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Early Menopause Causes 2

Menopause is traditionally associated with women in their late 40’s and 50’s; grandmotherly types with graying hair and wrinkling skin. But did you know that menopause can strike women who are in their early 20’s as well? There is a condition known as ‘early menopause’ and this article will explain what early menopause is and what causes it.

First we need to differentiate between early menopause and premature menopause. They are both similar in that menopause sets in much earlier than the norm, but the difference is that premature menopause starts in women before they turn 40. Early menopause starts when a woman is between 40 and 45.

Premature and early menopause, that is when the onset of menopause is prior to 45 years of age, is uncommon; occurring in about 1% of women aged 15 to 45. There are a number of causes of early menopause, although in some instances, no cause can be determined. Some of the more common causes of early menopause are listed below. Let’s take a look at them one by one:

Surgical Menopause

Surgical menopause is the result of surgery to remove the ovaries. This is done only for health reasons and not as a form of birth control. There is usually a significant health risk involved to warrant such a drastic course of action. Women who undergo surgical menopause will likely require hormone replacement therapy.

Premature Ovarian Failure

Premature ovarian failure is defined as the cessation of ovulation in women under 40 and can occur for a variety of natural reasons. Some women never begin to ovulate and this is called primary premature ovarian failure. Women who do ovulate normally but slow down and stop early may do so as a result of genetics. This form of premature ovarian failure tends to run in families. However, up to 65% of the cases of POV can be attributed to autoimmune disorders. In these cases, the body turns on itself and attacks the ovaries as foreign bodies, thereby gradually destroying their normal function.

Viral Infection Induced Menopause

In some cases, it is thought that conditions such as mumps can spread to the ovaries and induce menopause. Additionally, if a pregnant woman becomes ill with a viral infection, it is thought possible for the virus to damage the developing child, and if it is female, to affect the number of eggs developed. As the child develops into adulthood, this reduced supply of eggs will run out sooner and result in early menopause.

Menopause Due To Chemotherapy

Although chemotherapy and radiation are intended to kill cancer cells, healthy cells are also killed in the process. If these cells happen to be in the ovaries, early menopause can result. In come cases, the early menopause will only be temporary, while in others it is permanent.

Early menopause causes a woman to go through the change of life years, even decades, before she normally should. The symptoms of menopause are the same which include hot flashes and night sweats, and the risks are equal such as increased risk of osteoporosis. Because the phase of menopause is longer than normal, the women who have this condition are often advised to go with a hormone replacement therapy, or at least some natural alternatives.

Although early menopause can interfere with a woman’s ability to reproduce naturally, there are alternatives thanks to the advances in the field of infertility today. Early menopause is not an illness, it is just a normal phase of life that happens much earlier than expected.

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