Amenorrhoea is defined as the absence of menses, when a woman does not see her menstrual period. This can be normal in the case of pre-pubertal girls, pregnancy or following menopause.
However, in other women it is a sign of a gynaecological problem, although the menstrual cycle can also be affected by other diseases.
It is divided into two groups:
1. Primary amenorrhoea – this is when a female has never had menses. This is considered abnormal if menses has not started by age 16 or if there has been no development of breasts or pubic hair by age 14. It is a problem affecting about 3 percent of younger women.
2. Secondary amenorrhoea – this is when a woman who had menses previously, then experiences no menses for six months or more. This can affect women of any age. These women have normal breast and pubic hair development.
The two types have different causes and treatments and these will be discussed in the next section. There are many potential causes but the commonest are highlighted in bold.
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