Amenorrhoea is defined as
the absence of menses, when
a woman does not see her
menstrual period. This can be
normal in the case of pre-pubertal
girls, pregnancy or following
However, in other women it is a sign of
a gynaecological problem, although the
menstrual cycle can also be affected by
It is divided into two groups:
1. Primary amenorrhoea – this
is when a female has never had
menses. This is considered abnormal
if menses has not started by age 16
or if there has been no development
of breasts or pubic hair by age 14.
It is a problem affecting about
3 percent of younger women.
2. Secondary amenorrhoea – this is
when a woman who had menses
previously, then experiences no
menses for six months or more. This
can affect women of any age. These
women have normal breast and
pubic hair development.
The two types have different causes
and treatments and these will be
discussed in the next section. There
are many potential causes but the
commonest are highlighted in bold.
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