Premature Menopause: What is it? Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

When a woman starts her menopause phase, it is generally in her late 40s or early 50s. But if you see symptoms of menopause and your age is less than 40 years, you might have premature menopause.

In this article, Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a gynecologist in Mumbai, talks about premature menopause.

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What is Premature Menopause?

Menopause is a natural process where a woman’s periods start going away, and they lose their fertility. Menopause generally occurs between the ages of 45 to 55. When menopause occurs before age 40, it is known as premature menopause.

Premature and early menopause have the exact causes. The difference between the two is in which it happens. Menopause that occurs before the age of 45 is called early menopause.

Dr. Hrishikesh Pai is having over 35+ years of experience. He works at the Budget Fertility Centre in Mumbai.

Symptoms

According to Dr. Pai, some common symptoms of premature menopause are similar to natural menopause. These can include: 

  • Heavier or lighter periods than usual
  • Hot flashes
  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Sleep trouble
  • Weight gain
  • Joint and muscle pain

Causes

According to Dr. Pai,  premature menopause can occur naturally or because of medical conditions. Some of the causes can include:

  • Hysterectomy (removal of your uterus)
  • Your ovaries stop working
  • Surgically removed ovaries
  • Family history
  • Smoking
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  • If you are going under cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Some infections 
  • Autoimmune diseases like lupus
  • Chromosome issues
  • Epilepsy is a central neurological illness characterized by abnormal brain activity, resulting in seizures or periods of odd behavior, feelings, and, in some cases, loss of awareness.

Risks

According to Dr. Pai, premature menopause can cause health risks due to the loss of estrogen at an early age, such as:

  • Heart diseases
  • Mood disorder
  • Tooth loss or gum disease
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Osteoporosis is a condition that causes your bones to become brittle and weak

Diagnosis

According to Dr. Pai, a IVF doctor in India, premature menopause can be diagnosed by performing a physical exam and thyroid and pregnancy tests. Your doctor will do blood tests for this.

Your doctors might also tell you to get a test to check your estradiol (a form of estrogen) levels. If these levels are low, it might indicate that your ovaries are starting to fail.

If your estradiol levels are below 30, it might indicate that you are in menopause. 

The most critical test to diagnose premature menopause is a blood test measuring follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). 

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FSH is responsible for producing estrogen by your ovaries. When your ovaries produce less estrogen, your FSH levels increase.

When your FSH levels grow beyond 40 ml, it typically means that you’re in menopause.

Treatment

The treatment for your early menopause depends on the causes and health risks associated with premature menopause. Unfortunately, once menopause sets in, it cannot be reversed.

Your doctor’s treatment is to help you manage your symptoms, not menopause, as it cannot be reversed.

Your doctor will either recommend you get Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). It is used to manage the signs and conditions of premature menopause.

You will need to get HRT to help with the hormones in your body until you reach the age of natural menopause. 

After that, your gynecologist will decide if you need further treatment or not. It depends on every patient’s needs and conditions.

Your gynecologist will talk to you about other treatment options and lifestyle changes you might need to make.

You can get the treatment for early menopause at Budget Fertility Centre. Dr. Pai also has a clinic in Kolkata, where he is known as one of the best IVF doctors in Kolkata.

Other options for having children

Getting through menopause could be upsetting and difficult. Premature menopause affects your ability to have children naturally.

You can have children using IVF by donating eggs to other women, or you can use your eggs if you have stored them. 

Adoption and surrogacy could also be an option.

Conclusion

If you have menopause before the age of 40, it is premature menopause. It could happen naturally or due to medical conditions.

It is essential to visit a doctor if you start noticing the symptoms of menopause at an early age.

You can visit Dr. Hrishikesh Pai at the Budget Fertility Centre if you are in Mumbai or Kolkata. 

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