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:
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.
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.
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