Amenorrhea, the absence of menstrual periods, should be discussed with your Chicago gynecologist
Menstruation begins sometime during adolescence. Periods for the first 1-2 years can be irregular. Eventually, a woman should expect to experience a fairly normal cycle with very little variation from month to month. The only time we typically expect that a period will be missed is when a woman becomes pregnant. There are other instances, though not as common, in which amenorrhea may occur.
Amenorrhea may be diagnosed when a woman has missed three periods one after another. Girls who have not begun menstruation by age 15, as well, may be diagnosed with this condition which describes the absence of menstrual periods. At Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, in Chicago, we investigate the potential causes of amenorrhea after ruling out pregnancy, assessing the health of reproductive organs and planning resolute care when necessary.
Amenorrhea may involve more than the absence of menstrual periods. Women who experience this condition may also develop symptoms such as:
- Troublesome acne
- Pelvic pain
- Excessive growth in facial hair
- Hair loss
- Discharge from nipples
There are several potential causes for amenorrhea. Aside from pregnancy, factors such as stress and weight may affect the regularity of menstruation. During consultation for the absence of menstruation, your experienced Chicago gynecologist will consider these factors as well as others, such as hormonal imbalance. Imbalance in the proper function of hormones may be created by extremely low body weight, excessive exercise or excessive weight gain, a malfunctioning thyroid, or certain health conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Structural compromise within the pelvic region may also be the underlying cause of amenorrhea.
When consulting with your physician at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates, it is important to discuss factors that may relate to your current condition. Your physician needs to know the type and severity of your symptoms and information regarding your family medical history or other existing health conditions.
Pregnancy is typically the first condition to rule out in the instance of amenorrhea. Our physicians may also arrange lab work that will measure hormone levels, focusing on male hormones like testosterone, and thyroid function tests, among others. Depending on the data gathered in consultation and early diagnostics, imaging may also be ordered to determine the cause of missed periods. Treatment for the absence of periods is designed around the cause of this condition. Many women are able to resolve this health concern with prescribed medication. In some cases, surgery may be the optimal solution.
The physicians at Northwestern Women’s Health Associates have many years of experience handling a range of health concerns. If your monthly cycle has been disrupted, we can help. Contact our office at 312-440-9400 to consult with a skilled gynecologist who will focus on resolving your health issue