How to Treat Amenorrhea
- In some women, nutritional deficiencies induced by dieting can cause amenorrhea. Such women should eat a properly balanced diet.
- In some women, excessive body weight can be the cause of amenorrhea. These women should restrict the amount of fat in their diet, and they should exercise moderately to maintain an ideal body weight.
- More than 8 hours of vigorous exercise a week may cause amenorrhea. A moderate exercise program may restore normal menstruation.
- In women with anorexia nervosa or excessive weight loss, normal menstrual cycles can often be restored by undergoing treatment to restore and maintain a healthy body weight.
- If amenorrhea is caused by emotional stress, finding ways to deal with stress and conflicts may help.
- Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by avoiding alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking is also helpful.
What Is Amenorrhea Medical Treatment?
Treatment depends on the cause of amenorrhea. Once the cause is determined, treatment is directed at correcting the underlying disease, which should restore menstruation. In case of anatomical abnormalities of the genital tract, surgery may be indicated.
Some causes of amenorrhea can be managed by medical (drug) therapy. Examples include the following:
- Dopamine agonists such as bromocriptine (Parlodel) or pergolide (Permax), are effective in treating hyperprolactinemia. In most women, treatment with dopamine agonists medications restores normal ovarian endocrine function and ovulation.
- Hormone replacement therapy consisting of an estrogen and a progestin can be used for women in whom estrogen deficiency remains because ovarian function cannot be restored.
- Metformin (Glucophage) is a drug that has been successfully used in women with polycystic ovary syndrome to induce ovulation.
- In some cases, oral contraceptives may be prescribed to restore the menstrual cycle and to provide estrogen replacement to women with amenorrhea who do not wish to become pregnant. Before administering oral contraceptives, withdrawal bleeding is induced with an injection of progesterone or oral administration of 5-10 mg of medroxyprogesterone (Provera) for 10 days.
What Are Amenorrhea Surgery Options?
- Some pituitary and hypothalamic tumors may require surgery and, in some cases, radiation therapy.
- Women with intrauterine adhesions require dissolution of the scar tissue.
- Surgical procedures required for other genital tract abnormalities depend on the specific clinical situation.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/22/2016
Lawrence M Nelson, MD, MBA
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