The term amenorrhea refers to the absence of the period. This happens to most women once in their lifetime. It can have different physical and mental causes. Physicians distinguish two types of amenorrhea:
- Primary amenorrhoea: menstruation has not started by the end of the 16th year
- Secondary amenorrhea: the period lasts for several months in women who have had it regularly
A complex hormonal system controls the female menstruation, the menstrual period. If this system does not work as it should, amenorrhoea can be the result. It may or may not be a sign that something is wrong. Normal and natural, for example, is a missed period after menopause or during pregnancy, breastfeeding and before puberty.
If all this is not the case and the woman still does not get her days or for a long time, this can have different causes. For example, a primary amenorrhoea may be due to a hormonal disorder (eg overproduction of male hormones, Kallmann's syndrome), malformation of the genitals (such as Turner syndrome) or ovarian dysfunction.
Secondary amenorrhoea: causes
A secondary amenorrhoea can have physical as well as psychological causes. These include, for example:
- Competitive sport. If women permanently put a high load on their body, the period may be missed.
- Metabolic diseases. They affect the hormones, which can alter the cycle (eg, hypothyroidism) and lead to amenorrhea.
- Medications. Various remedies such as those for hypertension, cancers and hormone preparations and psychotropic drugs can affect and interrupt female menstruation.
- Birth control pills. Amenorrhoea after stopping the pill is also possible. If the bleeding lasts for several months to a year, doctors in this (rare) case speak of a post-pill amenorrhea.
- Underweight, overweight, weight fluctuations. They all affect the body's own hormonal system and can unbalance it.
- In addition, amenorrhoea can be caused by stress or mental disorders such as depression.
An amenorrhoea can be distressing, especially if the woman in question wishes to have a child. In most women, the ovaries do not release an egg, which means that there is no ovulation. And only then is a pregnancy possible. But even if it is hard to say how long amenorrhoea will last, it is usually a phenomenon that passes. An amenorrhea does not mean that the woman is infertile!
However, it is important that the woman has a medical check-up, why her period is missing. Then the doctor can initiate appropriate therapy steps to have the rule reinstated.
If the rule stops, it can have many causes. According to a variety of amenorrhea therapy options. The attending physician must first determine why the period has expired. This is done by means of a patient interview (anamnesis), a physical examination, a pregnancy test and often also by means of hormone analyzes or possibly imaging procedures.
The doctor then adjusts the treatment to the determined trigger. For hormonal causes, he can treat the amenorrhea by medication (eg, hormone donations), during stress, a relaxation course or talks with a psychotherapist can help.
What you can do yourself
You too can do a lot to get your menstruation going again. For example, take regular breaks and rest periods, learn to meditate, and look for a healthy, stable body weight and nutrition. Anyone wishing to try herbal remedies for amenorrhea treatment (initially or in addition to traditional medical therapy) can try it with chaste tree. It is also used for rule complaints and should have a cycle-stimulating effect. But first discuss it with your gynecologist to avoid side effects or interactions.