What causes amenorrhea?
Primary amenorrhea can be caused by the following:
- Problems with the hypothalamus, which is an area in your brain that interacts with your pituitary gland to regulate your menstrual cycle
- Abnormal chromosomes
- Pituitary disease, which affects the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located just under the brain and helps regulate your menstrual cycle.
- An obstruction of the vagina, such as a membrane that is blocking menstrual flow
You may develop secondary amenorrhea due to:
- Use of oral or injected contraceptives, such as birth control pills or Depo-Provera
- Certain types of medicine, such as antidepressants, chemotherapy medicine and antipsychotics
- Extremely low body weight
- A problem with the thyroid, which is another gland that produces hormones that have an effect on menstruation
- Regular strenuous exercise, like long distance running, especially if body fat is low
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff