When the functions of the ovary are terminated earlier than it should then it is known as a premature menopause. Early menopause generally occurs even before a woman turns 40. Basically, it can happen at any period after one’s first menstrual cycle.
Causes for premature menopause
Though this condition can happen by itself, it usually occurs post certain medical procedures or treatments. It may be caused by side effects of oophorectomy, a surgery that involves removal of the ovaries. In such cases, symptoms arise immediately due to the sudden reduction of the female hormones. It is the same case with women who have undergone a hysterectomy which is a surgery that involves uterus removal.
This condition triggers menopause much earlier that it naturally should. The reason being, surgeons might remove only the uterus and the ovaries are left intact which continue to release the hormone estrogen. During this surgery, the pelvic region may damage supply of blood to the ovary which hinders the functioning of the ovaries. Unlike oophorectomy, hysterectomy symptoms do not appear so suddenly and severely. Hysterectomy triggers early menopause later on, on its own.
Chemotherapy, pelvic radiotherapy and treatments for other malignant conditions may also contribute to premature menopause. The ovaries are able to tolerate radiation only to a certain extent. So during these treatments when ration is exposure higher for extreme cases, then premature menopause is easily triggered.
Additionally, few genetic disorders and chromosomal defects may also result in dysfunction of the ovaries and completely inhibit the production of female hormones. It happens to women with a hereditary of premature menopause and also with a hereditary of autoimmune diseases. In these cases, ovarian dysfunction is likely to be seen.
To diagnose this, it is checked whether the woman is experiencing any symptoms of menopause and if they have undergone amenorrhea which is the discontinuity of menses for 12 months or more. The doctor also checks the hormone levels and the other components that control production of these hormones.
The consequences of an early menopause are similar to natural menopause; the only difference is that they occur much sooner and there might be possibilities of having quite major medical conditions.
In case a substitute for the hormone is failed to be taken, then the lack of hormone can trigger gynaecological issues like vaginal dryness, loss of bone density, lack of libido as well as psychological issues including mood swings and hot flashes.
Go for regular check-ups
Women who are expecting premature menopause must go for regular check-ups and strictly follow the treatments that are recommended, whether they are hormonal, pharmaceutical or natural treatments. Following this will definitely help to keep the symptoms of menopause under control. It will also prevent complications that may otherwise have occurred in the future.