Amenorrhoea (BE), amenorrhea (AmE), or amenorrhœa, is the absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age. Physiological states of amenorrhoea are seen, most commonly, during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding), the latter also forming the basis of a form of contraception known as the lactational amenorrhoea method. Outside of the reproductive years there is absence of menses during childhood and after menopause.
Clinicians should note vital signs and body composition and build, including height and weight, and should calculate body mass index (BMI). Secondary sexual characteristics are evaluated; breast and pubic hair development are staged using Tanner’s method. If axillary and pubic hair is present, adrenarche has occurred.
Treatments vary based on the underlying condition. Key issues are problems of surgical correction if appropriate and oestrogen therapy if oestrogen levels are low. For those who do not plan to have biological children, treatment may be unnecessary if the underlying cause of the amenorrhoea is not threatening to their health. In preindustrial societies, menarche typically occurred later than in current industrial societies. After menarche, menstruation was suppressed during much of a woman's reproductive life by either pregnancy or nursing.