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Premature menopause: All you need to know.

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What is premature menopause?
Premature menopause, also known as premature ovarian failure, occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working before the age of 40.

A woman’s ovary produces eggs along with the hormones estrogen and progesterone. When they stop working earlier than usual, a woman may experience symptoms similar to those experienced during natural menopause.

Causes of premature menopause.

Premature menopause can occur naturally or as a result of other factors. Here are some of the main causes of premature menopause.

Genetically.

One of the main factors contributing to premature menopause is a woman’s genetics. You are more likely to experience premature menopause if someone close to you went through menopause at a young age.

Additionally, certain genetic mutations, including those associated with Turner syndrome, can also cause premature menopause.

Surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy).

Women who have both ovaries removed before menopause have a higher risk of premature menopause.

The hormones estrogen and progesterone are normally produced in the ovaries. After their removal, the production of the two hormones is stopped and menopause begins.

Cancer treatment.

Some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy can damage the ovaries and cause early menopause.

Autoimmune Disorders.

Premature menopause can also be caused by certain autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and connective tissue diseases that have all been associated with premature menopause.

Smoking.

Among the many health risks faced by women who smoke is the risk of premature menopause.

According to studies, cigarettes contain dangerous chemicals that can damage the ovaries and cause premature exhaustion of their eggs. Women who smoke usually experience menopause 1-2 years earlier than non-smokers.

Signs and symptoms of premature menopause.

Women who go through premature menopause often experience the same signs and symptoms as women who go through natural menopause.

Since women’s bodies are different, some women may experience mild symptoms while others may have severe symptoms that can have a major impact on their quality of life.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of premature menopause:

Irregular menstruation that eventually stops altogether.

Hot flushes and night sweats.

Vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse.

Decreased libido / decreased libido.

Mood changes characterized by depression or anxiety.

Difficulty sleeping.

Difficulty concentrating and memory problems.

What to do if you think you are going through premature menopause.

If you suspect you are approaching early menopause, here are some steps you can take.

Contact your doctor.

Instead of jumping to the conclusion that you are going through premature menopause, you should see your doctor first for a proper diagnosis.

Blood tests to measure hormone levels and other tests to rule out other possible causes of symptoms may be used to make a diagnosis.

Treatment options often depend on the underlying cause of the condition, but may include hormone replacement therapy, which relieves early menopause symptoms and reduces the risk of associated health problems.

Seek help.

As well as asking your doctor for help, also try to talk to other women who have already gone through menopause, because not only do they understand what you are going through, but they may also have advice on how to cope with their symptoms. .

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