amenorrhea

amenorrheal, amenorrhoeal, amenorrheic, amenorrhoeic, adj.
/ay men'euh ree"euh, euh men'-/, n. Pathol.
absence of the menses.
Also, amenorrhoea.
[1795-1805; A-6 + MENO- + -RRHEA]

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Lack of menstruation.

Signs of primary amenorrhea (failure to start menstruating by age 16) include infantile reproductive organs, lack of breasts and pubic hair, dwarfism, and deficient muscle development. In secondary amenorrhea (abnormal cessation of cycles once started), the genitals atrophy and pubic hair diminishes. Not itself a disease, amenorrhea reflects a failure in the balance among the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, ovaries, and uterus; tumours, injuries, or diseases of these can lead to amenorrhea. Other causes include systemic diseases, emotional shock, stress, hormone over-or underproduction, anorexia nervosa, absence of ovaries or uterus, pregnancy, lactation, and menopause. Infrequent menstruation or amenorrhea not resulting from organic disease is not harmful.

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▪ physical disorder
also spelled  amenorrhoea  

      failure to menstruate. menstruation is the normal cyclic bleeding from the uterus in the female reproductive (reproductive system disease) tract that occurs at approximately four-week intervals. Primary amenorrhea is the delay or failure to start menstruating upon reaching the age of 16, while secondary amenorrhea is the abnormal cessation of cycles once they have started. Amenorrhea is not itself a disease. It reflects some failure in the intricate balance between the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland, the ovaries (ovary), and the uterus. The pituitary gland is situated deep between the two cerebral hemispheres of the brain, next to the hypothalamus, and is partially under the control of this area of brain tissue. The pituitary stimulates the ovaries by means of a hormone known as gonadotropin, which causes the ovaries to produce the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen, when released to the uterus (womb), regulates the menstrual cycle and produces periods of bleeding if fertilization of the egg released from the ovary has not occurred. Any disturbance in this chain of events can cause amenorrhea.

      Hypothalamic amenorrhea is caused by emotional shock, anxiety, fear, some psychotropic medications, or injuries to the midbrain. Fractures to the base of the skull or nervous system infections such as meningitis or encephalitis may disrupt hypothalamic function, but usually the problem is psychological or emotional. Amenorrhea may be the main or the only symptom in these disturbances.

      Disorders that disrupt secretion by the pituitary include tumours (tumour), systemic diseases, and dietary deficiencies resulting from disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. When amenorrhea is primary, the reproductive organs remain infantile, the breasts do not develop, and there is no pubic hair. When amenorrhea is secondarily caused by tumours, destructive lesions, or hemorrhagic shock, the genitals atrophy; pubic hair diminishes; there may be lethargy, weight loss, or obesity; and masculine traits may develop.

      Ovarian disturbances causing amenorrhea include tumours, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and excessive or deficient secretion of hormones.

      Other causes of amenorrhea include obesity, the use of contraceptives, excessive exercise, obstructions of the vagina, and the normal bodily states of pregnancy, lactation, and menopause.

      Treatment of amenorrhea is directed toward the underlying cause and usually includes hormone therapy.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • amenorrhea — (n.) 1804, Modern Latin, from Greek privative prefix a not (see A (Cf. a ) (3)) + men month (see MOON (Cf. moon) (n.)) + rhein to flow (see RHEUM (Cf. rheum)). Related: amenorrheal …   Etymology dictionary

  • amenorrhea — or amenorrhoea [ā men΄ə rē′ə] n. [ModL < Gr a , not + mēn, month + RRHEA] abnormal absence or suppression of menstruation …   English World dictionary

  • Amenorrhea — Absence or cessation of menstruation. Amenorrhea is conventionally divided into primary and secondary amenorrhea: {{}}Primary amenorrhea menstruation never takes place. It fails to occur at puberty. Secondary amenorrhea menstruation starts but… …   Medical dictionary

  • amenorrhea —    Absence or suppression of menses. Primary amenorrhea is the failure to begin menses by age 16, secondary amenorrhea is tardy menses (from pregnancy, stress, dieting, illness or intensive physical training) in the previously menstruating woman …   Herbal-medical glossary

  • amenorrhea — noun absence or suppression of normal menstrual flow • Syn: ↑amenorrhoea, ↑amenia • Derivationally related forms: ↑amenorrhoeal (for: ↑amenorrhoea), ↑amenorrheal • …   Useful english dictionary

  • Amenorrhea — mėnesinių nebuvimas statusas T sritis embriologija atitikmenys: lot. Amenorrhea ryšiai: platesnis terminas – beovuliacinis tipas …   Medicininės histologijos ir embriologijos vardynas

  • amenorrhea — noun Etymology: New Latin, from a + Greek mēn month + New Latin o + rrhea more at moon Date: 1804 abnormal absence or suppression of menses • amenorrheic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • amenorrhea — noun Lack of a menstrual period in a female when one should be present …   Wiktionary

  • amenorrhea — n. absence of menstruation, suppression of menstruation …   English contemporary dictionary

  • amenorrhea — amen·or·rhea …   English syllables

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