A gynaecologist, Dr Abayomi Shonubi, on Friday advised women, particularly those of child-bearing age, against indiscriminate use of contraceptives to avoid developing amenorrhea.
Shonubi, the Medical Director, G-Spring Hospital and Fertility Centre, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
The gynaecologist said that amenorrhea could occur as side effect of medication or an indication of a medical problem.
Shonubi, who defined amenorrhea as the absence of menstrual period when a woman was still in her reproductive years, however, said there are two types of amenorrhea.
According to him, amenorrhea can be natural or induce. It can occur during pregnancy and breastfeeding, when menstruation stops in some women.
He said that the primary type of amenorrhea occurred when a girl of between 15 and16 years of age never experience menstruation due to genetic disorder or abnormal female reproductive organs.
Shonubi said that the secondary aspect occurred when a woman had experienced menstrual period but stopped for four or more consecutive months.
The gynaecologist said that the secondary amenorrhea could occur due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, emotional stress, premature ovarian failure and chemotherapy.
He attributed oral contraceptives, certain medications and low body weight of about 10 per cent under normal weight, obesity, eating disorder, excessive exercise and stress as causative factors that could make menstrual cycle to stop.
Shonubi blamed the development of the condition on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), overactive thyroid, underactive thyroid, pituitary tumour and premature menopause.
He added that the problems such as uterine scaring; Asherman’s syndrome, which occurs after dilation and curettage (DC), caesarean section and treatment of uterine fibroids, could predispose a woman to the condition.
He, however, said that primary amenorrhea could occur due to lack of reproductive organs being fully developed or even absence.
“If a girl is born without some major parts of her reproductive system such as the uterus, cervix or vagina, she can’t menstruate.
“And a person that cannot menstruate also cannot ovulate and possibly will not be able to get pregnant.
“Structural abnormality of the vagina and obstruction of the vagina may also prevent visible menstrual bleeding.
“A membrane or wall may be present in the vagina which blocks the outflow of blood from the uterus and cervix,” he said.
Shonubi said that recovering ceased menstrual cycle could start from knowing and treating the underlying cause, as well as lifestyle changes.
He advised patients with secondary amenorrhea caused by hormonal imbalance to use prescribed contraceptive pills and other hormone therapies in order to help restore ceased menstrual cycle.
Shonubi also suggested surgery in patients suffering from tumours and structural blockage.
He said that primary amenorrhea caused by late puberty does not need treatment but those caused by genetic abnormalities could be treated by administering supplementary ovarian hormones.
Shonubi, therefore, urged women whose condition was caused by obesity; underweight, among others, to change their diet so as to restore normal menstrual cycle. (NAN)