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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Amenorrhea: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Reproductive System


Alternate Names : Absence of Menstrual Periods, Missed Menstrual Periods

Amenorrhea | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the condition?

If amenorrhea has lasted less than 6 months, a woman may not need treatment unless she has worrisome symptoms or a problem is found:

  • in her hormone levels
  • on X-ray or ultrasound
  • Depending on the cause of amenorrhea, treatment varies. Diet and exercise generally correct abnormal periods due to obesity. Stress management and not exercising too much helps, too.

    Because ovaries are not producing eggs or certain hormones, a woman may be given:

  • birth control pills
  • hormone replacement therapy (HRT) if she has reached menopause
  • short-term oral progesterone pills or ovulation-inducing agents, such as clomiphene, for infertility
  • Birth control pills and HRT drugs contain estrogen and progesterone or sometimes progesterone alone. The hormones may be used to:

  • induce a period
  • prevent bone loss
  • Surgery may be required for:

  • tumors
  • ovarian cysts
  • defects in the uterus or vagina
  • Rarely, surgery is done when chromosome abnormalities are found.

    What are the side effects of the treatments?

    Hormones may cause minor side effects such as:

  • breast tenderness
  • nausea
  • headaches
  • PMS symptoms
  • abdominal bloating
  • Occasionally, more serious side effects can occur with hormone therapy including blood clots, liver tumors, and endometrial cancer. Though these are quite rare, it is important for women to discuss the risks and benefits of hormone therapy with their healthcare provider.

    Drugs to induce ovulation may trigger:

  • hot flashes
  • headaches
  • ovarian cysts
  • mid-cycle pain
  • What happens after treatment for the condition?

    When a younger woman has amenorrhea, normal periods often resume within a few years. Most women who are diagnosed and treated early can avoid surgery by taking hormones. If a woman wishes to get pregnant and not ovulating is the only infertility problem facing the couple, a success rate of 70% to 80% is possible.

    After a woman stops taking birth control pills, she may not get a period for 2 to 3 months, though it may take a year or longer. If an unusual stress or illness has temporarily stopped a woman's periods, the problem will usually resolve on its own. It may recur at a later date.

    How is the condition monitored?

    If a woman misses more than one period, she should talk with her healthcare provider. It helps to:

  • discuss any medicines or supplements she is taking
  • keep a record of periods, marking down length, days between cycles, frequency, and flow patterns
  • find out if there is a family history of infertility, ovarian cysts, or irregular cycles

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    Amenorrhea: Prevention & Expectations


    Author: Eva Martin, MD
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 09/19/01

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