Amenorrhea | Symptoms & Causes

What causes amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea can have many different causes – that’s why it’s so important that your daughter be checked out by an expert. Some of the causes of primary and secondary amenorrhea overlap, and some are completely different.  Some common causes include:

  • weight loss or gain and stress
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • endocrine problems, such as too much or too little thyroid hormone
  • pregnancy
  • chronic illness, such as Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle disease, lupus, diabetes, celiac disease
  • ovary problems
  • congenital anomalies of the reproductive tract
  • birth control pills or other contraceptives
  • strenuous exercise (“athletic amenorrhea”)
  • obesity
  • medications

What are the symptoms of amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea is defined as a symptom -- missing periods. Depending on what’s causing your daughter’s amenorrhea, she may have other symptoms too, including excess hair growth, acne, headaches and pain.