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Amenorrhea: Condition Information

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What is amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea is the absence of a menstrual period.

Amenorrhea is sometimes categorized as:

  • Primary amenorrhea. This describes a young woman who has not had a period by age 16.
  • Secondary amenorrhea. This occurs when a woman who once had regular periods experiences an absence of more than three cycles. Secondary amenorrhea includes pregnancy.

Having regular periods is an important sign of overall health. Missing a period, when not caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause, is generally a sign of another health problem. If you miss your period, talk to your health care provider about possible causes, including pregnancy.


Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 03/03/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology