Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. Women who have amenorrhea might be concerned about whether they can conceive. If you have amenorrhea or suspect that you suffer from the condition, read on to find out the causes and ways to maintain a normal menstrual cycle.
Amenorrhea can be classified as primary or secondary types. Primary amenorrhea happens when a girl does not start menstruating. In some cases, menstruation can be totally absent or start only after the age of 16. This condition affects around 1% of teenage girls. It can be due to congenital or genetic reasons.
Secondary amenorrhea, which affects more women of childbearing age, is the absence of menstruation for more than three months due to various causes. Many women think that they could be pregnant because of cessation of menstruation, when, in fact, they could be suffering from amenorrhea.
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS FOR AMENORRHEA
- Over-exercising or intensive workouts for long time periods
- Extreme stress or anxiety disorders
- Being overweight or severely underweight
- Hormonal imbalances
- Pituitary or hypothalamic disorders
- Going off birth control pills (it can take six months to get normal periods)
- Premature menopause
- Ovarian cysts or PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
- Congenital disorders of the ovaries or the endocrine glands
- Reduced ovarian function
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Taking certain medications: antidepressants, cortisone, anti-psychotics
- Any chronic or acute disease
- Thyroid dysfunction, especially hypothyroidism
- Any wounds on the uterus (can be due to prior C-section or other surgeries, accidents)
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Amenorrhea and getting pregnant
Although it is possible to get pregnant without having menstruation, it is rare. Women with irregular menstrual cycles usually have trouble conceiving.
It is important to seek medical advice if you have amenorrhea. Depending on the cause of amenorrhea, your doctor can outline a treatment plan. This can help you get healthier and increase your chances of getting pregnant.
The best way to prevent amenorrhea is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This includes sufficient sleep and eating regular meals. Many Singaprean women lead busy lives but a healthy lifestyle is the best way to increase your chances of conceiving.
Measures to ensure a normal menstrual cycle:
- Make sure you are not underweight or overweight. If you are, make changes that will help you attain a healthy weight.
- Avoid work-related stress. If you find that you can’t cope with stress, ask for help. Talking to your loved ones or a professional can help you tremendously.
- Keep a menstrual log. You can keep track of any lapses in your menstrual cycle.
- Ask the women in your family if there is any history of menstrual issues. This can help your doctor diagnose you correctly.
- If you are trying to conceive, wait until your cycle is fairly regular (no more than 35 days apart) for at least two or three months. Hormonal fluctuations can put your pregnancy at risk, especially if you don’t know the exact cause.
Amenorrhea can be a very disturbing condition. It is a direct threat to your fertility, and should not be ignored. Fortunately, there are treatment options for most causes that lead to amenorrhea. It is critical to seek treatment as soon as possible.
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