Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea stems from decreased action and release of GnRH, LH and FSH; in turn leading to lower estrogen production and inability to ovulate.
Long term consequences are low bone mass and infertility. Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea is a diagnosis of exclusion, and thus no specific cause can be found. Main culprits are excessive exercise, weight loss and stress.
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Endocrine Society Guidelines
The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the European Society of Endocrinology, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society. This guideline was funded by the Endocrine Society.
To formulate clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA).
The participants include an Endocrine Society–appointed task force of eight experts, a methodologist, and a medical writer.
This evidence-based guideline was developed using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation approach to describe the strength of recommendations and the quality of evidence. The task force commissioned two systematic reviews and used the best available evidence from other published systematic reviews and individual studies.
One group meeting, several conference calls, and e-mail communications enabled consensus. Endocrine Society committees and members and cosponsoring organizations reviewed and commented on preliminary drafts of this guideline.
FHA is a form of chronic anovulation, due not to identifiable organic causes, but often associated with stress, weight loss, excessive exercise, or a combination thereof. Investigations should include assessment of systemic and endocrinologic etiologies, as FHA is a diagnosis of exclusion. A multidisciplinary treatment approach is necessary, including medical, dietary, and mental health support. Medical complications include, among others, bone loss and infertility, and appropriate therapies are under debate and investigation.