- Primary amenorrhea -- menstruation never takes place. It fails to occur at puberty.
- Secondary amenorrhea -- menstruation starts but then stops.
The absence of menstruation during pregnancy is a form of physiologic secondary amenorrhea, physiologic in the sense that it is completely normal and is not caused by anything medically harmful (pathologic). Amenorrhea during lactation is another type of physiologic secondary amenorrhea.
The word "amenorrhea" is compounded from three Greek roots "a-", no + "men", month + "rhoia", flow = no monthly flow. Amenorrhea is less commonly called amenia.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's Women's Health Newsletter
Women's Conditions Resources
Last Editorial Review: 5/13/2016