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(āmĕn'ərē`a, əmĕn'–), cessation of menstruationmenstruation,
periodic flow of blood and cells from the lining of the uterus in humans and most other primates, occurring about every 28 days in women. Menstruation commences at puberty (usually between age 10 and 17).
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. Primary amenorrhea is a delay in or a failure to start menstruation; secondary amenorrhea is an unexpected stop to the menstrual cycle. It is caused by dysfunctioning of the pituitary gland, ovaries, uterus, and hypothalamus, by surgical removal of the ovaries or uterus, by medication, or by emotional trauma. The result is an inadequate amount of body fat, calories, and protein to sustain menstruation. Female athletes have a higher than average rate of menstrual dysfunction, particularly amenorrhea, but the long-term effects of the exercise-related disorders are not known. It is also common among anorexics. The lack of estrogen, however, may contribute to the development of osteoporosis. Hormonal deficiencies over prolonged periods of time, particularly in combination with poor diets, may cause luteal phase deficiency and hypoestrogenic amenorrhea, which may last a long time. Methods of treatment include oral contraceptives or estrogen-progestin therapy.



the absence of menstruation. As a physiological phenomenon it is found in girls until the time of sexual maturity, among pregnant and lactating women, and in older women after the climacteric. In all other cases, the condition indicates some form of illness.

A distinction is made between primary amenorrhea, in which no menstruation has ever occurred in the individual, and secondary amenorrhea, in which menstruation previously took place and has ceased. Amenorrhea is associated with disruption of the ripening of the follicle and formation of the corpus luteum; it may be brought on by acute or chronic infection, disease of the endocrine glands, neuro-psychiatric disorders (“war amenorrhea,” for example), cardiovascular or blood disease, and so forth. The condition may result from X-ray or radioactive irradiation of the ovaries, chronic poisoning (for example, by alcohol, nicotine, or lead), exhaustion (from hunger, undereating, or malnutrition), extreme adiposis, and so forth. In some women amenorrhea makes its appearance accompanied by extreme fatigue, either physical or mental, as in the case of students at the time of examinations. Amenorrhea may be the result of artificial abortion or of cauterization of the uterine mucous membrane with iodine or other remedies.

The condition may ensue from developmental defects in the reproductive organs (such as lack of an opening in the hymen) or from scars of the vagina or cervix uteri following trauma. Menstrual blood accumulates in the vagina, uterus, and uterine tubes and then cannot be expelled from the body; this is known as false amenorrhea.

Frequently amenorrhea produces no marked subjective disorders, but severe cases may lead to metabolic changes (adiposis or sometimes loss of weight), depression, or unpleasant sensations such as congestion or vertigo.

Finding proper treatment requires determination of the basic causes of the condition, and treatment is directed toward elimination or mollification of the causes. Effective diet, long rest periods in the fresh air, climatotherapy, and therapeutic exercises are the prescribed forms of therapy. Emotional disturbances should be removed. Hormone preparations are frequently prescribed.


Vikhliaeva, E. M. “K voprosu gormonoobrazovatel’noi funktsii iaichnikov u zhenshchin v klimaktericheskom periode.” In Fiziologiia i patologiia menstrual’noi funktsii. Moscow, 1960.
Kvater, E. I. Gormonal’ naia diagnostika i terapiia ν akusherstve i ginekologii, 3rd ed. Moscow, 1967. “Osnovnye formy anomalii menstrual’noi funktsii.” In Osnovy en-dokrinologicheskoi ginekologii. Moscow, 1966.



Absence of menstruation due to either normal or abnormal conditions.
References in periodicals archive ?
All patients underwent pre-operative transvaginal USG in the premenstrual phase or at a random phase in patients with amenorrhea to evaluate uterine cavity and endometrial pattern (Table 3).
Amenorrhea is classified as either primary (failure to achieve menarche) or secondary, which is the cessation of menses for 3 months or more.
Dysfunction was defined as amenorrhea for the prior 3 months and FSH, estradiol, and/or inhibin B levels in the postmenopausal range.
Amenorrhea usually can be addressed with a modified diet and exercise schedule.
Metformin provides a new option for managing amenorrhea and weight gain" in women with schizophrenia on antipsychotic treatment, she said.
The book begins well, with two chapters on what is normal, followed by chapters addressing the various causes of amenorrhea.
Bone mineral density at the lumbar spine and total hip starts dropping like a stone as soon as the women get to late menopause, so 3-11 months of amenorrhea is the tipping point for bone density.
In addition, there is the potential risk for infertility arising from chronic amenorrhea or even less severe forms of menstrual dysfunction.
The researchers also found that the girls with amenorrhea had significantly poorer bone density than the others.
Women were categorized clinically as normal (either obese or nonobese), or as having hyperprolactinemia, hypothalamic amenorrhea, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) (again, either obese or nonobese).
Visitors from industrialized countries accessed the lessons on polycystic ovary syndrome, amenorrhea, and infertility.
Most alarmingly, despite the known, permanent impact of amenorrhea on bone health, this condition alone seldom causes these young athletes to correct their nutritional deficit.