Healthy New Jersey

Periods (menstruation)

Paused periods (amenorrhea)

Paused periods or secondary amenorrhea is when you haven't had your period in over three months and you're not pregnant.

If your periods have stopped, and it's been over three months, speak to your health care provider about various factors that could influence your periods, such as:

  • Your medical history
  • Your family's medical history
  • Your physical and mental health
  • Any recent lifestyle changes, such as fluctuations in weight or changes in your exercise routine

Why did my period stop?

Not having a period, such as during pregnancy or breastfeeding, or after menopause is typical. Some types of hormonal contraception could also cause your period to stop.

Common reasons why periods can stop:

Genetic factors

Having a family history of early menopause or certain genetic or chromosomal conditions.

Lifestyle factors

Being significantly underweight or overweight, experiencing high levels of stress, or engaging in intense exercise can impact your period.

Hormonal factors

Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid issues, or premature menopause can affect your period.


Certain medications, including chemotherapy, radiotherapy, certain anti-psychotic or anti-depressant drugs, medications for high blood pressure, and some allergy medications, can disrupt hormone balance and cause periods to stop.

When to speak with a health care provider

If your period has stopped for more than three months and you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Pelvic pain
  • Hair loss
  • Facial hair growth
  • Acne
  • Discharge from your breasts
  • Changes in your vision


During your health care provider visit, you may be asked to take a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy.

If you are not pregnant, your health care provider may ask that you wait and see if your period returns naturally or recommend a treatment option.

To prepare for your visit, provide your health care provider with information about your periods, including:

  • Start date of your last period
  • Typical duration of your period (number of days your period lasts)
  • Shortest and longest intervals between your periods
  • Menstrual flow
  • Any relevant medical history (e.g., recent smear test if you're over 25)

You can record this information by using a calendar, diary, or an app.

To get the information you need, ask questions about your care.

If your health care provider suspects an underlying condition is affecting your periods, a referral to a specialist or additional tests may be necessary.

These tests may include an internal exam of your uterus, pelvis, and abdomen, as well as blood tests to investigate potential health conditions. 


Treatment options will depend on the underlying cause identified by your health care provider.

Typical treatment options include:

  • Lifestyle changes like adjusting diet or activity levels
  • Taking specific hormonal medications to help regulate your periods

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