Amenorrhea (Absence of Periods) and Its Effect on Fertility

on Oct 17, 2012

by Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

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Amenorrhea is a lack of a menstrual cycle. For women who are trying to conceive, it can make getting pregnant difficult.

Amenorrhea is a medical condition that represents the lack of a menstrual cycle. For a woman of reproductive age who is trying to conceive, this disorder can be devastating, because without a period, there can be no ovulation occurring either, meaning that your female fertility is seriously impaired. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here Here are the 2 most common types of amenorrhea and their specific causes:

Primary absence of period before age 16

It refers to the failure of the menstrual period to start in the first place – as early as the age of sixteen. The first menstrual cycle (menarche) represents the beginning of female fertility, but does not signal the presence of ovulation, which requires steady patterns of menstrual flow, a regular duration of periods and intervals between periods.

Primary absence of period after age 16

The delay in the occurrence of a menstrual cycle during puberty beyond the age of sixteen is due to a variety of factors such as delayed puberty, absence of the uterus altogether, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), pituitary gland and hypothalamus disorders, and premature depletion of egg cells in the ovaries – the most frequent cause. Other genetic conditions leading to permanent or temporary lack of menstrual cycle include congenital adrenal hyperplasia and the Turner syndrome, a disorder on account of which secondary sexual characteristics fail to develop by the age of fourteen.

Secondary absence of menstrual period

This term refers to the lack of cycle for three months in a row or for more than six months in a woman who has had regular menstrual periods before. The main causes of secondary lack of cycle includes pregnancy, hypothalamus disorders due to stress, extreme exercise and severe weight loss, high levels of prolactin or testosterone, hypothyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome and premature ovarian failure.

Causes of secondary amenorrhea

Women who have given birth before could suffer from deep adhesions of the uterine lining due to the medical procedures used during the birth process, leading to a condition known as Asherman’s syndrome. It is also possible for women who have ceased taking birth control pills to experience lack of menstruation beyond the normal time period of three months. Hormonal imbalances originating in the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland represent the main reasons of amenorrhea. Low levels of FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) can cause low levels of estrogen to be produced, which leads to hypo-gonadotropic absence of menstrual cycle; however, women suffering from this condition are possibly still fertile. High FSH levels lead to hyper-gonadotropic lack of period. To prevent this condition, strenuous physical exercise and harsh diets should be avoided, and any eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia) should be treated.

Treatment for amenorrhea

Women who suffer from this condition and are trying to conceive will likely need to seek medical assistance to restore their fertility. The treatment of this medical disorder depends on the underlying cause; pill-induced and exercise-related issues do not usually require medication. In order to resume female fertility and to avoid risks such as osteoporosis associated with this condition, you should consult with your healthcare provider to find out whether treatment is recommended.

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Amenorrhea (Absence of Periods) and Its Effect on Fertility, 4.9 out of 5 based on 8 ratings

Dr. Prabha Sahgal MD, is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and subspecialty board certified in reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Dr. Sahgal holds a B.S. degree from MIT in molecular biology and currently serves on the ConceiveEasy board of directors.

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  • HaileyLopez

    My wife has a periods last month 7th of February and again she got dated this month on 12th of March(ie after 5 days from the normal periods date). Can i have the reason why she has got dated after 5 days from the normal periods date. Is there is any specific reason . Is there is any way were she could become pregnant at least next month.

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  • JudyAndAnn

    Me and my partner is trying to have a baby what are somethings i need to do to help me get ready to have a child

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  • Dr. Prabha Sahgal, MD

    You can start getting ready for pregnancy by eating right, quitting smoking, exercising regularly and taking vitamins. A preconception visit to your doctor is also recommended in order to have you and your partner’s over-all health evaluated to ensure that both of you do not have any ailments that can hinder your pregnancy goals.

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  • Maryanne Brown

    can i take my regular prenatal vitamins with the conceive easy pills?

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Yes you can, and once you figure out that you are pregnant, you may stop taking the pills and just continue with your prenatal vitamins.

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  • Dr. Christine Lee, MD

    Since your wife had an irregular cycle, there is a good chance that she might be experiencing mild hormonal imbalances, which are normally due to uncontrolled levels of estrogen and progesterone. In order for her to possibly conceive by next month, it is best that she determines her ovulation date using an Ovulation Predictor Kit and have sex almost other day during her fertile window, which is 4 to 5 days before her ovulation date.

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  • Kendra

    Hi,

    I’ve been suffering from irregular periods and lately a complete absence of periods. I do plan to see my primary care physician in the coming weeks, but I’ve gotten the TTC Kit and am just wondering if the pills can help induce a period and get me back on track to conceive. My husband and I have been unsuccessful for over a year now :^/

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  • Mel

    I am 32 and have never had a period a day in my life. I have a thyroid disorder (which I do not treat b/c the medication has never mad an impact so I stopped taking synthroid), and have run all tests and other than thyroid and obesity, I am fine. My question is if I wanted to conceive, should I treat the thyroid first or could I just work w/ a fertility specialist?

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  • ajen

    Mel, you should certainly get on synthroid again then. Once you become pregnant, the fetus can be born WITHOUT a thyroid or have an extremely large goiter (nodule) attached. It’s certainly going to do much more good for the baby than not taking it.

    Just my two cents.

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  • Mel

    Thank you for that info…something I did not know.

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  • kenia Leiva

    hi i want to know if i can get pregnant if i have amenorreah ?

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  • kenia Leiva

    i haven’t see my period is there any way that i can get pregnant ?

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  • hally

    I am 17 years old and I haven’t had my period since the 1st week of
    September of this year. I am at a normal weight and don’t exercise that
    much so I don’t know why exactly why my period stopped for this long.
    Let’s say I have unprotected sex this week, can I still get pregnant if I
    didn’t have my period for 3 months?

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  • msconfuse

    hi… when i was 16 i went to a dr because i never had a period. the doctor prescribed me a contraceptive pill and after i finish a pack after 5 days i get my period. (dr told me to take it for 3 mos consecutively bt i failed to do so ). when i take the pills i get my period bt when i dont no period. nw im 32 and me and my huby want to have a baby…how can i conceive?how will i knw f im pregnant?…thank you!

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  • wil0327

    Hello . I have this amenoreah problem . Very irregular periods. Just last month july 11 2014 had period after six to 7 months without having one . It lasted till the 18th of july 2014 .. then by 29th of july 2014 to 30 july 2014 started to have this brown spotting first 2 days then by the 3rd day i was having brown and then somtimes would be pink or bownish pink only on the paper toilet .its still august 4 2014 and im still having this like right now i went to the bathroom and now it like reddish on the paper when i clean ..its so confusing since i have this amenoreah problen i do not know whta it means is it normal or should i give a gyn. A visit …

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  • KellyKay

    I was on the Depo Shot after a miscarriage because of advice from a docter last October until May, when I chose not to get it renewed. Its November now, and I still haven’t gotten my period back, and I would really like to get pregnant again. What can I do?

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  • Amy

    Hello, I was wondering if I can get pregnant at all. I have amenorrhea, and also a tipped vetro-verted uterus. I habe been on Provera to get a cycle, and also was put on fertility pill clomid, clearly never got pregnant. I also, have pcos. Can you please help. I am 31, and my husband and u been together for 12 years and really want a baby. Thanks

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  • Laura

    I was on birth control (cerezette) about 2 years after having my son. I stopped taking the pill in September 2014 I had a period in October 2014. We starting trying for a baby but no luck. I haven’t had a period since October. I’m worried I can’t conceive. Please help x

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  • Heather

    I stopped taking BC in July ’13, and had period in Aug and sept, then went away. I went to Dr and got prescription to create my period and that was in January. Its March and I still haven’t gotten back to normal and now my husband wants kids… 🙁 I have no clue what to do. I had a blood test and there was no instances that showed issues related to this, I’m not overweight, I’m decently active, and I’ve been taking multi-vitamins daily. I’m wondering if I should get a pap done. I had already had my yearly one before I stopped my BC so they hadn’t done another.

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  • Mandy Babauta

    I have a hormone imbalance and i have not had my period in a year and two months. Every month i spot, but i dont actually have my period. I want to get pregnant. What can i do to regulate my period or increase my chances of getting pregnant?

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  • anonymous

    I have primary amenorrhoea is the any chance of me ever getting pregnant if so how?

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  • Jenni

    Hello, I have amenorrhea, would this kit be something that could possibly help me out? Or would I need to get a cycle before starting the kit? Also, do you take just 1 pill a day?
    Thanks for your help

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  • Caitlyn

    I have amenorrhea and me and my fiancé have been trying to conceive for 2 years. We have lost all hope. Is there something that either of us could do to get pregnant? Every time I ask a doctor at my OBGYN they just brush it off.

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