4 Replies
To ALL - March 10

You have 'amenorrhea' if your period hasn't come for several months. If you previously had a menstrual period, then you have 'secondary amenorrhea,' and if you have never had a period, then it's called 'primary amenorrhea.'
The No. 1 reason for secondary amenorrhea is pregnancy, and pregnancy as a cause should be excluded first.
If you are NOT PREGNANT then in most cases of amenorrhea the reason for not getting a period is not ovulating (no ovalulation=anovulation).
Cause for anovulation are usually either:

In the ovaries, or
Centrally, in the brain
Other causes of amenorrhea include:
Problems in the vagina, and
Problems in the uterus
Here are the major causes of not ovulating (anovulation):
Pregnancy (the most common cause)
PCOS: Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Emotional stress
Being overweight
Being underweight
Low thyroid (hypothyroid)
Lactation (breastfeeding)
Menopause (the normal age-related end to menstruation)
Premature ovarian failure (menopause before age 40)
Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus)
Stopping birth control pills ('Post-Pill Amenorrhea')
An elevated prolactin level (may be caused by tumors of the pituitary gland, called prolactinomas)
Endocrine disorders such as Cushing's syndrome (in which there are very high levels of cortisol, an adrenal hormone) or hyperthyroidism (abnormally high levels of thyroid hormone)
Frequent strenuous exercise
Chronic illness, such as colitis, kidney failure, or cystic fibrosis
Chemotherapy for cancer
Cysts or tumors in the ovaries (rarely)
After exluding pregnancy, your doctor will usually do a physical examination and some blood tests (LH, FSH, thyroid, prolactin). In addition, when evaluating amenorrhea, your doctor may also do a progesterone challenge test to see if you bleed after withdrawal.


kimberly - March 10

Well said, Thnks for posting this. It is nice to know others have some info about their body. I know all of that stuff but have found little on what causes a period to be prolonged. longer than 7 days? This is not my concern but my niece is 19 and had her period for 33 days, not heavy at first, but then it got heavier and she went to the ER. They put her on the pill and said it should stop her bleeding. Well it didn't so she went back they told her she needed a less potent pill and that worked but now she 2 weeks later has been bleeding again. ER docs don't diagnos they just fix the immediate danger. She is only 19 and has no insurance or money. What could be the cause of this. I know hormonal imbalances and ovarian cyst possibly but anything else? At 19, would fibriods be a concern? I know this is a pregnancy but you seemed well informed so thought I would ask!


kimberly - March 10

Sorry that last line should read: I know this is a pregnancy


June - March 10

It was me who posted it because yesterday there was a debate about not having a period for 2 months. I said it was directly linked to anovulation and I just wanted to educate everyone who would have the same issue. I know it's hard when you have no answers and it's very discouraging. Hopefully what I know from being on the pill in the past is that I had the same issue. I was bleeding for almost a month. It's hormones and it;s normal after changing pill that she will start to bleed again. Give her sometime to get adjusted . Hormones can really mess you up ! I hope this helps somewhat.....


June - March 10

Yes it's a TTC forum but it never hurts to know this! :)



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