In today’s time, your lifestyle plays a pivotal role in your fertility; from what you eat to how you live and what you think impacts the fertility in both males and females. In females these conditions can lead to amenorrhea. In literal terms amenorrhea means absence of menstrual cycle which can be due to hormonal imbalances or some medical problems. It occurs in females during the childbearing age who fails to menstruate. Women who missed at least 3 menstrual cycles in a row have amenorrhea.
Absence of periods is a major sign of amenorrhea but the other signs or symptoms along with it are milky nipple discharge, loss of hair and vision, headache, excess facial hair, pain in pelvic area and sometimes acne.
Do see your doctor if you have 3 missed periods in a row or you are 15 year and older and has no periods. Amenorrhea can occur for a number of reasons. Some are normal during the course of a woman’s life, while others may be a side effect of medication or a sign of a medical problem.
- Hormonal Imbalances which includes:-
- Polycystic Ovary syndrome or PCOS where you have multiple cysts characterized by irregular menstrual cycle, overweight and facial hair etc.
- Undiagnosed and untreated thyroid can cause irregular menstruation like amenorrhea.
- Pituitary tumor where there is an abnormal growth of cells. The tumor which occurs in the pituitary gland known as pituitary tumors. Such type of tumors are non- cancerous can cause hormonal imbalances and impairs the normal function of normal pituitary gland.
- Premature menopause where the ovaries are not functioning properly and stop producing eggs or produce very few eggs for years are characterized as premature menopause.
- Endometriosis is a medical condition which affects female reproductive organs. It occurs in lower abdomen, or pelvis and experiences lower abdominal pain,
- Regular usage of Contraceptives: women who take birth control pills may not have periods. Even after stopping oral contraceptives, it may take some time to get back on the regular ovulation and menstruation return. Contraceptives may cause amenorrhea.
- Natural amenorrhea: women may experience amenorrhea for natural reasons too such as during pregnancy, while breastfeeding and of course during menopause.
- Lifestyle factors:-
- Low body weight causes hormonal imbalances leads to amenorrhea sometimes.
- Excessive or heavy exercise can disturb the menstrual cycle.
- Stress automatically leads to amenorrhea due to disturbances in your brain that controls the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle.
By Dr. Shweta Goswami Medical Director of Zeeva Fertility Clinic and Sr. Consultant IVF from Jaypee & Cloudnine Hospital, Noida