Wondering what is premature menopause, its causes, symptoms and treatment?
You have come to the right place.
Premature menopause is a condition when you reach menopause even before you are 40 years old.
Let us know what is premature menopause, its causes, symptoms and treatment?
Premature Menopause – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Menopause is a complete end of menstruation, and the average age of Indian women hitting menopause is 46.2 years. However, when your periods stop even before you are 40 years, you hit premature menopause.
What Are the Causes of Premature Menopause?
Some of the causes leading to premature menopause are:
- Premature ovarian failure (ovaries stop functioning normally)
- Ovary damage
- Radiation therapy
- Oophorectomy (removal of ovaries)
- Chronic diseases
What Are the Symptoms of Premature Menopause?
Symptoms of premature menopause are the same as natural menopause symptoms, such as:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Decreased interest in sex
- Mood swings
- Sleep problems
- Vaginal dryness
- Memory problems
- Mental fog
- Weight gain
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Mild depression
- Urinary incontinence (difficulty to hold urine and leakage)
- Risk of urinary tract infections
- Breast tenderness
- Heart palpitations
- Pain and ache in joints and muscles
- Hair loss or thinning
Premature Menopause Complications
Premature menopause may lead to certain health complications, such as:
- Challenges of infertility
- Low bone mineral density
- Risk of osteopenia
- Risk of osteoporosis
- Emotional distress
- Dental problems
- Weak muscles
How Is Premature Menopause Diagnosed?
Your doctor will physically examine you to diagnose premature menopause. You may be asked suggested:
- Blood tests to check for thyroid disease.
- Hormone (oestrogen) tests to check the estradiol levels. Low levels of estradiol (less than 30 pg/mL) indicate you are hitting menopause.
- FSH blood test to check the production of oestrogen. FSH levels above 40 mIU/mL indicate you are hitting menopause.
What Are the Treatments for Premature Menopause?
Premature menopause cannot be reversed through any treatment. However, there are a few treatments that can reduce the intensity of the menopause symptoms.
- Hormone replacement therapy:
In hormone therapy or oestrogen therapy, your doctor recommends small doses of oestrogen in the form of pills, creams, sprays, skin patches or gels to relieve menopause symptoms. This therapy aims at improving the diminishing hormone. Hormone therapy is continued only for a short time because it can increase the risk of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke and other health conditions.
- Oral contraceptive
Your doctor may suggest oral contraceptives to ease menopausal symptoms. You can take these pills as recommended by your gynaecologist.
- Antidepressant medications:
Ease the mood swings, hot flashes, anxiety, depression and sleep problems with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). Your doctor will suggest low doses of SSRIs for a short duration.
- Non-hormonal solutions:
Non-hormonal solutions are suggested to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Supplements, such as Femarelle are made of natural ingredients. So, there is no risk of side effects.
- Oestrogen therapy
You can take oestrogen gels, creams, sprays, patches and lubricants to reduce vaginal dryness.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
Your doctor may suggest vitamin D and calcium supplements. These supplements prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis.
You can try different tips to lessen the intensity of the menopause symptoms and reduce the impact on your daily life. Follow a fitness regime and eat nutritious food to maintain a healthy weight. Try different techniques and practices to relax and destress.
You may not be able to reverse premature menopause but can lessen its effect with hormonal, non-hormonal or other solutions.