Among others, one of the questions a woman might face over the course of her childbearing years is, undoubtedly, “Besides pregnancy, what can cause a missed period?” There can actually be a number of reasons for a missed period, ranging from stress to changes in hormone production. Whatever the case may be, this absence of a period is called amenorrhea; and, depending on its actual cause, it can be a great cause for concern, especially for women who have hopes of having a family, and they should seek out the advice of a medical specialist such as a urogynecologist to help them more fully understand the situation and find a treatment.

What Are You Missing?

By its most accurate definition, amenorrhea means that a girl or woman who has previously been menstruating suddenly has no period(s) for at least one cycle and may even sometimes have no period for 6 months. It can also refer to girls who have had no menstrual cycle by the age of 15 or who have gone through all other changes that occur during puberty, in which case the amenorrhea is considered to be primary amenorrhea. In the case of primary amenorrhea, often times what can cause a missed period may be defects in the female reproductive organs or a hormone imbalance of some kind. Regardless of age, however, hormonal imbalances can be indicative of a dysfunction of the ovaries such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome); a malfunction of the thyroid; a tumor in the pituitary gland; or premature menopause.

The Missing Piece

There are other causes of amenorrhea, as well. During pregnancy, breast-feeding, and menopause, amenorrhea is considered to be a natural occurrence and no cause for concern. Women who are taking birth control pills or using some other form of contraceptive may completely stop having their periods during use, as well. For women taking certain medications including antipsychotics, allergy medications, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, or chemotherapies, amenorrhea may be one of the side effects they experience. In addition, lifestyle can play a significant role in causing amenorrhea. Women who exercise intensely, have extremely low body weight, or are under a great deal of stress are also at risk for amenorrhea.

Treatment can be determined after the cause has been identified, so the care of a medical professional is needed to properly diagnose amenorrhea.

Don’t miss the warning signs! Talk to the caring team of experts at Coyle Institute today!