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. Disease statistics: Patients with headaches and visual field defects or evidence of pituitary dysfunction require brain MRI. If clinical evaluation suggests a chronic disease, liver and kidney function tests are done, and ESR is determined. Often, testing includes measurement of hormone levels; total serum testosterone or dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) levels are measured only if signs of virilization are present. Certain hormone levels should be remeasured to confirm the results.
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. Reductions in age of menarche and lower fertility rates mean that modern women menstruate far more often than they did under the conditions prevalent for most of human evolutionary history. The term is derived from Greek: a = negative, men = month, rhoia = flow. Derived adjectives are amenorrhoeal and amenorrhoeic. The opposite is the normal menstrual period (eumenorrhoea).