Premature menopause occurs before the age of 40, while premature menopause occurs between the ages of 41 and 45.
Menopause before age 50 can be a disconcerting experience for 4% of American women.
Menopause before the age of 50 means the end of the possibility of reproduction at an unusually early age, which can occur even at the age of 20.
On the other hand, it is necessary to know the difference between premature and premature menopause as opposed to premenopause, the phase in which the last cycles occur, in which women do not show any symptoms and are capable of reproduction.
In rare cases, for reasons that are not known, the ovaries may spontaneously resume their function after menopause.
According to some studies, one in ten women diagnosed with menopause before the age of 50 can become pregnant. The reason for this is still not clear and if there is no desire to have children, it is recommended to continue using contraceptive methods.
Cause of menopause before the age of 50
Medical treatments that can lead to menopause before age 50 include: chemotherapy or pelvic radiation for cancer.
These therapies can damage the ovaries and lead to interruption of cycles.
The effects of these therapies, for example not being able to get pregnant, can start immediately or only after a few months.
The possibility of menopause depends on the type and amount of chemotherapy used. In addition, the younger the patient, the less likely it is that menopause will occur.
Surgical intervention for ovarian removal
Surgical removal of both ovaries, called bilateral ovariectomy, immediately leads to menopause.
A woman’s cycles end after the procedure and her hormones decrease very quickly.
The woman may immediately have severe symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and decreasing sexual desire.
Surgical intervention for uterine removal
Some women who have undergone a hysterectomy to remove the uterus may retain their ovaries. In these patients, menopause does not occur immediately because the ovaries continue to produce hormones.
However, since the uterus has been removed, they no longer have cycles and therefore cannot get pregnant. You may have hot flashes because surgery can sometimes affect blood flow to the ovaries. Menopause may occur a year or two earlier than expected.
Menopause before the age of 50 can be genetic or caused by disease
Some of the possible causes:
Chromosomal defect. Chromosomal defects can cause menopause before the age of 50. For example, women with Turner syndrome are born without part of an X chromosome or the chromosome may be missing altogether. The ovaries are usually not developed and the result is menopause before the age of 50.
Genetics. Women with menopause before age 50 in family history are more likely to enter menopause prematurely.
Autoimmune diseases. The immune system, which normally fights disease, can mistakenly attack the ovaries and prevent their hormone production.
Thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis are two conditions that can lead to this disorder.
Natural causes of menopause before the age of 50
If menopause occurs early, it can sometimes be caused by premature ovarian failure.
However, “primary ovarian failure” is a better term for this disorder because it describes the reduced activity of the ovaries.
It can be the result of many factors, from genetic predisposition to autoimmune disorders.
In some cases, the women have ovaries that still produce a small amount of hormones and in which a menstrual cycle occurs every now and then.
Some women can also become pregnant after this diagnosis.
Stress: Although stress may not cause menopause before age 50, it does play an important role in pregnancy and the frequency of symptoms.
When reading the causes, one understands that it is not possible to prevent menopause before the age of 50.
Pregnancy and curettage do not cause menopause.
How does menopause manifest itself before the age of 50?
The symptoms of menopause before the age of 50 are the same as those experienced during normal menopause and include:
- Irregular, delayed, premature or missing menstrual cycles
- Excessive or abnormally low menstruation
- Hot flashes (a sudden sensation of heat that spreads over the upper body)
These symptoms are a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen.
In conjunction with the symptoms described above, some women may have the following complaints:
- vaginal dryness (vaginal walls may become thinner and less flexible)
- Irritability or loss of bladder control (incontinence)
- Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings, mild depression)
- Dry skin, eyes, or mouth
- Decreased sexual desire
In addition to the above symptoms, all women who are under 40 years of age and have any of the following diseases should have a doctor check whether there is a risk of menopause before the age of 50:
- After a course of chemotherapy or radiation
- If the patient or family member has an autoimmune disease such as hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease or lupus
- If you have tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant for more than a year
- If the patient’s mother or sister had menopause before the age of 50
Diagnosis of premature or premature menopause
Menopause before the age of 50 is diagnosed on the basis of a number of tests, including:
- Medical history, including family history and a medical examination
- Studies to rule out other causes of amenorrhea (absence of menstruation), such as pregnancy, significant weight loss, other hormonal disorders and some diseases of the reproductive system
- Screening for conditions related to premature or premature menopause, such as autoimmune diseases
- Genetic testing to detect genetic problems associated with premature or premature menopause
- Blood tests at different stages of the cycle to determine hormone levels
Therapy for premature or premature menopause
There is no treatment to block menopause before age 50 or cause a resumption of ovulation.
Women with menopause before the age of 50 experience a long period of postmenopause, so they are at increased risk of health problems such as the early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Hormone therapy may be recommended until the woman reaches the typical age of menopause (around age 51) to treat the symptoms of menopause and reduce the risks of early osteoporosis and heart disease.
Therapy and medication for symptoms of menopause before the age of 50
Therapy for premature ovarian failure aims to solve problems caused by estrogen deficiency.
To prevent osteoporosis and relieve hot flashes and other symptoms of estrogen deficiency, it is necessary to replace the estrogens that are normally produced in the ovaries.
As a rule, estrogens are prescribed along with another hormone, progesterone.
The addition of progesterone protects the mucous membrane of the uterus (endometrium) from
precancerous changes caused by taking estrogen alone.
The combination of hormones can lead to menstrual-like vaginal bleeding, but does not restore ovarian function.
Estrogen can be supplied in the form of tablets, gel, a skin patch or vaginal ring that is changed every three months.
Hormone therapy continues until about the age of 50 or 51. This is the average age of natural menopause.
In older women, prolonged use of estrogens is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and breast cancer.
In young women with premature ovarian failure, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy are usually greater than the potential risks.
Calcium and vitamin D supplements
Taken together, these supplements are important for preventing osteoporosis.
The doctor may recommend a bone density measurement (DXA) before administering the supplements to measure basal bone density.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that women between the ages of 19 and 50 take 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily, which should be increased to 51,1 mg daily after passing age 200.
Alternative remedies for menopause before the age of 50
Natural remedies for menopause symptoms include a supplement called maca. Maca can significantly relieve the symptoms of menopause (hot flashes, osteoporosis, vaginal dryness, fatigue and depression).
This product is available in all drugstores.