Home Women's Health Hypothalamic amenorrhea: what it is, causes, symptoms and treatment

Hypothalamic amenorrhea: what it is, causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
Hypothalamic amenorrhea

Lack of menstruation or amenorrhea is a significant concern for those who suffer from it. Of course, first of all, the most common causes that the period does not drop should be ruled out, such as pregnancy.

Hypothalamic amenorrhea is due to an alteration in the secretion of hormones by the hypothalamus, a structure found in the central nervous system in the head. This can occur from many different causes, the most common being stress or nutritional disorders.

Do you think that may be your case? Then do not miss this article by FastlyHeal. You will find information about hypothalamic amenorrhea, its causes, symptoms, and treatment.

What is hypothalamic amenorrhea?

Amenorrhea is the lack of menstruation. This can occur forever, never having had menstruation, called primary amenorrhea.

Another more systematic way of presenting is secondary menorrhea. It is diagnosed when three periods are missing in a row. The most common cause is pregnancy, but it can be due to many different reasons.

Amenorrhea is hypothalamic when the hypothalamus does not produce the hormones needed for the ovaries to produce the cascade of hormones and metabolic reactions that lead to menstruation and ovulation.

Causes of hypothalamic amenorrhea

The hypothalamus stops secreting hormones that stimulate the ovaries. In this way, the average female cycle does not occur. This implies that there is no menstruation or ovulation.

Among the causes that can cause hypothalamic amenorrhea can be mentioned:


The effect of anxiety and stress can be very marked on your body. Alert reactions trigger the release of adrenaline and cortisol, which directly interfere with normal body processes, including hormones by the hypothalamus.

Nutritional deprivation

A nutrient-poor diet can cause metabolic and hormonal systems to malfunction. In that case, adrenaline increases, favoring various unhealthy reactions such as lack of menstruation.

This type of imbalance can be seen before:

  • Very restrictive diets, lacking in nutrients and vitamins.
  • Lack of ingestion of food (for example, in case of bulimia ).
  • Excess unhealthy and nutritious foods in the diet.
  • Consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and coffee in excess.


Exercising too much is as harmful as not exercising. Subjecting the body to excessive sports demands favors several imbalances such as dryness, anxiety, sleep disorders, alterations in indigestion, and the hormonal system, among them, alterations in menstruation and ovulation.

Sudden changes in weight

Gaining or losing weight too quickly can lead to menstrual alterations of this type, especially if these changes have been reached with stress or from unhealthy nutritional regimes.

Symptoms of hypothalamic amenorrhea

Hypothalamic amenorrhea is characterized, first, by the lack of menstrual period. In addition, other symptoms may be associated both in the short and long term.

In the short term, it can occur together with amenorrhea. You may notice some alterations such as:

  • Delayed puberty: that is, the characteristics of the body that are typical of this stage of life do not appear, such as breast growth or increased pubic and axillary hair.
  • Infertility: When hormones are not produced adequately, not only is the ovarian cycle that manifests with amenorrhea interrupted, but ovulation is also interrupted. So, you can try to look for pregnancies, but they will not be achieved because there will be no eggs from the ovary that can be fertilized. On the other hand, the lack of hormones also alters normality in the uterus and the rest of the body, making pregnancy difficult.

General symptoms such as:

  • Low voltage.
  • Dizziness
  • Cardiac arrhythmias.

On the other hand, if hypothalamic amenorrhea is maintained over time, some symptoms related to other parts of the body may occur in the long term. This happens precisely because the hormones secreted by the hypothalamus and the ovaries regulate not only reproductive function but also influence many other areas of the body:

  • Loss of bone mass: if there is no good hormonal function, the bones suffer the consequences. They will be weaker, osteoporosis may appear, and even fracture. You can notice the weakness of your bones through the state of your teeth and nails.
  • Atherosclerosis: the metabolism of fats is also altered by poor circulation, a product not only of hormonal alteration but also of the causes that generate hypothalamic amenorrhea (stress, poor diet, excessive exercise).

That is why it is not good to maintain this condition for a long time.

Treatment of hypothalamic amenorrhea

The most important thing to correct the fundamental problem of hypothalamic amenorrhea is to focus on the cause that caused the alteration. This is achieved through good habits that include: healthy eating, a good night’s rest, exercise according to physical capacity, and practices that allow the mind to be quiet.

Treatment of hypothalamic amenorrhea

This is suggested as initial treatment for all women with this disorder, as otherwise, the actual situation may be masked.

In some cases in which a pregnancy is desired, some professionals indicate hormones to supplement the woman’s deficit, but this is not recommended, since a pregnancy in which the physical conditions of the woman are not given certainly, will lead to complications for both her and the fetus, such as premature delivery, children with low birth weight or other health problems.

That is why it is much better to correct the original imbalance, so the whole body will be prepared to face a pregnancy.

Contraceptive supplementation is not recommended at all to return menstruation. Only the most superficial symptom of amenorrhea is being corrected, which is the lack of menstruation. Synthetic hormone supplementation does not supplement natural female hormone secretion at all.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Hypothalamic amenorrhea: what it is, causes, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of the Female reproductive system.

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