Early Menopause? What might be the possible reasons

Menopause is a natural phenomenon for a woman between the age of 45 and 55. This is not a medical condition or a disease and should be handled very naturally. But health issues related to menopause start showing 12 months before that triggers some very uncomfortable physical symptoms. This period his called Perimenopause.
Difference between Premature Menopause and Early Menopause?
When a woman reaches menopause before 40, it is called premature menopause.
When a woman reaches menopause before 45, it is called early menopause.
Study reports
An Indian National Family Health Survey (NFHS) has shown that 3.1% of women in the age group of 30-34 yrs and 8% women in the age group of 35-39 yrs were in menopause. 
Symptoms of Early Menopause
Menopause is a natural process that happens when your ovaries produce less oestrogen. Here are a few symptoms –
  • Irregular/missed periods
  • Heavy or light flow of periods
  • Spotting
  • Hot flashes

Other than these most common symptoms, below are some other symptoms that vary with every women.

  • Vaginal Dryness
  • Breast pain, headaches, joint pains
  • Osteoporosis
  • Loss of bladder control
  • Emotional dishevels (depression, anxiety, mood swings and irritability)
  • Lack of sleep and night sweats
  • Dry mouth, skin and eyes
  • Allergic reaction
  • Hair loss, weight gain, bloating
  • Heart palpitations, more facial hair, weak nails
  • Loss of libido and uncomfortable sex  

These symptoms are experienced by women who are undergoing menopause. But if you have these symptoms, even before you are 40, visit a gynaecologist. Your doctor will be able to confirm  if the symptoms indicate premature menopause or any other disease. 

Causes of Early Menopause
One of the natural causes of early menopause is premature ovarian failure (POF).
Other main causes of early menopause are Hysterectomy, Chemotherapy, Stress, Genetics, Lifestyle factors, Autoimmune diseases and Epilepsy.
  • Lifestyle factors – Clinical studies have shown that women who are heavy smokers, have a low BMI level and vegetarians with lack of exercise, it can result in the onset of early menopause.
  • Autoimmune diseases – Thyroid or rheumatoid arthritis are some autoimmune diseases that cause ovary inflammation resulting in early menopause.
  • Epilepsy – Epileptic seizures cause premature ovarian failure leading to early menopause.  
  • Chemotherapy and Hysterectomy – Chemotherapy, radiation or hysterectomy can result in premature menopause.
  • Genetics – If none of the above factors seem to affect your menopause cycle, then the most reliable cause would be genetics. Ask your mother if she had an early menopause. You might have just derived that trait from her.

Diagnosis of Early Menopause

If you experience any of the symptoms related to menopause at an early age, visiting a doctor would be the best option to confirm. 

Tell your doctor of the uncomfortable symptoms you are facing, your last menstrual cycle and the medications you are taking. Your doctor will swab test your vagina to test the pH levels. If it is at a balance of 6, it confirms a menopause. 

Alternatively, the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in blood also determines if a woman is having menopause. If the FSH levels read above 40 mIU/ml, menopause is confirmed.

Treatment of Early menopause 
Early menopause is unavoidable menopause. However, there are few treatment options that can help you manage the unpleasant symptoms well.
  • HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) – Hormone therapies are usually helpful in preventing menopausal symptoms. 
  • MHT (Menopausal hormone therapy) – This therapy involves treating menopausal symptoms with oestrogen and progesterone supplements. 
Antidepressant medications and non-hormonal vaginal gels, creams, and lubricants prevent vaginal dryness.

When you start experiencing menopausal symptoms that are way too uncomfortable, pay a visit to the gynaecologist and discuss matters. Your doctor might also give you medications if required. 

Book appointment with your nearest gynaecologist online

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