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Amenorrhea: Overview

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Amenorrhea (pronounced ey-men-uh-REE-uh or uh-men-uh-REE-uh) is the medical term for the lack of a menstrual period. Amenorrhea is not a disease, but it can be a symptom of another condition.

Primary amenorrhea occurs when a girl has not had her first period by age 16. Secondary amenorrhea describes women who experience an absence of more than three cycles after having regular periods.

The NICHD supports research on the causes and treatments for primary and secondary amenorrhea as well as the conditions for which secondary amenorrhea is often a main symptom, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency (FXPOI)

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Common Name

  • Amenorrhea

Medical or Scientific Name

  • Amenorrhea
Last Updated Date: 05/07/2013
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