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No Menstruation For 3 Months: Is This a Problem?

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Hazel Caingcoy · Updated Jan 13, 2022

No Menstruation For 3 Months: Is This a Problem?

Amenorrhea is a condition wherein a woman experiences a lack of menstrual periods. There are two types of amenorrhea: primary and secondary. Primary amenorrhea is when a female who is over the age of 15 has never experienced a menstrual cycle. Secondary amenorrhea means no menstruation for 3 months or more or more but previously had regular menstrual cycles or six months in girls or women who had irregular menses.

Secondary amenorrhea is more common and is caused by several factors. If a woman experiences no menstruation for 3 months or more, it is recommended they speak to a doctor to determine the root cause of the condition.

Causes of No Menstruation for 3 Months

Causes of secondary amenorrhea or no menstruation for 3 months include:

Natural Causes 

A woman may experience amenorrhea due to natural occurring causes, including:

  • Pregnancy – When a woman is pregnant, normally, no ovulation occurs which results in having no menstrual cycles.
  • Breastfeeding – Lactational amenorrhea occurs in women who are fully breastfeeding their babies. They will not be having their menstruation for 3 months or longer.
  • Menopause – A woman approaching menopause usually experiences frequent amenorrhea until such time that they no longer have menstrual cycles for at least 12 consecutive months. Menopause typically happens in women in their 40s and 50s.


Amenorrhea can occur when a woman is taking medications that alter the hormones or affect the hormone-secreting organs of the body. These include:

  • Birth Control – Women who use pills, hormone shots, and even birth control devices might experience missing their menstrual cycle temporarily. The introduction of hormones to the body can cause a lack of menstruation. Even if a woman stops using pills or hormonal shots, it may take up to 6 months before they start menstruating again.
  • Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea usually occurs within one year after a woman starts chemotherapy and can last up to 12 months after the treatment. Some drugs used in chemotherapy can affect the ovaries, sometimes causing menopause-like symptoms. This is usually temporary and menstruation cycles resume some months after treatment. However, this depends on the woman’s age, duration of her therapy, and the type of medication they receive after chemotherapy.
  • Antidepressants – Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a group of drugs used to treat depression, can cause the body to release prolactin, a hormone associated with lactation. Too much of this hormone can cause a woman to cease menstruation for months.


A person’s lifestyle can affect their hormones. Lifestyle choices may lead to abnormalities in the secretion of the hormones regulating the menstrual cycle.

  • Stress – Mental stress causes a temporary disturbance in the hypothalamus which is the part of the brain responsible for controlling hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. When a person is stressed, the body also releases cortisol which can result in light periods and amenorrhea
  • Rapid Loss of Weight – When a woman exercises too much and/or eats too little, it can cause a rapid decrease in body fat which can result in missing menstrual cycles. This can result in the altering of the hormone that the brain releases to regulate menstrual cycles.
  • Rapid Weight Gain – Rapid weight gain can cause a hormonal imbalance which can result in temporary amenorrhea.

Medical Conditions 

Conditions related to hormone-secreting organs or the reproductive system can cause abnormalities in the menstrual cycle.

  • PCOSPolycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS is a condition wherein tiny sacs of fluid or cysts grow in the ovaries, resulting in high androgen levels. These hormones can interfere with the release of the eggs.
  • Thyroid Dysfunction – An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause irregularities in the menstrual cycle, causing menstruation to be light, heavy, or irregular. Thyroid diseases can also cause a woman to miss a menstrual cycle for months.
  • Pituitary Disorders – These include pituitary conditions such as a tumor or the inability of the pituitary gland to produce hormones. These can cause abnormalities in the menstrual cycle, including amenorrhea.
  • Uterine Scarring – Asherman’s Syndrome is a condition wherein scar tissue is in the uterus or the opening of the uterus causes the organ to abnormally stick together. This can cause light menstruation and in some cases no menstruation at all.
  • Key Takeaway

    Amenorrhea is a condition wherein a woman misses her menstruation for at least 3 months. This condition can be caused by medication, lifestyle, or medical conditions. It can also occur naturally in pregnant, lactating, and menopausal women. It is important to seek medical attention so that the root cause of the condition can be determined.

    Learn more about Menstruation here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Hazel Caingcoy · Updated Jan 13, 2022

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