Causes and Symptoms of Premature Menopause
When a woman’s estrogen levels drop and ovaries stop releasing eggs, this stage of life is known as menopause. Occurring gradually over a period of time, the stage is called perimenopause. Generally, this natural part of aging occurs between the ages of 45 and 65. But some women go through this change of life sooner.
Continue reading to learn more about premature menopause.
Causes For Premature Menopause
When it happens to women younger than 40, it is considered premature menopause. And certain health conditions, surgeries, or medicines can be the cause.
Hysterectomy. If your ovaries are not removed, they will continue to produce hormones. But you will not longer be able to get pregnant, nor have have periods. And menopause may happen a year or two earlier than normal.
Medical conditions that cause early menopause include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Women with missing chromosomes
- Autoimmune diseases
- AIDS and HIV
Chemotherapy. Treatments such as pelvic radiation for cancer can cause damage to the ovaries. As a result, the ovaries stop working temporarily or completely, and it may be difficult to get pregnant. But it is less likely a woman will go through menopause if she’s young at the time of the treatments.
Symptoms of Premature Menopause
Vaginal dryness, sleep problems, irregular periods, and mood swings are all typical symptoms. You can also expect night sweats, less desire for sex, pain during intercourse, dry skin, frequent urge to urinate, and weight gain. While these symptoms occur before age 40 indicating early menopause, they are much the same as the typical menopause symptoms.
In essence, you are in menopause if you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months.
Early Menopause Risks
Women who spend more years with estrogen can be at higher risk for certain diseases. For example, neurological conditions like Parkinson’s and dementia, depression, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Talk with one of our Riverwalk OBGYN doctors about treatments for premature menopause to relieve some of your symptoms.