance, but they can also have harmful side effects.
Fertile Balance Progesterone cream is a safer and more natural way to maintain the proper balance of hormones during pregnancy. This unique formula is designed to boost declining hormone levels, that might otherwise cause miscarriage and premature labor. Furthermore, this cream is applied directly to the skin, which is absorbed into the bloodstream and helps regulate hormone levels. Preventing miscarriage is a multifaceted subject but since low progesterone often plays a key role in its cause, it is safe to say that bio-identical progesterone cream may provide help when miscarriage and premature labor are due to low progesterone.
2) Cycle Balance Natural Progeterone Oil
Cycle Balance Natural Progesterone Oil is a progesterone oil that delivers 5 mg of progesterone per pump. It is helpful because progesterone has a balancing effect when estradiol is out of balance on certain follicular days. Sometimes just a little bit of progesterone is enough to offset estrogen which is competing with other key hormones in this part of the cycle. Progesterone is an essential, naturally occurring hormone that helps balance estrogen levels in the body. Estrogen is responsible for the development of female sexual characteristics and reproductive function. However, too much estrogen can lead to a variety of problems, including weight gain, mood swings, and PMS. By delivering a small amount of progesterone on certain days, Cycle Balance Pro may help you to keep estrogen levels in check and reduce the frequency and severity of these symptoms.
3) DIM 150
DIM 150 is a supplement that contains diindolylmethane (DIM), a compound found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. DIM has been shown to have a number of benefits, including the ability to balance hormone levels. In particular, DIM can help to level out the hormone estrogen. This is important because high estrogen levels can lead to various problems, such as weight gain, mood swings, PCOS, miscarriage, infertility and PMS. By reducing high levels of estrogen in the body, DIM can help to alleviate these symptoms and keep hormone levels balanced while helping to normalize testosterone and progesterone levels as well.
4) Chrysin Plus with DIM
Chrysin Plus with DIM is a dietary supplement that may help women who are struggling with amenorrhea. Chrysin is an herbal extract that helps to lower estradiol levels, and DIM is a compound found in cruciferous vegetables that helps to balance estrogen hormones. Together, these two ingredients can help to restore normal hormone levels and bring about the return of menstruation. Furthermore, this supplement also contains Swedish flower pollen extract, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall health. We highly recommend this supplement for women who are struggling with amenorrhea.
What Herbs Help Amenorrhea?
An amenorrhea sufferer will likely seek out any and all possible remedies, including herbal remedies. There are many different herbs that have been traditionally used to help those with amenorrhea. Some of the most popular include:
1) Dong Quai (Angelica Sinensis)
Dong Quai has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to address a variety of gynecological conditions, including amenorrhea. It is thought to balance hormones and stimulate blood flow to the uterus. Also, Dong Quai is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which can help reduce the inflammation that may be present in the uterine lining in amenorrhea sufferers.
2) Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus)
Chasteberry is another popular herbal remedy for amenorrhea. It is considered to balance hormones and help the body to ovulate more regularly. Chasteberry is also believed to improve progesterone levels, which can be low in women with amenorrhea.
3) Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus)
Red raspberry leaf is a well-known tonic for the uterus. It can help tone the uterus muscles and support the uterine lining. Red raspberry leaf is also a rich source of vitamins and minerals, which can help restore the body’s nutrient levels.
4) Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
Black cohosh is an herb that has been widely used for a variety of gynecological concerns, including amenorrhea. It is thought to help balance hormones and reduce inflammation. Black cohosh is also believed to have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can be helpful in reducing stress levels.
5) Maca (Lepidium meyenii)
Maca is a Peruvian root vegetable that has been traditionally used to increase energy and stamina. It has also been linked to improved fertility and hormone balance. Maca is thought to help the body adapt to stress, which can help reduce the levels of stress hormones present in amenorrhea sufferers.
While there is no definitive evidence that any of these herbs are effective in treating amenorrhea, many women have reported positive results from using them. If you are interested in trying an herbal remedy for amenorrhea but unsure where to start, consider speaking with an herbalist, kinesiologist or naturopath first. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action and make sure that you are taking safe and effective herbs.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with amenorrhea, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. There are many different causes of amenorrhea, and each one will require a different course of treatment. By understanding the different causes and treatments for amenorrhea, you can take the first steps toward getting your cycles back on track. Have you been diagnosed with amenorrhea? This is the first step to getting better.