Primary amenorrhea is when a girl does not start her period by age 15 or 3 years after she begins puberty.
Causes of primary amenorrhea include pregnancy, hormone imbalances, stress, thyroid conditions, ovarian cysts, being too thin, and long-term illness. Girls who exercise intensively may miss periods if they don't get enough calories in their diet. Primary amenorrhea can have other causes, too, such as genetics or a problem with the way the reproductive organs developed.
Treatment may help periods start or return. Depending on the cause, this might include medication, stress reduction, dietary changes, or reducing excessive exercise. In a few instances, surgery might be recommended.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) The AAP is committed to the health and well-being of infants, adolescents, and young adults. The website offers news articles and tips on health for families.|
|American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) This site offers information on numerous health issues. The women's health section includes readings on pregnancy, labor, delivery, postpartum care, breast health, menopause, contraception, and more.|
|American Academy of Family Physicians This site, operated by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), provides information on family physicians and health care, a directory of family physicians, and resources on health conditions.|
|GirlsHealth.gov GirlsHealth.gov, developed by the U.S. Office on Women's Health, offers girls between the ages of 10 and 16 information about growing up, food and fitness, and relationships.|
|Female Athlete Triad Female athlete triad is a combination of three conditions: disordered eating, amenorrhea (loss of a girl's period), and osteoporosis (a weakening of the bones).|
|Thyroid Disease The thyroid gland manufactures the hormones that help control metabolism and growth. So if your thyroid isn't operating properly, you can have problems in other parts of your body.|
|Menstrual Problems For a girl, getting her first period is a sign of becoming a woman. But it can also be confusing, particularly if she encounters certain menstrual problems like irregular periods or PMS.|
|Did My Period Stop Because of Too Much Exercise? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Compulsive Exercise Even though exercise has many positive benefits, too much can be harmful. Teens who exercise compulsively are at risk for both physical and psychological problems.|
|All About Menstruation Getting a period is a natural part of being a woman. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Gyn Checkups Girls should get their first gynecological checkup between ages 13 and 15. Find out what happens during a yearly gyn visit -- and why most girls don't get internal exams.|
|Five Things Girls Want to Know About Periods Girls have lots of questions about periods. Here are five good ones - and the all-important answers!|
|When Will I Get My Period? It's normal to be a little worried or anxious about getting your period. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|All About Menstruation Periods can be confusing. Get the facts in this article for teens.|
|Coping With Common Period Problems Many girls have to deal with PMS, cramps, or headaches around the time of their periods. These problems are usually nothing to worry about. Get the facts on which period problems are normal and which ones might indicate something's going on.|
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