Premature menopause

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Early menopause and / or premature menopause are terms that are often used interchangeably to indicate the specific premature ovarian failure in different situations, starting with surgical menopause to menopause caused by chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

The link between them is age: early menopause or premature menopause refers to the type that usually installed before or normal average age of menopause – when a woman is still at 20, 30 or 40 years.

From technical point of view, early menopause refers to menopause – the total cessation of menses for at least 12 months before age 45 years.

Premature menopause is menopause that occurs before the age of 40 years. If premature menopause occurred naturally, without any surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy that can lead to menopause – the situation is called premature ovarian failure.


1. Overview
2. Causes
3. Symptoms
4. The effects of early menopause


Early menopause can be caused by certain medical treatments or it can trigger without their implication. Medical treatments that may cause early menopause include:

- chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer. These types of therapies can affect the ovaries and stop menstruation. Effects, such as the difficulty of obtaining a pregnancy may occur immediately or several months later. The possibilities of a woman in this case, entering menopause, depend on the type and amount of chemotherapy used. In the case of young women are more likely to experience menopause it low.
- surgically removing the ovaries. Surgical removal of both ovaries called bilateral oophorectomy could cause immediate installation of menopause.
- surgery to remove the uterus.

Sometimes menopause can occur without further intervention from outside. Among the possible causes can include:

- chromosomal defects – chromosomal abnormality can cause premature menopause. Women with Turner syndrome are born without all or an X chromosome. Ovaries aren’t normally shaped. The result will be for them, early menopause.
- genetics – women who have a family risk of early menopause are more likely to have early menopause.
- autoimmune disease – the body’s immune system fight disease normally, but in autoimmune diseases it attacks the ovaries and prevents them from accidentally releasing hormones. Rheumatoid arthritis is one example of such diseases.


Manifestations of premature menopause are often identical to those faced by women who have natural menopause and may include:

- irregular periods or no periods
- periods in difficult or easier than usual
- flushing

These symptoms are seen when the ovaries produce less estrogen. In addition to the events above some women may experience:

- vaginal dryness (vaginal thinning and reducing flexibility)
- irritable bladder and increased loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence)
- emotional changes
- skin, mouth or dry eyes
- insomnia
- decreased libido.

In addition to the symptoms listed above, if you are under 40 years and observe any of these situations, you should consult your doctor for he to determine whether premature menopause may occur:

- have chemotherapy or other treatment with radiation
- your or another family member suffer from autoimmune diseases (hyperthyroidism, Graves’ disease or lupus)
- have tried unsuccessfully to get pregnant more than one year
- mother or your sister have suffered premature menopause.

The effects of early menopause

Women who experience early menopause may have symptoms similar to those of normal menopause. These can include hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness and decreased libido. For some of these people, events can be quite severe.

In addition, women who go through early menopause may have a higher risk of developing health problems such as heart disease and osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about available treatments such as hormone therapy for menopause, which may relieve symptoms.



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