Premature menopause: definition, remedies and treatments. What to do, treatments, natural remedies and what are the chances of pregnancy
Menopause is the stage in a woman’s life when fertility is depleted and it is no longer possible to get pregnant. On average, menopause occurs around the age of 50, but in some women it occurs earlier and in these cases we speak of early menopause. Let’s try to understand what are the causes and what to do.
In this article
There are three stages for natural menopause:
- Perimenopause: it is a transition phase in which the ovaries start producing less hormones, causing fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone, and lower testosterone levels. This phase stops when menopause begins.
- Menopause: at this stage, a woman’s cycle stops. The ovaries no longer release eggs and estrogen levels become very low. The diagnosis of menopause can be made when the period does not appear for 12 consecutive months.
- Postmenopause: it is the phase that begins after menopause has ended; the body stabilizes and symptoms, such as hot flashes, may even go away.
Women typically enter natural menopause in their early 50s. The average age is between 51 and 52 years.
Definition of early and premature menopause
It is defined early there menopause that shows up before the age of 40, with the disappearance of menstruation. It is defined premature, menopause that occurs before the age of 45. The ovaries no longer release eggs, ovulation stops and there is also a drastic lowering of the hormones involved in ovulation.
It is important to clarify that premature menopause does not coincide withpremature ovarian failure.
Premature ovarian failure can be transient and occasionally you can ovulate and have bleeding; when premature ovarian failure becomes a condition permanent and the woman no longer menstruates, we speak of premature menopause.
Premature menopause can manifest itself with the same symptoms traditional and more common menopause, therefore:
- hot flashes;
- mood swings;
- vaginal dryness;
- increased frequency of urination;
- vulnerability to urinary tract infections;
- weight gain;
- decreased sexual desire;
- night sweats.
Other women, on the other hand, have no symptoms.
There diagnosis it is done by performing a few exams which are generally:
- pregnancy test: to exclude that the cause of the absence of menstruation is linked to an ongoing pregnancy;
- hormonal tests and dosages: especially the levels of estrogen and follicle-stimulating hormone.
To provoke the early menopause there can be several factors:
- Genetic and chromosomal anomalies: the hereditary factor is important and you are more likely to experience premature menopause if there is a family history.
- Autoimmune Diseases: the body produces abnormal antibodies which attack the body’s tissues, such as the ovaries.
- Infections viral
- Metabolic disorders: such as diabetes or Addison’s disease.
- Chemotherapy and radiotherapy
- Surgical excision of the ovaries and surgical excision uterus
- Toxins, including tobacco.
The most frequent treatments proposed to women with premature menopause are:
- Hormone therapy with estrogen and progesterone;
- combined oral contraceptives: which contain estrogen and a progestin
The doctor will evaluate the situation and indicate the most suitable treatment. The choice also depends on the woman’s willingness to seek pregnancy – in these cases she may be directed to an in vitro fertilization procedure – or not.
In the latter case, the therapy will seek above all to alleviate the effects of menopause, from the most annoying symptoms to the proven risks, such as a decrease in bone density (which favors the onset osteoporosis) caused by the lowering of estrogen and a increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Generally these hormone therapies are carried out until the age of 51, when menopause occurs on average.
Cure for early menopause
There hormone replacement therapy (HRT) it is routinely recommended for all women with premature menopause, unless there is a compelling reason not to use it.
Early menopause and pregnancy
If premature ovarian failure is still transient it may happen that sporadically it is possible to ovulate and have menstruation. In this case, technically, pregnancy is not to be excluded and it is not impossible to get pregnant.
On the contrary, when you enter a phase of early menopause, pregnancy is no longer possible, except with an in vitro fertilization with eggs from a donor.
It is important to consult with a fertility specialist to explore the options available to you.