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What Is Premature Menopause and How to Cope with It?

What Is Premature Menopause and How to Cope with It?

What Is Premature Menopause and How to Cope with It?

Menopause is considered as premature when menstruations end before the age of 40. Normally, average women reach their menopause after the age of 51. Various diseases and their treatment as well as genetics may lead to premature menopause.

What Causes a Premature Menopause?

Genetics plays a great role in premature menopause. Women who have had someone in the family with premature menopause, especially if their mothers have had premature menopause, are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with premature menopause.

Chromosomal disorders like Turner’s Syndrome, Lupus and Grave’s Disease may lead to premature menopause.

Autoimmune disorders also lead to premature menopause by attacking the ovaries and interrupting their normal functionality.

Chemotherapy or pelvic radiation therapy for cancer treatment also may lead to premature menopause.

Surgical Procedures That May Lead to Premature Menopause

Hysterectomy alone or accompanied with oophorectomy can also lead to premature menopause. Hysterectomy is the removal of the uterus due to various diseases like uterine cancer, endometriosis, uterine prolapse, pelvic inflammatory disease, complications after childbirth, etc.

Oophorectomy is the surgical removal of one or both ovaries. Oophorectomy is necessary in cases with ovarian cancer, benign tumors of the ovaries, ovarian cysts, twisted ovary, endometriosis, etc. The removal of one ovary usually does not lead to premature menopause. However, the removal of both ovaries leads to premature menopause and cessation of the reproductive activity.

Signs and Symptoms of Premature Menopause

A sudden change of the menstrual flow does not have to mean that menopause is coming. There are many other causes that can change the quantity and duration of the menstrual flow. Once the period is missed, the first thing that comes in everyone’s mind is pregnancy.

Menopause is considered when women have not had menstrual periods for at least 12 months and which first proceeded by a transitional period, known as the perimenopause.

Perimenopause is characterized by:

  • Hot flashes — a hot sensation that flashes across upper body
  • Irregular periods or less frequent menstruation
  • Emotional symptoms – depression, irritability, and sleeplessness
  • Lighter or heavier menstrual periods than before
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Decreased libido
  • Dry skin, etc.

The perimenopause signs and symptoms vary in women. For some, this period is very challenging, while for others it is unnoticed.

Proper Diagnostics Helps Define Premature Menopause

Women who are facing with the signs and symptoms of early menopause should consult their doctor immediately in order to determine if premature menopause is the real cause, or something else is causing them.

The diagnostic process includes a complete physical examination, blood tests and measurement of the levels of the hormones estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). First, pregnancy and thyroid diseases have to be ruled out.

Today many medications are available in order to help women manage the perimenopause signs and symptoms. This includes herbal treatments, but also hormone replacement therapy.

Diagnosed with Premature Menopause – Now What?

The first thing that concerns every women diagnosed with premature menopause is the inability of having children in the future. The procedure of freezing the eggs and surrogacy offer for many women the hope of having biological children in the future, even after they have entered menopause.

Women who have been diagnosed with premature menopause should also be aware of other negative health influences like osteoporosis, cancer, periodontal disease, etc.


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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.