Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
In this Article
- What is amenorrhea?
- What causes amenorrhea?
- What are the symptoms of amenorrhea?
- When should I seek medical care for amenorrhea?
- How is amenorrhea diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for amenorrhea?
- What are the complications of amenorrhea?
- Can amenorrhea be prevented?
- What is the outlook for a woman suffering from amenorrhea?
- Amenorrhea At A Glance
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
What are the complications of amenorrhea?
Infertility is a significant complication of amenorrhea for women who desire to become pregnant. Osteopenia (a reduction in bone density) or osteoporosis is a complication of low estrogen levels, which may occur with prolonged amenorrhea. Other complications of amenorrhea depend upon the underlying cause of the amenorrhea.
Can amenorrhea be prevented?
Amenorrhea is a symptom and not a disease in itself. Therefore, amenorrhea can be prevented only to the extent that the underlying cause can be prevented. For example, amenorrhea that results from genetic or inborn conditions cannot be prevented. On the other hand, amenorrhea that results from self-imposed stringent dieting or intensive exercise is typically preventable.
What is the outlook for a woman suffering from amenorrhea?
The outlook for amenorrhea varies widely and is dependent upon the cause of the amenorrhea. Hypothalamic amenorrhea that is a result of stress, exercise, or weight loss generally can be corrected if the responsible factors can be corrected. Medical and hormonal therapies can be of great benefit in preventing unpleasant side effects or complications of amenorrhea in many women.
Amenorrhea At A Glance
- Amenorrhea refers to the absence of menstrual periods; it may be either
primary (meaning a woman never developed menstrual periods) or secondary
(absence of menstrual periods in a woman who was previously menstruating).
- Genetic or inborn conditions are the most common causes of primary
- Amenorrhea may result from disorders of the ovaries, pituitary gland, or
- Intensive exercising, extreme weight loss, physical illness, and stress can
all result in amenorrhea.
- Amenorrhea is a symptom and not a disease in itself, so amenorrhea can be
prevented only to the extent that the underlying cause can be prevented.
- Infertility and bone loss (osteoporosis) are complications of
- Treatments may include surgical correction of anatomical abnormalities,
medications or hormone therapies, and treatment of any underlying conditions
responsible for amenorrhea.
- The outlook for amenorrhea varies according to the cause of the amenorrhea.
Current evaluation of amenorrhea. Fertil Steril. 2006 Nov;86(5 Suppl):S148-55.
Davis AR; Kroll R; Soltes B; Zhang N; Grubb GS; Constantine GD. Occurrence of menses or pregnancy after cessation of a continuous oral contraceptive. Fertil Steril. 2008 May;89(5):1059-63.
eMedicine.com; "Amenorrhea, Secondary."
eMedicine.com; "Amenorrhea, Primary."
Last Editorial Review: 10/21/2009 2:44:58 PM
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