The menopause early occurs before the age of 40 years, while premature menopause occurs between 41 and 45 years.
Early or premature menopause can be a disturbing experience for four percent of American women with this health problem.
Premature menopause means the end of reproductive life at an early age, can occur even at the age of 20 years.
On the other hand, it is important to understand that the difference between precocious or premature menopause compared to pre-menopause, the stage in which we have the last cycles, where women have no symptoms and have an active reproductive life.
Rarely, the ovaries can spontaneously resume work after menopause, this is for reasons unknown.
According to some studies, about one woman out of 10 who was diagnosed with early menopause may become pregnant. The reason why is not yet clear, but if you do not want to have a baby, you should continue to use contraceptive methods.
Causes of Early Menopause
Medical treatments that can cause early menopause are: chemotherapy or pelvic radiation therapy for cancer.
These therapies can damage the ovaries and cause a disruption of cycles.
The effects of these therapies, for example not being able to conceive, can occur immediately or after several months.
The ability to enter menopause varies according to the type and amount of chemotherapy that was used. In addition, the younger the patient is, the lower the likelihood that she will enter menopause.
Surgery to remove the ovaries
Surgical removal of both ovaries, also called bilateral oophorectomy causes immediate menopause.
The cycles of a woman stop after this surgery and the hormones decrease rapidly.
She may have experienced severe menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes andloss of sexual desire .
Surgery to Remove the Uterus
Some women who have undergone a hysterectomy to remove the uterus are able to maintain their ovaries. Patients do not enter menopause immediately because the ovaries continue to make hormones.
However, since the uterus has been removed, they no longer have cycles and can not get pregnant. You may have hot flashes because the surgery can sometimes affect the blood supply to the ovaries. Menopause may come one or two years earlier than expected.
Early menopause can occur due to inheritance or illness
Some possible causes include:
Chromosomal defects. Errors on the chromosome can cause early menopause. For example, women with Turner syndrome are born without a part of an X chromosome or they may lose the entire chromosome. Normally the ovaries do not form and the consequence is premature menopause.
Genetics. Women with a family history of early menopause are more predisposed to having early menopause.
Autoimmune diseases. The immune system, which normally struggles with the disease, can erroneously attack the ovaries and prevent them from producing the hormones.
Thyroid diseases and rheumatoid arthritis are two diseases that can cause this health problem.
Natural Causes of Early Menopause
When menopause arrives earlier it is sometimes caused by premature ovarian failure.
However, it is a better term to indicate this disease: “primary ovarian failure” because it describes the reduction of ovarian activity.
It may be the result of many factors, from genetic predisposition to autoimmune diseases.
In some cases, women have their ovaries that produce even a small amount of hormones and sometimes they notice a menstrual cycle .
Some women become pregnant after the diagnosis.
Stress : Although stress can not cause early menopause, it plays an important role in the severity and frequency of the symptoms.
Reading the reasons we understand that it is not possible to prevent premature menopause.
Pregnancy and curettage do not cause menopause.
How does early menopause manifest itself?
The symptoms of early menopause are often the same as experienced during natural menopause and include:
- Irregular cycles , early menses, delayed or absent,
- Menstruation more abundant or softer than usual,
- Heat waves (a sudden sensation of heat that spreads over the upper body)
These symptoms are a sign that the ovaries produce less estrogen.
Along with the above mentioned symptoms, some women may have:
- Vaginal dryness (the walls of the vagina may become thinner and less flexible),
- Irritability or loss of bladder control ( incontinence ),
- Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings, mild depression ),
- Skin , eyes or dry mouth ,
- Reduction of sexual desire.
In addition to the symptoms listed above, anyone who is under 40 and has any of the following conditions should consult their physician to determine if they are likely to enter early menopause:
- After a cycle of chemotherapy or radiation therapy,
- If a family member or patient has an autoimmune disease such as hypothyroidism , Graves’ disease or lupus,
- She tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant for over a year,
- The patient’s mother or sister had premature menopause.
Diagnosis of early or premature menopause
Premature menopause is diagnosed with some tests, including:
- Clinical history, including family history and medical consultation.
- Research to rule out other causes of amenorrhea (absence of cycles) such as pregnancy , significant weight loss , other hormonal disorders and some diseases of the reproductive system.
- Search for other diseases associated with early or premature menopause like other autoimmune diseases.
- Genetic testing to check for genetic problems associated with early or premature menopause.
- Blood tests at various stages of the menstrual cycle to check hormone levels.
Treatment for early or premature menopause
There is no cure available to block early menopause and induce the ovaries to resume ovulation .
Women with early menopause have a long lifetime in postmenopausal, which means a greater risk of health problems such as the early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Hormone therapy may be recommended until the woman reaches the age of menopause (about 51 years) to treat the symptoms of menopause and reduce the risk of early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Treatment and medication
Treatment for premature ovarian failure is aimed at solving problems caused by lack of estrogen.
To help prevent osteoporosis and relieve the heat and other symptoms of estrogen deficiency, it is important to replace the estrogen produced by the ovaries.
Generally, estrogens are prescribed along with another hormone: progesterone .
Adding progesterone protects the lining of the uterus (endometrium) by precancerous changes caused by taking estrogen alone.
The combination of hormones can cause vaginal bleeding similar to menstruation, but not the re-establishment of ovarian function.
It is possible to take estrogens in the form of pill , gels, an adhesive patch applied to the skin or a vaginal ring that you can replace every three months.
It is possible to continue with hormone therapy until about the 50s or 51s, that is, the average age of natural menopause.
In older women, long-term estrogen treatment has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer .
In young women with premature ovarian failure, however, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy usually outweigh the potential risks.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements
Taken together, these supplements are important for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Your doctor may advise you to take a bone density test (MOC) before you start taking supplements to find out what the basal bone density measurement is.
The institute of medicine recommends women aged 19-50 to take a calcium amount of 1,000 milligrams (mg) per day, increasing to 1,200 mg per day for women who are over the age of 51 years.
Among the natural remedies for menopausal symptoms there is a supplement called Maca.
Maca can significantly reduce the symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, vaginal dryness, osteoporosis, fatigue, and depression ).
This product is found in all handling pharmacies.
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