How we declare someone Amenorrhic (having amenorrhea)

There are varieties of menstrual irregularities and disturbances but they all have their own management according to signs and symptoms and patients condition. One of them is called Amenorrhea.

In this post, we’ll learn various types of amenorrhea and how to declare or know if someone has amenorrhea.

Causes of Amenorrhea

The most common cause of amenorrhea in females in the age of fertility is pregnancy. Other causes leading to amenorrhea include hormonal disturbances in females, issues with reproductive organs of the females or the glands that regulate the hormones. Treating the underlying cause in those patients usually resolves the amenorrhea in those females.

Types of Amenorrhea

Amenorrhea in simple definition is defined as absence of menstrual bleeding periods. Which means that the female isn’t having regular menstrual cycle or bleeding. But to be precise, there are two main type of amenorrhea:


1. Primary Amenorrhea

Primary amenorrhea is a condition in which the menstrual periods didn’t start at all in the developing female. This means that the female never had any periods since her birth and thus no menstrual bleeding till date, even if she has reached the age of puberty.

When we label someone having Primary Amenorrhea?

When declaring some one to be primary amenorrhic (having primary amenorrhea) there are two criteria:

  1. If secondary sex characters are present: Absense of manstrual bleeding till 16 years of age.
  2. If secondary sex characters are absent: Absense of menstrual bleeding till the age of 14.

2. Secondary Amenorrhea

Secondary amenorrhea is a condition in which the menstrual bleeding started to occur in a female but they stop at some age in the women’s life (before the age of menopause).

Some gynecologists state that if a female misses three periods in a row she’s amenorrhic.

When is someone labelled having Secondary Amenorrhic?

There are following criteria for labelling some one for being secondarily amenorrhic (having secondary amenorrhea)

  1. In a female with history of regular menstrual bleeing periods in past: No manstrual bleeding for three months.
  2. In a female with history of irregular menstrual bleeing periods in past: No manstrual bleeding for nine months.

Some gynaecologists consider six months to be a cut off value to label a girl / lady to be having secondary amenorrhea irrelevant to their past gynaecological history.

Signs and Symptoms of Amenorrhea

Obviously, the main sign of amenorrhea is the absense of 3 or more menstrual periods or never having the periods till the age of 15. However patients experiencing amenorrhea may have following symptoms along with it too:

  • Abnormal milky discharge from the nipples
  • Headache
  • Changes in vision
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive facial hairs
  • Pain in pelvis
  • Acne

It’s important to consult the doctor if you’re experiencing any abnormal symptoms. Go to the hospital specially if you’ve missed around 3 periods in a row or haven’t started menstrual bleeding by the age 15. The doctor would evaluate you and possibly run few tests. Most issues are easy to be fixed when diagnosed early.

There are various causes, signs and symptoms and management plans for these conditions which need to be discussed in a separate article.

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