A Reproductive Lexicon


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Amenorrhea is the absence of menstrual bleeding or suppression of the normal menstrual cycle for three or more consecutive months in a woman who previously had normal menstrual cycles (secondary amenorrhea). Amenorrhea also refers to the absence of menses by age 14 in an adolescent with no development of secondary sexual characteristics, or by age 16 in an adolescent who has had normal sexual development (primary amenorrhea). Common causes of amenorrhea include pregnancy, lactation during the months following pregnancy, underlying issues with one’s reproductive organs or functions, contraceptive medication or other drugs/therapies (like chemotherapy or radiation), menopause, low levels of energy stores or malnutrition, stress or anxiety disorders, and excessive weight loss or exercise.