Absence of menstruation: what causes it?
If they are supposed to take place every month, menstruation can sometimes be late or even absent. This is calledamenorrhea. This absence of menstruation, without being alarming, must be monitored. You wonder how to react when your menstruation disappears? We explain everything to you.
Is the absence of a period normal?
Although the duration of a period is considered to be 2 to 7 days, as surprising as it may seem,amenorrhea can be normal. Therefore, the absence of a period should not worry you:
- Before puberty;
- During pregnancy;
- During breastfeeding;
- At menopause.
Two types of amenorrhea can affect women.
This is the absence of menstruation in girls over the age of 16. Despite normal growth or sometimes even the development of secondary sexual characteristics (formed breasts, armpit or pubic hair), they have never had their period. Genetic diseases such as Turner's syndrome (the young woman has only one X chromosome) can cause this delay. A congenital malformation of the reproductive organs, an overproduction of male hormones or genital disorders can also be considered.
This term is used for women who are already menstruating and who experience an absence of menstruation over a period of 3 cycles. Thus, a woman who is pregnant or has no period after stopping the pill for 7 days and continuing for about 3 months hassecondary amenorrhea.
What are the causes of missed periods?
Several factors can cause an absence of menstruation:
The use of a contraceptive method
Theabsence of menstruation on the pill is very common. This hormonal device blocks ovulation. Bleeding between two packets is therefore not really a period. If you are taking a micro-progestogen pill, you may not even have a period. If you don 't have a period while you're on the pill, make sure it's not due to pregnancy. A hormonal IUD, an injectable contraceptive or a continuous pill, on the other hand, cause aharmless absence of periods.
The onset of menopause or peri-menopause
The menopause corresponds to thenatural end of menstruation. It generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. The decrease in the production of estrogen can first cause irregular cycles, this is the peri-menopause. When theabsence of menstruation lasts for a year, menopause is usually established.
An illness or chronic stress
Amenorrhea can also be explained by certain diseases. In consultation, a doctor will want to rule out the following causes
- Ovarian tumor;
- Polycystic ovary syndrome;
- Uterine or vaginal disease;
- Hyper or hypothyroidism.
The absence of menstruation can also be psychogenic, i.e. caused by a psychological factor such as stress or an emotional shock. Professional pressure, loss of a loved one or separation can disturb the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for the production of hormones: any disturbance can influence menstrual cycles. Takingantidepressants or corticosteroids can also cause amenorrhea. Finally, heavy treatments such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy can also disrupt menstruation.
Sudden weight gain or loss can also cause a missed period. Most women with eating disorders also experience amenorrhea. In the case of anorexia, for example, the production of estrogen decreases, causing menstruation to stop.
After pregnancy: a natural cause
After childbirth, an absence of menstruation is completely natural.Amenorrhea lasts between 6 and 8 weeks. In the case of breastfeeding, the absence of menstruation can be longer. A miscarriage or a medically induced abortion also leads to an amenorrhea of one and a half to two months.
Absence of menstruation and contraceptive methods: is it linked?
Contraceptive methods can have a direct impact on menstrual flow and menstruation.
Absence of menstruation after stopping a pill
If you do not have a period after stopping the pill for 7 days, do not worry. This post-contraceptive amenorrhea can even last several months without being alarming. In fact, after stopping the pill, menstruation does not come back instantly. The body may need several months to recover its natural reflexes with a classic ovulation cycle. After 5 months, do not hesitate to consult your gynecologist or a midwife for professional advice.
Absence of menstruation with an IUD
If the absence of menstruation on the pill should be a cause for concern, with a hormonal IUD, it is normal. In fact, the role of the IUD is to block ovulation and the menstrual cycle. On the other hand, in the case of an absence of periods with a copper IUD, take a pregnancy test.
Is it necessary to consult a doctor about the absence of a period?
After a certain period of time, it is still best to consult a professional.
An absence of menstruation for 1 month
One month of amenorrhea can be a symptom of too much stress, a weight problem or polycystic ovaries. Make an appointment with your doctor to determine the cause of your missed period. For sexually active women who do not have a period while on the pill, it is advisable to have a test to rule out pregnancy.
A 3-month absence of menstruation
In case of secondary amenorrhea, your doctor can help you determine the causes. A change in lifestyle, intensive sports activities, eating disorders or taking certain medications could explain the absence of menstruation. Remember that stopping the pill without a period for 3 months is normal. If the doctor is unable to identify the probable cause of your amenorrhea, he or she will prescribe additional tests.
The FAQ of the absence of menstruation
What causes a missed period?
The absence of menstruation can be caused by different factors: late puberty, a pregnancy in progress, hormonal contraception or intense stress. There are many reasons, so it is important to consult a specialist to find the cause of the absence of periods.
What diseases can stop menstruation?
The cessation of menstruation is sometimes caused by illnesses. They are very diverse and not always directly related to hormonal activity: anorexia, bulimia, hyperthyroidism, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.
Can infections prevent menstruation?
Infections have no connection with a missed period, even in the case of a urinary tract infection. However, if the infection is accompanied by a fever, consult your doctor to make sure that it is not related to an infection of the uterus. You can take this opportunity to ask about your late period.
Why don't I have my period when I'm not pregnant?
There are several reasons why you may not be having a period when you are not pregnant. If you have had a negative test and the result was confirmed by a blood test, your missed period may be related to stress or psychological shock. If you feel pressure at work or are going through a personal ordeal (death of a loved one, divorce, financial difficulties), this can disrupt your cycles.
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