What is amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea is a hormonal condition characterized by the absence of menstrual periods for longer than three months. It will generally occur when there is an imbalance of the control mechanisms in the brain called the Hypothalamus/ Pituitary axis (HPA).

The female reproductive cycle can be influenced by a number of factors. Some of these are:

  • hormonal status
  • stress
  • use of the oral contraception pills and contraception devices
  • changes in body weight.

Other common causes of amenorrhea are:

  • excessive exercise
  • polycystic ovaries (PCOS)
  • a loss in body weight or anorexia, sudden weight loss
  • Pituitary insufficiency or a luteal phase defect in your cycle.

Hormone balance and Amenorrhea

For women to have a regular menstrual cycle their needs to be the correct balance between Progesterone and Oestrogen for this to occur.  The female hormone Oestrogen is stored in adipose tissue (body fat). Its primary role is to thicken the endometrial lining which is shed during a menstrual bleed. When these stores drop to low levels the reproductive cycle may cease due to this hormone being absent.

Low levels of Oestrogen may cause the cycle to stop completely with ovulation also ceasing. A fast drop in fat deposit in conjunction with raised liver enzymes may be the causative factor being amenorrhea in some women. A womens reproductive cycle needs to be in sync with the female hormones in order for a healthy cycle to occur. This means that the levels of Oestrogen and progesterone need to be consistently shifting to signal changes from the follicular phase, thru the ovulation phase and luteal phase to the onset of menstruation.

Natural remedies for amenorrhea

Traditionally the herb Vitex has been used to recorrect hormone imbalances due to its regulatory effect on the Pituitary and Hypothalamus (master hormone glands in the brain).  It works to stabilise hormones and the Oestrogen/ progesterone ratio. Vitex has predominantly a progestogenic effect and low progesterone has been linked to amenorrhea. In order to establish a long term cycle this herb needs to be taken for at least 3-6 months.

Other herbs and nutrients which may be of assistance to modulate hormones and stimulate a regular cycle are:

  • Vitex
  • Peony
  • Rehmannia
  • Black Cohosh
  • False Unicorn
  • Chamomile
  • Mexican Wild Yam
  • B Vitamins
  • Zinc

It is difficult to completely explain or even diagnose the cause of your amenorrhea without consulting with you privately. For this reason I suggest that you make a consultation with a healthcare professional who can properly asses your individual case and provide you with the support and advice you require.