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What is premature menopause?
Premature menopause is a phenomenon of premature ovarian failure that occurs before the age of 40. In practice, menopausal women experience symptoms much faster than on average in a given population (around 52 years of age). Premature menopause is observed in 10-28% of cases of primary amenorrhea and 4-18% of secondary amenorrhea.
Typical symptoms are: amenorrhea, increased gonadotropin levels and estrogen deficiency. During blood tests, premature menopause is confirmed by estrogen deficiency and elevated serum follicle-stimulating hormone levels.
Premature menopause - causes
Premature menopause can be spontaneous or induced.
In the latter case, it occurs as a result of surgical interventions, ovarian resection, or chemotherapy (in the latter case, the effect may be reversible).
Unfortunately, the causes of spontaneous menopause are unknown. It certainly has a genetic factor. Early menopause often occurs in the family, for example in mother and daughter. It is suspected that the cause may also be autoimmune disorders, infections, enzyme deficiencies or metabolic syndromes.
Genetic disorders (chromosomal abnormalities, sex chromosome abnormalities, Turner syndrome) are responsible for premature menopause. In 30-60% of cases, premature menopause is caused by autoimmune diseases - thyroid disease, mumps, hyperthyroidism. Studies have shown that women who develop premature menopause for autoimmune reasons are also more likely to have diabetes, hypothyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis.
Another cause of premature menopause? Smoking that has been proven to have a destructive effect on the endocrine system. Polycyclic hydrocarbons are primarily to blame.
How is premature menopause manifested?
Premature menopause usually gives similar symptoms to menopause that occurs on time:
- hot flushes,
- night sweats,
- vaginal dryness
- urinary incontinence
- reduced concentration
- decreased libido.
How is premature menopause treated?
Premature menopause is alleviated by similar methods as classical menopause. It is necessary to visit a gynecologist and discuss treatment options.