Premature Menopause: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment And More
Premature menopause is a condition in which a woman experiences menopause at an early age. Read here to know from the expert what are the complications of premature menopause. Also know its symptoms, causes and treatment.
Premature menopause can increase the risk of breast cancer in women
- Premature menopause is linked with several health conditions
- You need to consult your doctor to fight symptoms of premature menopause
- Women should not ignore the sings of menopause
Every woman experiences menstrual cycle from the early years of her teenage till her 50s. Periods mark the proper functioning of the ovaries i.e. the formation of eggs (ovulation) due to which women get pregnant. There comes a stage when the woman stops experiencing periods which is known as menopause. This occurs when the woman's ovaries stop producing eggs (no ovulation). This average age for a woman to experience a natural menopause is 50-51 years. However, every woman body functions differently and hence, this age may vary from woman to woman. Not experiencing periods for more than 12 months is a referred as the stage of menopause.
What is premature menopause? Know causes, risks, symptoms and treatment
Premature menopause is a term that is used to refer to a stage where the woman experiences menopause before the age of 40 years. It can be either sudden or induced. However, there are certain causes because of which a woman can experience a premature menopause. Estrogen deficiency in women before the median age is a factor for experiencing a premature menopause. A premature menopause might be associated with long-term health risks like cardiovascular or neurologic diseases, mood disorders, psychosexual dysfunction, etc. Therefore, it is advised to get regular check-ups done when a woman is experiencing a premature menopause.
Causes because of which women can experience a premature menopause are as follows:
1. Genetic abnormalities: The abnormality of sex chromosomes can be the reason behind a premature menopause.
2. Auto-immune diseases: Disorders like SLE (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus), thyroiditis, etc. are likely to cause a premature menopause.
3. Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy: These treatments can result in causing a premature menopause in women. They have severe side effects and a menopause can be one of them.
4. Removal of ovaries or uterus: Both ovary removal and uterus removal end the menstrual cycle and cause menopause.
5. Family history: Premature Menopause can occur if the woman's family has a history of experiencing menopause at an early age.
6. Smoking: Intaking toxins (tobacco) can be a reason.
7. Diabetes: Diabetic women can also experience a premature menopause.
Risks attached with premature menopause
Women who experiences premature menopause can be at a great risk of having mood disorders, psychiatric diseases, osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases, and decreased quality of life.
According to a study, the risk of having breast cancer also increases in a premature menopausal woman.
Premature Menopause causes infertility in women. If a woman was already planning for pregnancy, then this can lead to emotional stress and depression.
The symptoms can be the following:
Some women may experience no symptoms and others may experience the same ones as those in natural menopause like sudden warmth in the body, discomfort during sex, breast tenderness, night sweats, sleeplessness, mood swings, etc.
Low estrogen level can cause decreased bone density (osteoporosis) and drying of vagina lining. There are increased risks of Parkinson disease, dementia and coronary artery diseases due to low estrogen.
Can premature menopause be treated?
Menopause cannot be prevented. However, there are certain treatments for reducing the symptoms.
- Hormone Therapy: It is done using cream, gel or pills. It prevents hot flashes and vaginal dryness. The dosage of the hormone therapy should be kept low as this therapy is also links to various health risks.
- Vaginal gels and creams can be used to prevent vaginal dryness.
- Supplements: Calcium, antioxidants and vitamin D supplements can be taken for the prevention of bone density.
- Exercises: Regular exercises are a must for women who have experienced premature menopause. Weight-bearing exercises can help prevent bone density.
- Diet: Have milk or other calcium rich food at least twice a day. Focus more on fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of water. Limit your sugar intake. Avoid alcohol.
(Dr. Aruna Kalra - Senior Gynaecologist and Obstetrician, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram)
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