There are several causes of both primary and secondary absent menstruation. Some are natural, such as pregnancy. Others are underlying conditions that need to be treated.
When a girl starts her period later than average, it is not necessarily abnormal. However, it is possible that the late start indicates a serious health problem. Disorders of the genes or chromosomes, such as Turner syndrome, Sawyer syndrome, or adrenogenital syndrome, may cause primary amenorrhea. These diseases can cause physical problems with the reproductive organs.
Hormonal issues may also cause late menstruation. Diseases in the hypothalamus or pituitary glands in the brain can cause these. Tumors in the glands or disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can also cause a hormonal imbalance.
Physical defects in the reproductive organs may also cause a girl to have primary amenorrhea. These can result from birth defects, tumors, or infections that occurred in the womb or shortly after birth. Both obesity and the eating disorder anorexia can cause a late start of menstruation. Lifestyle factors, such as excessive exercise, and mental, emotional, and physical stress can cause late periods.
Many of the same factors that cause primary amenorrhea can also cause the secondary condition. Natural causes of missed periods, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause, are the most likely reasons for secondary amenorrhea.
Physical and lifestyle factors are common reasons for missed periods. These can include:
-having low body fat
-exercising too much
-having serious anxiety or stress
-losing weight rapidly
Hormonal imbalances can cause a woman to miss periods. This could be from tumors in the pituitary gland or a thyroid problem. It could also be from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or premature ovarian failure.
Certain medications can cause secondary amenorrhea. Antipsychotics, such as Phenothiazine, and antidepressants may be to blame. Blood pressure drugs, including reserpine, and some chemotherapy drugs can also cause a problem. Taking birth control pills and then stopping may lead to several months of absent periods before the cycle returns to normal.
In rare cases, missed periods could be a symptom of Asherman syndrome. This occurs when scarring in the uterus after surgery prevents menstruation.