Definition - What does Oligomenorrhea mean?

Oligomenorrhea is the absence of regular menstrual periods. While some irregularity of menstrual cycles is normal, the passing of more then 35 days without a period indicates the presence of oligomenorrhea.

Common causes of oligomenorrhea include normal health conditions, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, or impending menopause. However, oligomenorrhea may indicate underlying health concerns that may impede a woman's ability to become pregnant.

Oligomenorrhea may also be called an irregular period.

FertilitySmarts explains Oligomenorrhea

Aside from natural causes, there are several common reasons a woman may experience oligomenorrhea:

  • Birth control pills
  • Hormone injections
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Extreme stress or emotional duress
  • Low body fat
  • Extensive exercise
  • Extreme weight loss or gain

Less common reasons include:

  • Brain tumors, specifically in the pituitary gland
  • Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy
  • Medications for schizophrenia or psychosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Reduced ovarian function

In order to diagnose oligomenorrhea, pelvic exams, pregnancy tests, and blood tests will be conducted. Once pregnancy has been ruled out, exams will test the hormone levels in a woman’s body. Additionally, scans of the head and brain may be completed, along with uterine biopsy, genetic testing, and ultrasound testing of the pelvis and abdomen.

Treatment for oligomenorrhea is based on the diagnosed condition.

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