What causes amenorrhea?


Amenorrhea is often a sign of another health problem rather than a disease itself, and it can happen for many reasons. It can occur as a natural part of life, such as during pregnancy or breastfeeding. It can also be a sign of a health problem, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Because amenorrhea is associated with health conditions that are also linked to infertility, understanding amenorrhea is an important part of NICHD's research on infertility and fertility.


  1. Pascal, P., Leprieur, E., Zenaty, D., Thibaud, E., Polak, M., Frances, A. M., et al. (2010). Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) gene mutation as a frequent cause of primary amenorrhea in 46,XY female adolescents with low testosterone concentration. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 8, 28.
  2. Lin, K. & Barnhart, K. (2007). The clinical rationale for menses-free contraception. Journal of Women's Health, 16(8), 1171–1180.
  3. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins—Gynecology. (2013). Practice bulletin no. 136: Management of abnormal uterine bleeding associated with ovulatory dysfunction. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 122(1), 176–185.
  4. La Torre, D., & Falorni, A. (2007). Pharmacological causes of hyperprolactinemia. Therapeutic and Clinical Risk Management, 3, 929–951. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2376090/
  5. ACOG. (2014). ACOG Committee Opinion: Primary ovarian insufficiency in the adolescent. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2014/07/primary-ovarian-insufficiency-in-adolescents-and-young-women external link
  6. ACOG. (2016). Dilation and curettage. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from https://www.acog.org/patient-resources/faqs/special-procedures/dilation-and-curettage external link (PDF 69 KB)
  7. Gordon, C. M. (2010). Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea. New England Journal of Medicine,363, 365–371.
  8. Hormone Health Network. (2011). Amenorrhea. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/amenorrhea external link
  9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health. (2015). Thyroid disease fact sheet. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/thyroid-disease.html
  10. Master-Hunter, T., & Heiman, D. L. (2006). Amenorrhea: Evaluation and treatment. American Family Physician,73, 1374–1382. Retrieved May 31, 2016, from http://www.aafp.org/afp/2006/0415/p1374.html external link
top of pageBACK TO TOP