Why has my period stopped? Reasons for secondary amenorrhea

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The sudden stopping of one’s menstruation cycle can be worrying. This is also known as secondary amenorrhea, and there are several reasons that can cause it to happen, ranging from minor to major. Primary and secondary amenorrhea are differentiated by whether or not menstruation has happened prior to the absence of it.

Doctors will often check to make sure that you are not pregnant, as the first point in diagnosing secondary amenorrhea. Menopause is often a common cause of it as well. If that is not the case, the following factors may be the reason why:

Weight

Drastic fluctuations in weight can affect the regularity of your menstruation. Women who have very low percentages of body fat may find that their menstruation stops. Athletes involved in strenuous training or women with eating disorders such as anorexia are examples of this group. At the other end of the spectrum, women who gain too much weight may also cease menstruation.

Try to maintain a healthy weight by managing your diet or including sufficient exercise in your daily routines.

Stress

Both emotional or physical stress can be distressing enough that the body stops its menstrual cycle, as they affect the pituitary gland, which in turn regulates various hormonal functions across the body. Strong stressors can include trouble at work or depression. Make sure to take care of your mental health as well as your physical. If things become too overwhelming, it can help to contact mental health professionals for treatment.

Medication and contraceptives

Certain medications can make menstruation irregular or even halt it all together – some examples are birth control pills or medication for mental health. Other forms of contraceptives like intrauterine devices (IUDs) are also possible factors. Check in with your doctor if your medication seems to be behind the amenorrhea and if there are any changes you should make.

Illness

Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a hormone imbalance problem and is thought to affect as much as 10% of the female population in Britain. Another illness that may cause amenorrhea is endometrial cancer.

If you live in London and have issues with your menstrual cycle, you can contact Tania Adib, a female gynaecologist in London. She is also a lead clinician for colposcopy and gynaecological oncology at the Queen’s Hospital.

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