Early menopause: symptoms and treatment

Early menopause: symptoms and treatment

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Thereearly menopauseit is not a simple oneearly menopause: this is a true medical condition also known aspremature ovarian failure.

The woman arrives at the end of themenopause with a gradual process offollicular atresia(in practice the ovaries age!), while with theearly menopausethis does not happen because ovarian functions stop prematurely.

We talk aboutearly menopausewhen the absence of the menstrual cycle (amenorrhea) occurs in women ofage less than 40 years.

Please note:
the age of 40 as a reference for discriminating against onenatural menopauseFrom oneearly menopausewas chosen arbitrarily. Menopause is very subjective and there are women who can finish it early menopause without meeting the diagnostic requirements of early ovarian failure. Premature ovarian failure affects only 1% of the female population.

Premature menopause: causes

In recent years we hear more and more of "early menopause" or "early menopause”And the causes would appear to be related to the woman's tendencyconceiveishave childrenin old age. Apregnancyin mature age it can cause both ovarian failure (therefore premature menopause) and a riskier pregnancy.

Apart from the one just exposed, there are severalcauseswhich can lead toearly menopause: viral infections, metabolic dysfunctions, autoimmune diseases, environmental or iatrogenic factors. Each case is specific but the doctor cannot talk about onecausespecific, often the mechanism that leads to the development of ovarian failure is unknown.

Three lecauseswhich can trigger early ovarian failure:

  • Genetic cause
    Defect of the X chromosome and due to mutations of autosomal genes associated with syndromic and asyndromic premature menopause
  • Autoimmune causes
    Caused by autoantibodies harmful to the ovaries. In this context, the emotional sphere can also play a crucial role, so much so that many experts speak of premature menopause due to stress.
  • It causes iatrogens
    Complications occurred during childbirth, side effects of drugs, hormonal therapies, particular surgical interventions, chemotherapy
  • Viral cause
    There are several infections that can causeearly menopause.

Therediagnosis of early menopauseit is done by measuring the levels of gonadotropins and estradiol. The measurement is done every week (for a maximum of 4 weeks). Test results should see high gonadotropins and low estradiol.

Early menopause: symptoms

THEsymptomsare those ofmenopause, including the classicshot flashes, sleep disturbances, decreased sexual appetite, decreased mental concentration, vaginal dryness ... There are several studies that link low estrogen levels (typical of menopause) to cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, however, here too there are many factors that can affect on the prevention of these diseases.

For the list of symptoms, you can consult the article dedicated toeffects of menopause.

Symptoms are also associated with a strong "emotional trauma": no one speaks of it but the stigma associated with infertility creates discomfort, pain and women with this diagnosis can describe themselves as "confused", manifest states of anxiety and mood declines.

Premature menopause: cure

Is there a cure for early menopause?
Yes, even if it will be up to the specialist to understand which path to take. Thereearly menopauseit is not irreversible: in ovarian functioning more resume.

Can You Have Children With Premature Menopause?
This is also a difficult question. Each case has its own course and expectations to consider. A general study states that getting pregnant with early menopause is possible but the chances of conception are less than 10%.

To have children in early menopause it is possible to rely on in vitro fertilization with oocytes.

How is premature menopause treated?
Unfortunately, eliminating bad habits like alcohol and smoking (related to an early menopause) is not enough. Today there are several treatments to normalize the menstrual cycle with the resumption of ovarian functions. Unfortunately, none of these treatments can give guaranteed effectiveness.

Hormone replacement therapy (with estrogen and progestogen) is the only treatment used by doctors. However, before starting hormone treatments, it is important to let your doctor know about the related risks. Hormone therapy could be associated with the onset of breast cancer and other side effects.

In case ofearly menopause, a healthy and active lifestyle, is necessary to avoid the problems associated with estrogen deficiency (possible increased risk of osteoporosis, possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease).

While these risks are associated with low estrogen levels, it's not aboutconsequencesdirect ovarian failure: these diseases could simply be related to advancing age. Despite these medical debates, it is important to point out that there is a strong correlation between osteoporosis and ovarian failure. Other related diseases are:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis
  • Addison's disease
  • Autoimmune Disorders

What can you do?
Listen to medical advice and adjust your lifestyle. Long walks, the interruption of bad habits such as drinking alcohol or smoking can help reduce the risk of contracting diseases associated withpremature ovarian failure, consult a good nutritionist and start following a specific meal plan for your case.

Video: Best Foods to Help Manage Menopause. Healthy Recipes (June 2022).