What is secondary amenorrhea?

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Secondary amenorrhea: Overview

Amenorrhea means you do not have menstrual periods. There are two types. Primary amenorrhea means you never start your periods. Secondary amenorrhea means you have had periods, and then they stop, especially for more than 3 months.

Even if you don't have periods, you could still get pregnant.

You may not know what caused your periods to stop. Possible causes include pregnancy, hormonal changes, and losing or gaining a lot of weight quickly. Some medicines and stress could also cause it.

Being active in endurance sports can also cause you to miss your period or stop menstruating. Losing weight or maintaining a low weight in harmful ways could also stop your period. These include dieting too much or binging and purging. But doing these things can lead to eating disorders, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis. If you exercise less or gain a little weight, your periods will probably start again.

Your doctor may order tests to find out why your periods have stopped. Treatment depends on the cause. Your doctor may prescribe hormone therapy to help regulate your cycle. This can also help protect against bone loss.

How can you care for yourself when you have secondary amenorrhea?

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Do light exercise, unless your doctor told you not to exercise.
  • Use birth control if you do not want to get pregnant.

What is the connection between endurance training and missed periods?

If you take part in endurance sports, you may miss periods or stop menstruating. This is called secondary amenorrhea. It's more likely to happen if you are younger and if your periods are irregular to begin with.

It occurs because your ovaries aren't producing enough estrogen. Stress and low body fat are thought to contribute to amenorrhea. Exercising a lot without eating enough can cause you to have low body fat. And some athletes may use excessive dieting or binging and purging to lose or maintain weight. This can also cause them to have low body fat.

You can still become pregnant even though you aren't menstruating. Practice birth control if you don't want to get pregnant.

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