What might cause missed periods other than pregnancy?
Hormonal imbalance is a common cause and is usually female hormone related.
This may be the onset of menopause especially if a woman has not had a period for 1 year and is between the ages of 45 to 55 years old. If a woman is under the age of 45 and has not had a period for 1 year, female hormone tests can be performed to confirm premature menopause as a possible cause.
Other hormones may be involved too and this may involve thyroid hormones and also prolactin. A raised prolactin level can lead to:
- absent menses,
- milky secretions from the breast,
- and even tunnel vision.
Prolactin is a hormone that is secreted from the pituitary gland located in the brain. Rapid loss of weight or if a women's BMI (body mass index) is less than 18.5 kg/m2 (underweight) are associated with absent menses and usually affects women with eating disorders (anorexia nervosa), strenuous exercise (such as ballet, gymnastics, swimming, marathon running) and stress.
For some women there may be no cause found although not common.
Dr Christopher Ng
#04-03A Camden Medical Centre
1 Orchard Boulevard
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