ZocdocAnswersWhat is amenorrhea?

Question

What is amenorrhea?

My daughter is 14 years old and hasn't seemed to hit puberty at all yet. This is strange to me, because I had developed by her age. Our OGBYN says she has amenorrhea. What is that?

Answer

Amenorrhea literally means lack of menstrual flow, or a period. It is called primary amenorrhea when the woman has never had a period (like your daughter), and secondary amenorrhea when the woman had normal menstrual cycles in the past which have now stopped. The age at first menses is highly variable, and can be influenced by the father's genetics, body weight, and psychologic stressors. There are also many medical causes of amenorrhea, including genetic factors, endocrine abnormalities (such as thyroid disease), pregnancy, and psychiatric disease. If you are concerned about your daughter's development, you should discuss these concerns with your daughter's pediatrician or gynecologist. A complete history and physical exam will allow them to determine possible underlying causes and suggest an appropriate follow up plan.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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