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Infertility

Is amenorrhea an indicator of infertility?

01/10/2002

Question:

I approached my gyn in November about my first missed menstrual cycle. I am 26 years old and have three children. I have always had normal cycles and was concerned when I missed this cycle and was not pregnant. My doctor indicated that it was probably caused by the oral contraceptive I am taking (Alesse 28) and that I should not be concerned. I certainly have no problem not experiencing a cycle each month and have felt great. I would like to know, though, if this means that I am no longer ovulating, and if so, what are the possibilities of infertility. I have not eliminated the idea of having another child in the future and want to avoid infertility. What should I do? Thanks.

Answer:

In women who are not on oral contraceptives or other hormones, amenorrhea (the absence of menses) can be a sign of either pregnancy or of hormonal conditions that may cause infertility.

Approximately 5% of women taking oral contraceptives will not have a period. It is especially true for women taking the ultra low-dose pills such as Alesse.

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Response by:

Arthur T Ollendorff, MD Arthur T Ollendorff, MD
Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati