Put simply, amenorrhea refers to the absence of menstruation. It’s not to be confused with menopause in which there is cessation in the menstrual cycle. Amenorrhea can strike young girls who should already be having their regular period as part of their growth and development, or young and adult women who have already had their menstruation.
There are actually two types of amenorrhea:
- Primary amenorrhea. Medical experts say that primary amenorrhea signifies a delay in the start of puberty. In this case, a young girl who has it also fails to develop secondary sexual characteristics such as the development of the breasts and growth of pubic hair. Medical treatments like the intake of certain drugs and undergoing the knife are the usual solutions for primary amenorrhea.
- Secondary amenorrhea. In this type of amenorrhea, there is the sudden absence of menstruation in women, no matter young or older, who have had their menstrual cycles before. It is important to note that secondary amenorrhea is something that can be due to an assortment of things, except for the likes of menopause, pregnancy, breastfeeding and intake of contraceptive pills.
Amenorrhea is usually accompanied by a variety of signs and symptoms, depending on the culprit behind it. Aside from the absence of menstruation itself, amenorrhea may also come together with:
- Nipple discharge or sometimes breast milk production even if a woman is not pregnant or nursing
- Hair loss, but in some instances excessive body hair due to hormonal changes
- Night sweats and hot flashes, which usually come together and cause a woman to have difficulty in sleeping
- Vaginal dryness, which is something that can make a woman prone to having vaginal infections
- Either unintended weight loss or weight gain, which can be linked to insulin resistance or diabetes
- Headaches, anxiety and disturbances in vision are some other symptoms of amenorrhea
There are so many different things that can be the underlying cause of amenorrhea, primary or secondary alike. Did you know that having poor diet, being too thin or overweight, undergoing increased stress levels, being depressed and exercising a lot can actually bring about amenorrhea?
But then there are also a variety of underlying medical conditions that can cause it. Some of them are those that involve the likes of the hormones, problems with the ovary, tumors and heart disease.
Clearly, amenorrhea is something that should be checked by a doctor for the diagnosis of the causative factor as well as determination of the right treatment for it.
For amenorrhea cases that are due to problems that can be dealt with naturally (hormonal imbalance, stress, anxiety, depression, weight gain, etc.), there are some home remedies that may be done by a woman to bring her menstrual cycle back to normal. Some of the best solutions include:
- Chamomile tea. This healthy beverage is very good at lowering anxiety and stress levels, both of which can cause amenorrhea to strike.
- Emmenagogue herbs. When used with the help of an experienced herbalist, the likes of lemon balm, false unicorn root, blue cohosh and angelica root can stimulate menstruation.
- Chasteberry. According to experts in the field of herbs, chasteberry can help put an end to amenorrhea particularly if it’s caused by hormonal imbalance.
- Cinnamon. The inclusion of cinnamon in the diet on a regular basis can help normalize hormonal levels in the body, thus promoting regular menstrual cycle.
- Tomato juice. Because of the loads of antioxidants in it, tomato juice helps improve circulation, ensuring that the ovaries are supplied with oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood.
- Ripe papaya. The consumption of ripe papaya helps flush out toxins courtesy of its fiber content, and it also helps control inflammation because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Saffron. To help eliminate toxins in the body that can cause problems leading to amenorrhea, a pinch of saffron may be boiled in a cup of water, and then cooled and consumed.