Premature menopause or early menopause is the cessation of a women’s menstrual cycle before 40 years. However, it can happen anytime in the mid-40s and 50s. Nearly 5% of women go through premature menopause.
5 signs you should know that lead to Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)/Early Menopause:
1. Smoking and Lifestyle
As a matter of fact, Smoker females tend to reach menopause as early as two years before non-smokers. With this, their menopausal symptoms spike up. Studies have reported an association of the age at menopause with the smoking period, the quantity of smoking, and the age of starting smoking.
Your weight can also be one reason for POI; this is because the estrogens are stored in fat tissues. If you have a thin body, there are high chances of estrogen deficiency that can lead to early menopause. However, if you have enough fat issues, there are lesser chances for you to experience POI in the early stages of life.
Doctors suggest having a good diet and improve fitness to avoid such situations. If you are unaware of what exercises to follow, get our regular fitness and health tips through our weekly Newsletter. Subscribe it for free from below,
2. Family History
Studies also dictate that the family history is also responsible for early menopause; if your ancestors have experienced such a situation at an early age, there are chances that you have inherited this from them. The studies suggest that there might be a link between the age of menopause in comparison to the ancestors and their descendants.
Let me make it more explainable to you with an example,
If you are experiencing early menopause at the age of 30-40, there are chances that your ancestors have experienced it at that age range. If your mother or grandmother has experienced POI early, you will likely experience the same due to inheritance. However, genetics is not the only reason for this.
3. Chemotherapy for Cancer Treatment
If you are not aware of this, chemotherapy is used for cancer treatment and has many other side effects; One of the side effects is POI or early menopause.
Certain types of chemo can damage your ovaries and lead you to POI; In fact, this can be found in the early months after you have completed your treatment. Sometimes it also depends on drug type or radiation field and overall dose.
Due to impaired follicular maturation, of course, there POI occurs. The general circumstances depend on the age and pre-medicament ovarian reserve of the woman. If you are older, there are high chances of POI soon after you have completed the treatment. On the other hand, if you are young, the chances are less but never zero.
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If you have a total or complete surgery that removes your ovaries, you will certainly experience menopause immediately after undergoing surgery, regardless of your age. This is called surgical menopause.
However, only the removal of ovaries will lead to immediate menopause. If ovaries are not removed from the uterus during a Hysterectomy surgery, you will have menopause symptoms and not the actual POI.
These symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, or vaginal dryness followed by a few others depending on your body. These symptoms occur due to the surgery around the ovaries that disturb the blood supply.
Symptoms should heal with time, and if you still experience it, there are chances that you have entered early menopause.
The best you can do is talk with your doctor to treat the symptoms, and if you are still not able to recover, you have attained POI.
If a hysterectomy leaves one or both of your ovaries intact, there is a probability that you’ll experience menopause within 5 years of having undergone surgery.
5. Miscellaneous Health Conditions
- Turners syndrome: Women born with missing chromosomes can undergo menopause early. It is because their ovaries do not develop in the first place at birth. Henceforth their menstrual cycles are also abnormal.
- HIV: Women with AIDS/HIV are already on medications to control infection. Since then, they may have severe hot flashes and experience early menopause.
- Autoimmune diseases: Chiefly thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, etc are a few autoimmune diseases. Although rare, the body’s immune system, which fights off infections and maintains immunity will consequently attack the ovarian function. This situation arises as the immune system mistakes the part of the body as an external factor and starts fighting against it. This disables the ovarian functions and leads to early menopause or POI.
Symptoms of Early Menopause:
You might experience several symptoms during POI; I have listed down a few of them below. If not all, you might experience a few of them, and in such a case, you might want to refer to a doctor for a diagnosis.
- Changes in the menstrual cycle that includes irregular bleeding, or abnormal bleeding pattern.
- Hot flushes
- Sleep disturbances
- Urinary issues: Micturition or urinary incontinence.
- Vaginal dryness
- Loss or gain of weight
- Calcium deficiency
- Vaginal dryness
Diagnosis of Early Menopause:
There is actually no need for tests to diagnose Menopause; it can be self-diagnosed by Women based on their symptoms. If you are not having menstruation, it is considered that you have entered Menopause. However, if you are still experiencing the above symptoms with irregular bleeding and periods, you can opt for a doctor’s appointment.
Here is the diagnosis the doctors follow for Early Menopause –
- Assessing medical history and examination of the patient.
- Investigations to expel causes of missing menstruation or periods cycle.
- Inspection of autoimmune diseases at the right time.
- Genetic tests
- Estrogen level tests, known as Estradiol.
Can Early Menopause be Treated?
No, you cannot treat or get back to normal once you have reached the Menopause state. However, the treatment will help you in delaying menopause. A group of scientists is working on restoring menstruation in women who are in a pre-mature menopause state. But not much is known about this invention though this has made it to the headlines.
If you are in the pre-mature Menopause state, you can delay it by having hormone replacement therapy. But there are several consequences of undergoing this therapy. A few of them are breast cancer, stroke, or heart-related diseases that will affect you in the longer run.
Many people take tablets to delay the menstruation cycles; such tablets can be wrongly impactful in the future.
Early Menopause is a state when you have attained Menopause state when you are young. Menopause is a state when you have not experienced the menstruation cycle for almost 12 months. One of the reasons is the lifestyle which can be improved with a good diet, fitness, and outdoor activities. Though Menopause cannot be treated to full reverse, you can delay it with risky treatments. The symptoms are hot flashes, night sweating, less sex intimation, vaginal dryness, and a few more. It is self-diagnosable, and you may appoint a doctor in certain situations.