The absence of monthly flow in women is sometimes alarming and mostly gets the female involved in some sort of panic. Monthly menstrual flow missed by women is a great deal when she knows she is not pregnant but we can say that women who have missed at least three menstrual periods in a row and are not pregnant are possibly positive with Amenorrhea. Asides this fact, another set of people that could be classified as having Amenorrhea are young girls who haven’t begun menstruation by age 15. It could also be caused by tumors in the reproductive system. Subsequently, we will be talking about its Causes, symptoms and treatments.
Amenorrhea is classifies into two: Primary or Secondary. The Primary Amenorrhea is more of a biological trait which occurs when a young girl of say 14 starts to develop sexual characteristics but doesn’t have menstrual bleeding while the secondary cause is when a lady who has been having menstrual flows suddenly stops for three or more months without pregnancy. Basically, it is important to note that there are different causes of this, some of which are Hypothalamic, Pituitary, Ovarian and some other functional causes.
There are different signs and symptoms as to how a lady could be suffering from Amenorrhea but the main symptom is the absence of menstrual flow when there is no presence of a foetus and then peradventure she starts to witness hair loss, headache, pelvic pain, milky nipple discharge and some changes in vision. Also if she is about 15 and above but hasn’t had her menstrual period, it could be as a result of Amenorrhea at the primary level so it is advised that when all these symptoms persist, you should please consult a doctor.
Treatment depends on the cause of the Amenorrhea. Some may say contraceptive pills or other hormone therapies can create a new cycle for the menses as it in a way creates a new start. Amenorrhea that is caused by thyroid or pituitary disorder may be treated with medications. Treatment cannot be self-medicated or self-induced as a doctor or specialist should be seen and proper advice should be given. Some cases of amenorrhea can be treated with medications, while others include anatomical abnormalities of the genital tract and may require surgery.
For example, when primary amenorrhea is caused by abnormalities in the reproductive system, surgery and medication may be required. Amenorrhea caused by tumors would also need radiation therapy and medication or surgery to shrink or remove the tumor.
Causes such as low body weight, excessive exercise, and high levels of stress are lifestyle factors that need to be balanced out to revert to the normal functioning of the body.
As part of the treatment of Amenorrhea, some home made remedies can also be employed to keep it in check. They include:
- Boil half a cup of water and add a teaspoon of saffron. Boil till the water reduces down to a concentrated tablespoon. Divide this concentrate into three parts and have it over the course of the day. Saffron is a powerful antioxidant that can treat chronic inflammatory conditions as well as reduce stress that may be causing Amenorrhea.
- Drinking two to three glasses of tomato juice daily is said to improve blood circulation and treat Amenorrhea.
- Raw beetroot or fresh beetroot juice is considered an effective treatment for amenorrhea.
- Foods such as papaya, sesame seeds, ginger, and bitter gourd can increase the internal body temperature and improve ovulation. This in turn can result in regular periods.
- There is a substance known as butylidene-phthalide found in celery seeds that help to stimulate menstrual bleeding.
- There are a number of herbs known as emmenagogues that bring on menstrual bleeding. These should be taken only under qualified supervision as they can react adversely with other medication and can be dangerous if not taken in the proper dosages. Herbs used to treat amenorrhea include chamomile, angelica root, Blue cohosh, false unicorn root, and lemon balm.
- Chamomile is a relaxant and an antispasmodic that can be had as a supplement or drunk as a tea. Absence of menstruation caused by stress and anxiety can be treated with chamomile.
- Angelica root tea or extract can reduce stagnation in the reproductive system. Angelica root essential oil can also be massaged onto the abdominal area to induce menstruation.
- Blue Cohosh is believed to be a powerful uterine stimulant. It improves blood flow to the pelvic region and can also be combined with Black cohosh to treat other menstrual problems.
- False unicorn root has been used down the ages to treat problems with menstruation and infertility. The Native Americans believe that this herb can prevent miscarriages as well as bring on menstruation.
- Lemon balm – Melissa is a relaxant and calms the system down to encourage normal menstruation.
- An infusion of stinging nettle leaf when drunk regularly is an effective treatment for amenorrhea.
- The herb Pennyroyal is one of the best natural remedies for amenorrhea. It stimulates the reproductive system and encourages menstruation. It should be taken as a tea but only under supervision due to its strong properties. Penny royal essential oil can be fatal if taken internally as it is extremely toxic.
- Mix half a teaspoon of cinnamon in a glass of milk and drink this every day to instigate weight loss. Weight loss is important to ensure regular menstruation.
Also considering your diet and encouraging healthy dietary needs is helpful in treating Amenorrhea. Since problems such as obesity, low body weight, and iron deficiency are common causes of the condition, an amenorrhea diet is recommended to improve overall health and functioning of all body system.
- Include more iron-rich foods in your diet such as liver, seafood, spinach, soya beans and kidney beans. This prevents nutritional deficiencies such as anaemia that could be causing the absence of menstrual bleeding.
- Avoid crash diets to reduce weight as this can further aggravate the condition of amenorrhea. Stick to a regime of healthy food and regular exercise to reduce weight safely.
- Avoid fatty foods and products high in trans-fats. Use olive oil to cook to aid weight loss and add natural dietary fiber to improve your digestion and metabolism.
- If you are underweight, increase your intake of protein and low-fat dairy products. This will help you gain weight in a healthy manner.
- Do not forget your daily vitamin and mineral supplements along with folic acid as such deficiencies can lead to amenorrhea.
- It is believed that following a gluten-free diet can prevent menstrual irregularities and can even restore fertility.
Amenorrhea is preventable and thereafter treatable so women are advised to eat healthy, exercise well and have a frequent check up with the doctor.