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Missing the Monthly Visitor?

Amenorrhea is the medical term for "absence of menstruation." In other words, Aunt Flo hasn't paid a visit in at least three months.

If you are not menstruating, you are not ovulating. Pregnancy is, of course, the most common reason for amenorrhea. Breastfeeding and menopause are the two other "natural" reasons a woman experiences absence of menstruation. Premature ovarian failure is another reason. If menopause or premature ovarian failure cause amenorrhea while a woman still wants to build a family, egg donation or embryo donation may be an option.

Some methods of birth control and other medications such as antidepressants or chemotherapy also cause periods to stop. Stress and other lifestyle factors such as low body weight or excessive exercise can cause hypothalamic amenorrhea.. Or, you could have a hormonal imbalance caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or a thyroid disorder. Structural abnormalities in the reproductive system, such as uterine scarring may also cause amenorrhea.

If you have missed three or more periods in a row, talk to your Ob/Gyn or fertility doctor to find out why your periods have stopped. The sooner you investigate the problem, the faster you can move on with your goals of creating a family. Our Patient Care Advocates can help you decide if a fertility consultation is right for you. Contact them by callling 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or emailing

Watch as Dr. David Keenan, of Atlanta Center for Reproductive Medicine, explains the conditions which might impact ovulation:

Click image to play.

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