As a woman, there are circumstances that you should deal with due to biological disposition—menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, these are one of the few things that a woman’s body would deal with eventually at some point of her life.
However, what if at some point you stopped having your menstruation? Surely it would make you feel anxious right off the bat, right? If you’re here to know what happened to your body which made your period stop, then you stumbled across the right article. Here are the things you need to know about secondary amenorrhea and what you can do about it.
What is Secondary Amenorrhea?
First off, amenorrhea is the absence of your monthly blood discharge. Second, there are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary. Primary is the absence of menstruation and the secondary sexual characteristics of a woman by the age of 14 to 16 (e.g., breast development or pubic hair).
For secondary amenorrhea, it is the absence of a woman’s period when one has at least experienced one menstrual period but has stopped menstruating for three months or longer. There are a variety of factors that contribute to this condition, such as birth control use, certain medications, hormone shots, and lifestyle.
Secondary amenorrhea is not commonly harmful to your health, and it can be treated effectively in most cases. However, to avoid health risks, you must address the underlying conditions that have made you stop menstruation.
What Causes Secondary Amenorrhea?
A woman’s estrogen level rises during a normal menstrual cycle—estrogen is a hormone which is responsible for the sexual and reproductive development in women wherein high estrogen levels causes the lining of the uterus to grow and thicken which then signals your body to release an egg into one of the ovaries.
If the egg isn’t fertilized, it will be torn down which causes estrogen levels to drop. In this case, menstruation will now occur due to the shedding of the thickened uterine lining. However, this process can be disrupted by certain factors which include:
Hormonal Imbalance. This is the most common cause of secondary amenorrhea which might be due to the following:
- Low estrogen level
- High testosterone level
- Overactive thyroid gland
- Pituitary gland tumors
There is also the birth control which contributes to secondary amenorrhea since these drugs disrupt a woman’s hormones which may cause you to miss your period. There’s also medications and treatments to look out for like chemotherapy and antipsychotic drugs which triggers amenorrhea.
Health Issues. This includes PCOS or the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome which causes hormonal imbalances that leads to the growth of ovarian cysts. Ovarian cysts aren’t harmful to one’s health and are noncancerous, but PCOS can cause amenorrhea; thus it is still needed to be addressed.
Another health issue is the multiple dilations and curettage procedures which is a scar tissue due to the infection in the pelvic area. The D and C prevents menstruation because the cervix is dilated and the uterine lining is scraped as a treatment to remove excess tissue from the uterus and abnormal uterine bleeding.
Lifestyle. Lifestyle factors contribute to amenorrhea, especially body weight. Women who are overweight or underweight (less than 15 percent body fat) may stop having menstrual periods. Also, this also affects those athletes who train extensively.
Another lifestyle factors emotional stress. This is due to the responsiveness of the body to extreme stress which causes disruption in one’s normal menstrual cycle. For this, your monthly period will most likely resume once you worked out your emotional tension and anxiety.
Second amenorrhea might not pose a significant health risk to a woman’s body, but the underlying conditions might do so. Thus, it is crucial for you to address this condition if you or your loved one is experiencing this issue. With this said, it is important to look for a reputable gynecologist to seek opinion and medication.
Secondary amenorrhea’s medication and treatments vary, which depends on the underlying causes of your condition. For example, if the reason is hormonal imbalance, then it can be treated with supplemental or synthetic hormones like medroxyprogesterone which can be bought with medroxyprogesterone coupon.
On the other hand, if it is because of your lifestyle, then your doctor might recommend making specific lifestyle changes that are contributing to your condition like managing your weight and physical activity in a healthy manner.