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Amenorrhea Symptoms & Diagnosis

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Amenorrhea Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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Symptoms

The main symptom of primary amenorrhea is the absence of a menstrual period in girls age 16 or older. The main symptom of secondary amenorrhea is three or more missed periods in a row in a woman who has previously had a regular period.

If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t assume that the cause of your amenorrhea is something serious. If you’re sexually active, the first thing to do is to determine if you’re pregnant. Then see your physician to get a proper diagnosis.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical exam.

Tests may include the following:

  • Pregnancy test
  • Blood work to determine hormone levels
  • Chromosome test to determine if any abnormalities exist
  • Urine test
  • Progestin challenge test (taking progestogen for 7-10 days to trigger bleeding in order to determine if lack of estrogens is responsible for amenorrhea)
  • CT scan of the head —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures of the head, brain, and skull
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging ) scan of the head —a test that uses magnetic waves to make pictures of brain tissue
  • Ultrasound —use of high-frequency sound waves to view and examine the organs of the abdominal cavity
  • Laparoscopy —insertion of a thin tube affixed with a light and camera, along with other instruments, through a tiny incision in the abdominal wall

All or even most of these tests are rarely indicated.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2014 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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