The absence of menstruation during any cycle of life is amenorrhea. If a adolescent has not started their period by the age of 16, this is considered primary amenorrhea; for those that have not had a period for 3 or more months that is considered secondary amenorrhea. The is usually no serious cause to secondary amenorrhea and is more common than primary. For example, pregnancy is a cause of secondary amenorrhea. Depending on the cause of amenorrhea, women can experience additional conditions, such as, headache, vision changes, excessive hair growth on the face and/or torso, and a milky discharge from their nipples.
Don't think that getting rid of your period as a good thing because there is a downside. Bone density loss and the increased risk of osteoporosis could be a major concern, especially is you experience amenorrhea for more than 3-4 months. Get adequate calcium, magnesium and vitamin D and talk to your doctor about how to maintain your bone health.
Weight training is another way to help maintain bone density. Contact me today to get started!
For primary amenorrhea, the cause is usually unknown but could possibly include dysfunction of the ovaries, abnormal formation of the reproductive organs and problems with the pituitary gland and/or brain and the central nervous system. There are far more contributing attributes to secondary amenorrhea such as, the use of contraceptives, breast-feeding, stress, medication (e.g. antidepressants, anti-psychotics, some chemotherapy drugs), chronic illness, hormonal imbalance, poly cystic, ovary syndrome, low body weight, excessive exercise, thyroid dysfunction (hypothyroidism), pituitary tumor, scars on the uterus (due to Caesarean section or uterine fibroids), and premature menopause.
Prevention and Treatment:
If you are experiencing amenorrhea, you should go see a gynecologist to determine the cause. Amenorrhea is not a disease but a sign, so treatment involves addressing the underlying issues. Your doctor may recommend a hormone evaluation and/or complete physical examination. Determine if its hypothyroidism or hormonal balance, with natural supplements (I carry the FemMED line) or if stress reduction and improved nutrition are needed, can go a long way to correcting amenorrhea.
- Calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. You need to protect yourself against bone loss, no matter what the cause of the amenorrhea is, by taking these bone-sustaining supplements. Recommended doses: calcium-1,000mg daily, in divided doses; magnesium, 500mg in divided doses and 2 hours after calcium; and vitamin D, 400IU daily.
- Caste tree berry. This herb balances prolactin (high prolactin levels are a sign), helps regulate the menstrual cycle, and increases progesterone production. An effective dose is 40 drops of extract in water, taken daily for 6 months.
- Vitamin B6. Please contact me for further information if the above treatments show no significant improvement after 6-8 weeks. I can also provide recipes and more information.
PTS, RHN, OAS
*Natural News (August 6, 2005 article)