Early Menopause: What is it?

Night heat and sweats, vaginal dryness, and irregular menstrual cycles are known signs that some changes are taking place in a woman's body that indicate that menopause is coming.

If this is the case for a woman between 48 and 52 years old, there is nothing abnormal beyond what is expected for women of this age.

However, if these physical signs begin to appear in women under 45, it may be the beginning of an early menopause.

Learn more about what early menopause is, its possible causes, and what to do if it is knocking on the door.

What is early menopause?

Doctors often refer to early menopause as the end of female reproductive functions. This can happen to women undergoing chemotherapy and / or radiotherapy treatments, as in these cases the treatment damages the ovaries.

In addition, surgical removal of the ovaries is also one of the causes of early menopause. In either case, the production of female sex hormones is impaired, which causes the symptoms of menopause? which according to doctors, is the event of last menstruation.

When symptoms begin to appear in women under 40, the case may be early ovarian failure (FOP), which according to the Project Guidelines, a document written by the Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology, published in 2006, is of a gonadal failure before age 40 that affects 1% of women.

Early ovarian failure may have genetic causes or may be a consequence of autoimmune diseases and treatment of the problem involves hormone replacement therapy to relieve symptoms and maintain bone mass. Most women diagnosed with FOP have sterility, but there are reports of pregnancies in affected women.

In addition, viral infections such as mumps and those occurring during pregnancy can affect the development of ovaries in the girl, also causing early menopause.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of early menopause are identical to those of menopause in general:

  • heat and night sweats;
  • lack of sexual desire;
  • vaginal dryness;
  • irritability and, in some cases, depression.

What is the treatment for early menopause?

Hormone replacement treatment occurs in most cases of early menopause. The use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) is essential in cases of menopause of surgical or chemotherapy origin, as the symptoms are stronger in these cases.

However, in women diagnosed with breast cancer, hormone replacement may be disregarded. Importantly, according to doctors, herbal medicines and soy foods are not enough to relieve symptoms.

Early Menopause – Mayo Clinic Women’s Health Clinic (September 2020)

  • Menopause, Prevention and Treatment
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