Where Have the Periods Gone? The Evaluation and Management of Functional Hypothalamic Amenorrhea

Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA) is a common cause of amenorrhea in adolescent girls. It is often seen in the setting of stress, weight loss, or excessive exercise. FHA is a diagnosis of exclusion. Patients with primary or secondary amenorrhea should be evaluated for other causes of amenorrhea before a diagnosis of FHA can be made. The evaluation typically consists of a thorough history and physical examination as well as endocrinological and radiological investigations.

FHA, if prolonged, can have significant impacts on metabolic, bone, cardiovascular, mental, and reproductive health. Management often involves a multidisciplinary approach, with a focus on lifestyle modification. Depending on the severity, pharmacologic therapy may also be considered. The aim of this paper is to present a review on the pathophysiology, clinical findings, diagnosis, and management approaches of FHA in adolescent girls.

Lead Researchers

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  1. Tania Dumont

    Investigaor, CHEO Research Institute

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  2. Caroline Zuijdwijk

    Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

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