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Primary Amenorrhea

Primary Amenorrhea Syndrome (PMS) Symptoms and Causes

Primary amenorrhea is a condition in which menstruation never begins at puberty. There are several possible causes of primary amenorrhea:

  • Ovulation abnormality
    Ovulation abnormalities are usually the cause of very irregular or frequently missed menstrual periods.
  • Birth defect, anatomical abnormality or other medical condition
    If a woman has not started to menstruate by the age of 16, a birth defect, anatomical abnormality or other medical condition may be suspected.
  • Eating disorder
    Females with anorexia nervosa (or simply anorexia) and/or bulimia nervosa (or simply bulimia) often experience amenorrhea as a result of maintaining a body weight that would be too low to sustain a pregnancy. As a result, as a form of protection for the body, the reproductive system "shuts down" because it is severely malnourished.
  • Over-exercise or strenuous exercise
    Many female athletes in training experience absent menstrual cycles due to low body fat content.
  • Thyroid disorder
    In many cases, an underactive thyroid gland (a condition called hypothyroidism in which the thyroid gland is producing insufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone) or an overactive thyroid gland (a condition called hyperthyroidism in which the thyroid gland secretes too much thyroid hormone — resulting in too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream and overactivity of the body's metabolism) is responsible for the absent menstrual cycles.
  • Obesity
    Females who are obese often experience amenorrhea as a result of excess fat cells interfering with the process of ovulation.