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Premature Menopause

Premature Menopause

12 Aug 2021

Menopause is a phase in a woman’s life when she can no longer become pregnant. Usually, women go through natural menopause in their early 50s. Premature menopause occurs in women before the age of 40 and early menopause occurs before the age of 45. The symptoms for these conditions are just like natural menopause and the reasons are not known most often.

Besides coping with mood swings and other symptoms connected to menopause, several women impacted by premature menopause have to deal with different physical and emotional issues. For instance, since menopause indicates the termination of a woman’s fertility years, a woman wanting to have childbirth is likely to go through stress. 

Factors Leading To Premature Menopause

  • Any surgery to remove the ovaries
  • Smoking
  • Surgery to remove the uterus
  • Side effects due to chemotherapy
  • A family history of menopause at an early phase in life
  • Certain medical conditions like chromosomal abnormalities, autoimmune diseases, HIV and AIDS
  • infections, including mumps

Symptoms of Premature Menopause

  • Unequal or missed periods
  • Hot flashes (an unexpected feeling of warmth that covers the upper body)
  • Cold flashes
  • Racing heart
  • Severe headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Increase in weight
  • Dryness of the vaginal
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Emotional swings
  • Dry skin
  • Lack of sleep

Diagnosis of Premature Menopause

To diagnose premature menopause, the doctor must conduct a physical exam and draw blood to confirm the absence of conditions like pregnancy and thyroid disease. Another test to measure the estradiol levels (low estradiol levels indicate the ovaries are beginning to fail). If the estradiol levels are under 30, it might signal that the concerned woman is in menopause.

 A blood test to measure follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) helps in diagnosing premature menopause. FSH results in ovaries producing estrogen. When the ovaries slow down estrogen production, the FSH levels increase, and if it rises above 40 mIU/mL, it means that the woman is in menopause.

Other Health Issues Impacting Women in Premature Menopause

Lower estrogen levels can change women’s complete health and enhance the risk for specific medical conditions like osteoporosis. Other health problems include colon and ovarian cancer, cataract, periodontal (disease of the gum).

Treatment for Premature Menopause

The symptoms and the health risks related to premature menopause and emotional upheaval resulting from it could be handled with techniques similar to natural menopause. Women having to deal with infertility that occurs due to premature menopause may consult a reproductive specialist.

Considering the health risks connected with early menopause, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is regularly suggested to all women impacted by premature menopause unless there is a convincing medical reason to avoid it. If there is any uncertainty regarding the safety of hormone therapies, it would be better to discuss its advantages and disadvantages with your doctor. There are certified doctors in managing menopause and they would be of immense value in guiding conflicting information about the safety associated with hormone therapy.

Premature Menopause Can Be a Forecaster for Heart Ailment

Women who reach menopause before the age of 40 have a greater risk of developing coronary heart disease. Cardiologists, primary care professionals, and OB-GYNs must provide collaborative care.