Menstrualcycle disorder may cause a woman’s monthly flow to be absent orinfrequent. Although this is not a worry to many women, thesedisorders may cause medical problems or have negative long-termhealth consequences. Oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea are two mainreasons that can lead to these menstrual disorders. Oligomenorrhea isa medical term that refers to infrequent or light menstrual periods,normally, six to eight times in a year. It commonly occurs amongwomen of childbearing age. According to Borgeltand American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (2010),a diagnosis of oligomenorrhea is given to a woman who takes more thanthirty-five days without receiving her periods. Normally, periodsshould occur after every twenty-one to thirty-five days. More often,this condition is caused by the side effects of family planning,especially the use of birth control pills. Research shows that mostwomen receive lighter and lighter periods after they start takingcontraceptives. Further, women with thyroid, diabetes, and high-levelof protein are also likely to be diagnosed with this condition.Additionally, eating disorders such as bulimia and nervosa can causeoligomenorrhea. Young women who participate in heavy exercise such assport are also at risk of getting oligomenorrhea.
Onthe other hand, amenorrhea is a medical term that refers to theabsence of menstrual periods. It is a normal feature inpostmenopausal, pregnant, and prepubertal females. Amenorrhea isdivided into two types: primary and secondary amenorrhea. To startwith, primary amenorrhea is the absence of menses before the age ofsixteen, in the presence of secondary sexual characteristics andnormal growth. It is also the absence of menses before the age offourteen with the absence of secondary pubertal changes, or absenceof menses after thelarche period (Borgelt,et. al., 2010).Conversely, secondary amenorrhea occurs after menarche or after threeor more cycles of missed menses. Causes of amenorrhea includepregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, low body weight, excessiveexercise, hormonal imbalance, and use of contraceptives, amongothers.
Borgelt,L. M., & American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.(2010). Women`shealth across the lifespan: A pharmacotherapeutic approach.Bethesda, Md: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.