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Missed periods; Lack of menses; Periods - missed; Amenorrhea
Treatment depends on the cause.
For amenorrhea caused by normal delay of menstruation onset, have patience until age 16. However, keep in mind that the delay is only normal if the girl displays some signs of puberty, such as breast development by age 14.
Call your doctor to determine if you may be pregnant.
If your missed period is the result of too much exercise, cutting back to a more conservative workout program can help.
Call your health care provider if:
The first step is to rule out pregnancy. This is done with a urine or blood test. (See: Pregnancy test)
The doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history. Questions may include:
Tests that may be performed include:
Treatment depends on the cause of the amenorrhea. Your doctor may tell you to make lifestyle changes if the absent menstruation is due to weight changes, physical activity, or stress level. If you have polycystic ovarian syndrome or athletic amenorrhea, you may be given hormonal medications or birth control pills to treat the problem.
If the absent menstruation is caused by a bodywide (systemic) disorder, normal menstrual function usually returns after the primary disorder is treated. For example, if your period stopped because of a thyroid disorder, it will usually return once you start thryoid treatment.
Young women with primary amenorrhea that is caused by birth defects may require medicine, surgery, or both. In any case, psychosocial support and counseling for the patient and family is necessary to address specific concerns and provide guidance regarding anticipated sexual development.
Master-Hunter T, Heiman DL. Amenorrhea: evaluation and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2006;73:1374-1382.
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