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Have you suddenly stopped having periods, and are wondering whether you are pregnant or if there is some other reason? This overview of possible causes of absence of menstruation may help you to find out what is going on with you

Too young

Let's start at the beginning one reason a girl may not have a period is that she is simply too young. A girl's first period is called menarche, or the time she starts menstruating. In most countries, the majority of girls start menstruating between 12 and 13 years of age. It is possible for menarche to take place earlier or later as well, but it shouldn't be years before or after. Girls who haven't started menstruating by age 15 should consult a doctor, probably together with their mom. In some cases, a woman never gets a period at all. This is called primary amenorrhea. Possible causes of primary amenorrhea are problems with the central nervous system and deformations of the reproductive organs. This doesn't have to be congenital certain diseases or some types of accidents in childhood can be responsible.


Pregnancy is the most famous reason a woman or girl who had been menstruating before suddenly stops having periods. Somehow, "is it possible to be pregnant and still have periods" still crops up quite often. The answer to this question is that it is not possible to have periods during pregnancy, but vaginal bleeding for other reasons may look similar to a period. Besides a missed period, pregnancy will normally result in quite a few different symptoms fatigue, bloating, tender breasts, morning sickness, and acne are all common during the first trimester. A missed period alone is plenty of reason for any sexually active woman to buy a home pregnancy test.

Extreme stress

A recent study showed that stress makes a woman more likely to experience pre-menstrual symptoms like mood swings and irritability, but can stress actually make you miss your period? To answer that question, it is important to separate physical stress from emotional stress. We'll discuss physical stress later. When it comes to emotional stress, we know that depression can cause menstrual cycle changes or halt a woman's periods altogether for a time. Short-term stress may also influence your menstrual period.

Lifestyle factors

Secondary amenorrhea when your period stops after you menstruated in the past is not uncommon among women who have made sudden changes in their lifestyle. Malnutrition can result in the absence of menstruation, but rapid weight loss through dieting, and sudden weight gain can also be responsible. Professional athletes often have problems with their menstrual cycle, and may stop menstruating altogether in some cases. Obesity and drug use are two other lifestyle factors that can cause secondary amenorrhea.

Hormonal disturbances

The cessation of menstrual cycles is often caused by hormonal disturbances as well. The hypothalamus and pituitary gland, thyroid, and ovaries all play hormone-producing roles that can influence the menstrual cycle. Women who are not pregnant and have suddenly stopped having periods and don't have another easy explanation should talk to their doctor about hormonal disturbances. Some of these can easily be treated with medications. Others, like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, are more complicated to manage.


Postpartum women commonly take quite a while to start menstruating again. After giving birth, women have postpartum bleeding (or lochia) for around four weeks. This "mother of all periods" may be annoying, but the good news is that many new moms have no periods for months. Moms who are exclusively breastfeeding often have a break from menstrual cycles for even longer. It is possible to have lactational amenorrhea for years. It took me two years to start menstruating again after giving birth to my second child, for instance. We were still breastfeeding when I noticed my first postpartum period.


Women who notice changes in their menstrual cycles in their mid to late forties, and their early fifties are almost certainly starting the menopause. Besides menstrual cycles changes, or the absence of periods, there are quite a few symptoms that can assure you that the perimenopause is to blame hot flashes, weight gain, and heart palpitations are among them. Remember that an early menopause, during a woman's twenties or thirties, is also possible.

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