Premature menopause is defined as going through menopause before the age of 40 regardless of why menopause is occurring. There are a host of reasons that can cause premature menopause:
Genetics if someone in your family had premature menopause you are more likely to go through premature menopause. Chemotherapy. Lupus or Graves Disease. Radiation. Surgery hysterectomy. Bulimia, anorexia or malnutrition. Extreme athleticism. Stress.
If premature menopause occurs without surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy it is considered premature ovarian failure. It simply means that the ovaries are not working like they should. Premature ovarian failure can be the result of an autoimmune disorder or chromosomal irregularities.
Regardless of the reason for the premature menopause, the symptoms are the same as for menopause at the typical age. If your doctor suspects premature menopause he will perform a few tests, the main one being a blood test that measures FSH, the hormone that causes your ovaries to produce estrogen.
Premature menopause means that the womans body will be going through even more years without producing its own estrogen. This will put her at risk for a host of health issues related to lower levels of estrogen.
Lowered estrogen levels can lead to medical conditions such as osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, periodontal disease, and cataracts. There is also the mental health aspect of premature menopause. Women who go through premature menopause may experience more depression and other emotional issues than women who go through menopause naturally.
Treating premature menopause can help prevent these medical conditions from occurring and help with their overall health. The treatment of premature menopause is basically the same as treating menopause that occurs at normally.
Because premature menopause affects the reproductive organs, women who want to have children but are experiencing premature menopause should talk to their doctors about other options.
There are many websites and organizations available to help women who are going through premature menopause. Early Menopause is a website devoted to women going through premature menopause. You can read up on all the reasons for it and the available hormone therapies available.
Early Menopause also offers community support where you can talk to other women going through the same thing. These forums are great for advice and sharing tips for getting through the hard times.
Premature menopause doesnt have to mean the end of the world. It does take some adjustments and learning how to cope with some of the worst symptoms, like hot flashes. However, there are many new treatments available for menopause that can help get you through the rough patches and on to living your life.