When is a bone mineral density scan required for missed periods?
I understand that missed periods can be a risk factor for osteoporosis. If I am experiencing amenorrhea for a period of time, when should I consider taking a bone mineral density test to rule out osteoporosis?
Yes, missing periods may sometimes put you at increased risk of osteoporosis, but this depends on the underlying cause of why you're missing your periods. If it is due to PCOS, then there is no risk of osteoporosis, because in PCOS, your oestrogen level is good but the reason you're not having a period is because you're not ovulating.
Apart from this, most other causes of missing periods/amenorrhoea are associated with oestrogen deficiency. Oestrogen deficiency is associated with low bone mineral density.
Examples would include menopause (if occurs under the age of 40, is considered premature menopause/premature ovarian insufficiency), functional hypothalamic amenorrhoea (usually associated with excessive exercise/dieting) and disorders of the pituitary gland.
It is usually recommended to do a bone mineral density test if amenorrhoea is present for over 6 months.