Secondary amenorrhea occurs when a woman who has been having normal menstrual cycles stops getting her periods for 6 or more months.
Amenorrhea is when a woman does not get her monthly menstrual cycle, or period.
Menstruation - Absent Primary amenorrhea
Amenorrhea - secondary; No periods - secondary; Absent periods - secondary; Absent menses - secondary; Absence of periods - secondary
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or in
Women who are taking birth control pills or receive hormone shots such as Depo-Provera may not have any monthly bleeding. When they stop taking these hormones, their periods may not return for more than 6 months.
You are more likely to have amenorrhea if you:
- Are obese
- Exercise excessively and for long periods of time
- Have less than 15% - 17% body fat
- Have severe anxiety or emotional distress
- Lose a lot of weight suddenly (for example, with a strict diet or after
gastric bypass surgery)
Other causes include:
- Brain (pituitary) tumors
Polycystic ovarian syndrome Premature ovarian failure
- Thyroid dysfunction
The following drugs may also cause missed periods:
- Chemotherapy drugs for cancer
Also, procedures such as a dilation and curettage (
Review Date: 06/16/2010
Reviewed By: Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.