The Difference Between Amenorrhea and Menopause


Both amenorrhea and menopause refer to the failure of ovulation and therefore the absence of menstruum. They differ in terms of the extent to which they are considered natural, the age of onset, the underlying causes, and the treatment required.


Menopause is a upshot of decreased hormone product by the ovaries. It is the final abeyance of ovulation and for most women occurs between the ages of 47 and 53 years. The Mayo Clinic defines amenorrhea equally the absence of a menstrual period in a woman of reproductive age (12-15 and 47-53 years) that cannot exist explained past pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause.

David Klein and Poth differentiate betwixt main and secondary amenorrhea.

  • Primary amenorrhea is the absence of menses in a woman past the age of sixteen due to chromosomal or genetic anomalies and/or developmental delays and/or injury.
  • Secondary amenorrhea is the absence of menses for three months in a adult female with a previously normal menstrual wheel or 6 months for a woman with an irregular menstrual cycle.

The causes of secondary amenorrhea include physiological, psychological, and/or lifestyle factors, equally well every bit being the side-effect of some drugs and medications.

  • Physiological factors include premature menopause, changes in the functioning of the hypothalamus, and shifts in a woman’s hormonal balance. It may point polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid malfunction, a pituitary tumor, and fifty-fifty intrauterine scar formation.
  • Psychological factors include eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. According to G. Castellini et al., 66-85 pct of patients with anorexia nervosa suffer from amenorrhea due to restricted food intake and existence underweight.
  • Lifestyle factors such as low body weight and excessive exercise may also cause amenorrhea (J. L. Chan et al.) Women who practise vigorously on a regular basis and lose a meaning corporeality of weight are at risk of developing hypothalamic (or ‘athletic’) amenorrhea.
  • Medications may also cause amenorrhea, for example, contraceptives, the regular utilise of opiates such equally heroin, the antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia, and some medications for depression and claret pressure (F.J. Santen et al).


For some women, the decrease in estrogen production in menopause presents with hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and vaginal atrophy and dryness. Cognitive and affective disturbances may also be apparent. Benjamin Saddock and Saddock note that while some women may get depressed about no longer being able to bear children, many women report an increased sense of wellbeing because it gives them opportunities to pursue the dreams that were put on hold.

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Primary amenorrhea presents as the failure to begin menses after the age of 16. Secondary amenorrhea presents as an interruption of menses that is not due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, or menopause. Associated symptoms of secondary amenorrhea can include headaches, vision changes, nausea, extra facial pilus, pilus loss, changes in chest size, and a milky discharge from the breasts.


Menopause is a natural condition that does non unremarkably require specific treatment; too, the absence of menstruation during pregnancy and breast feeding. The failure to menstruate at any other bespeak warrants attention considering the underlying condition causing amenorrhea may show life threatening.

Amenorrhea itself is non commonly harmful to a adult female’s health, and menses returns if the underlying conditions are addressed. Treatments may include surgical correction, for example, removing uterine scar tissue or a pituitary tumor. Hormonal imbalances can be treated with hormone therapies. Anorexia nervosa is treatable with psychotherapy (Andrea Kass et al.) Lifestyle factors can be addressed by eating more and decreasing the amount and intensity of exercise, and amenorrhea due to medication tin can be treated by stopping the medication.

Tabular array: Summary of differences between Amenorrhea and Menopause


Amenorrhea is the failure of a woman’s menstrual cycle to start by the age of 16 and the unexpected cessation of menses during a adult female’south reproductive years, whereas menopause is the natural and expected cessation of menses between the age 47 and 53 years. While women suffering from amenorrhea would find it difficult to fall significant, the condition is not considered a medical emergency once the underlying condition is identified and treated. Handling includes surgical, hormonal, and psychological strategies and/or lifestyle changes.

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What is amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea is the failure to brainstorm menstruating or the unexpected cessation of catamenia during a woman’due south reproductive years.

What is the cause of amenorrhea?

Primary amenorrhea, or the failure to menstruate before age 16 may be the effect of congenital defects and developmental delays and/or injuries. Secondary amenorrhea may reflect underlying medical, pharmacological, hormonal, psychological, and lifestyle conditions.

What happens to your eggs when you have amenorrhea?

When a adult female suffers from amenorrhea the eggs or ova dissolve.

How long can amenorrhea last?

Amenorrhea due to the menopause will concluding the rest of a adult female’s life. Principal amenorrhea is virtually often a life-long status, for example, chromosomal abnormalities like Turner’southward syndrome. Secondary amenorrhea persists for as long equally the underlying status does. For instance, where amenorrhea is the result of taking contraceptives, render of menses occurs from a few weeks to 6 months (Healthline). Withal, secondary amenorrhea can also be a life-long condition, for example, if amenorrhea due to excessive practice or weight loss occurs early in life, menses may non return, and the woman may non exist able to autumn pregnant fifty-fifty with the help of drugs.

What is the fastest way to cure amenorrhea?

While some cases of primary amenorrhea tin can be cured with surgery, menopause is not curable and also amenorrhea due to chromosomal and genetic anomalies. The time it takes to cure secondary amenorrhea depends on successful treatment of the underlying cause.

What are the effects of non getting your menstruation?

The consequences of a woman not having her period include difficulty falling pregnant.


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