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- Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:24 pm
I haven't had my menstrual cycle since April or May. I am Scared. I took two take home pregnancy tests and i went to the doctors and got a pregnancy test there too. All three were negative. So if im not pregnant what is wrong with me? Am I going to be able to have kids? Am I going to get my cycle back? I never thought i would say this but I want it back.
| Dr. Tamer Fouad
- Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:57 pm
I hope your cycles have come back to normal. Allow me to go through a few causes for your complaint.
First, secondary amenorrhea is defined as absence of menstruation for three normal menstrual cycles or 6 months in a woman with previously regular menstruation.
The causes of absence of menstruation for less than 3 cycles / less than 6 months are similar to the causes of amenorrhea (with the exception of anatomic or chromosomal etiologies), but the hypothalamic, pituitary, or ovarian hormonal dysfunction is less severe or of shorter duration than with amenorrhea.
Causes include pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy (especially if you have had a tubal ligation), use of hormonal birth control methods (such as birth control pills or hormonal injections or implants), recently stopping birth control pills or breast-feeding. Other causes such as rapid weight loss, obesity, excessive exercise or participation in endurance sports, menopause, severe stress or lifestyle change, use of certain medications and hormone imbalance. Other, more serious causes of missed periods include tumors, pituitary disorders, and other glandular problems involving the ovaries, thyroid, or adrenal glands. These problems are rare.
Usually if the period is late and the woman is not pregnant, the cause is hormonal--she is not ovulating regularly for some reason. Weight changes and stress levels can disrupt the menstrual cycle; so can being peri-menopausal, taking some medications, and engaging in heavy exercise.
After excluding pregnancy, the usual recommendation is if you miss more than three cycles or have any symptoms that are worrying you, you should see your doctor to check for the cause of the problem. Usually it does not turn out to be serious and may resolve on its own before you even get in for the appointment.
1. Jonathan S. Berek: Novak's Gynecology, 13th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2002.