What is the role of bone density in amenorrhea?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Kristi A Tough DeSapri, MD; Chief Editor: Richard Scott Lucidi, MD, FACOG  more...
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Answer

Loss of menstrual regularity has been associated with an increased risk of wrist and hip fractures related to reduced bone density, even without the development of amenorrhea. A later menarche and menstrual cycle intervals longer than 32 days have both been associated with increased fracture rates in later years. Young women with ovarian insufficiency that is unresponsive to therapy require hormone replacement to maintain bone density.

Adolescence is a critical period for bone accretion as over half of peak bone mass is achieved during the teenage years. [25] Regular menses is a sign that the ovaries are producing normal amounts of estrogen, androgens, and progesterone, all of which play an important role in building and maintaining bone mass. Late menarche has been associated with a 3-fold increase in the risk of wrist fracture. [26]


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