Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea: аn endocrine society clinical practice guideline, 2017


  • Catherine M. Gordon Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • Kathryn E. Ackerman Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • Sarah L. Berga Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States


The American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the European Society of Endocrinology, and the Pediatric Endocrine Society. This guideline was funded by the Endocrine Society.


Objective: To formulate clinical practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of functional hypothalamic amenorrhea (FHA).

Participants: The participants include an Endocrine Society–appointed task force of eight experts, a methodologist, and a medical writer.

Evidence: 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.

Consensus Process: 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.

Conclusions: FHA is a form of chronic anovulation, not due to identifiable organic causes, but often associated with stress, weight loss, excessive exercise, or a combination thereof. The term “functional” implies that correction or amelioration of causal behavioral factors will restore ovulatory ovarian function. 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. As part of an initial endocrine evaluation for patients with FHA, we recommend obtaining the following laboratory tests: serum thyroid-stimulating hormone, free thyroxine, prolactin, luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, estradiol, and antiMullerian hormone.



How to Cite

Gordon, C. M., Ackerman, K. E., & Berga, S. L. (2017). Functional hypothalamic amenorrhea: аn endocrine society clinical practice guideline, 2017. REPRODUCTIVE ENDOCRINOLOGY, (38), 13–21. Retrieved from