The average age at which women go through menopause is 51 years.
However, about one per cent of women experience premature menopause symptoms before the age of 40 years. If menopause occurs
when women are still in their 20s or 30s, it is said to be premature menopause.
What causes Premature Menopause?
The body's immune system, which normally fights off diseases, mistakenly attacks a part of its own reproductive system. This hurts the ovaries and prevents them from making female hormones (estrogen, progesterone) that regulate the reproductive system.
Some cases of premature menopause are caused by defects on an X chromosome, also known as "fragile X syndrome". Women have two X chromosomes and even though only one of these chromosomes is active, a defect on either one can cause premature menopause.
Radiation Therapy and/or Chemotherapy
With the rise in cancer treatments has come a rise in premature menopause due to these treatments. Unfortunately, the significant doses of radiation or chemotherapy used to kill cancer can cause ovarian damage - resulting in premature menopause.
Total Hysterectomy and Oophorectomy
In this case, women experience premature menopause after removal of both of the ovaries (a bilateral oophorectomy) or removal of the uterus, both fallopian tubes, and both ovaries (a total hysterectomy). Because both ovaries are removed, women's estrogen and progesterone levels drop, leading immediately to premature menopause.
Ovarian Damage Due to Other Surgical Procedures
In some cases after a hysterectomy in which one ovary is left intact, it may fail. This happens when the ovary is damaged or otherwise affected by such procedures as cyst removal. In this case, the follicles on the remaining ovary slowly die out, resulting in premature menopause.
What are Premature Menopause Symptoms?
All premature menopause causes shown above, result in a decline in the production of estrogen in woman's ovaries. This decline causes a hormonal imbalance in a woman's body, which is responsible for the typical premature menopause symptoms, like:
- hot flashes
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- mood swings
- declining libido
- weight gain
- changes in hair quality
- lack of energy
- aging skin
- irregular periods
- breast tenderness
- chrashing fatigue
Not every woman will experience these premature menopause symptoms, but it is a proven fact that if women are in premature menopause, they will experience most of these symptoms in a more severe fashion than women going through menopause naturally.
||Learn more about natural ways of treatment to cope with premature menopause.