Secondary amenorrhea is when a woman who has been having normal menstrual cycles stops getting her periods for 6 months or longer.
Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or in menopause are not considered to have secondary amenorrhea.
Amenorrhea - secondary; No periods - secondary; Absent periods - secondary; Absent menses - secondary; Absence of periods - secondary
Women who take birth control pills or who receive hormone shots such as Depo-Provera may not have any monthly bleeding. When they stop taking these hormones, their periods may not return for more than 6 months.
Also, procedures such as a dilation and curettage (D and C) can cause scar tissue to form. This tissue may cause a woman to stop menstruating. This is called Asherman syndrome. Scarring may also be caused by some severe pelvic infections.
In addition to having no menstrual periods, other symptoms can include:
Cynthia D. White, MD, Fellow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Group Health Cooperative, Bellevue, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.