By Dr. Arun Kalpdev, Gynaecology
Premature menopause is a condition where the female body stops producing estrogen before the age of 40. Premature menopause can either be natural or induced. A woman who undergoes this condition is affected by additional physical and emotional problems.
The symptoms of premature menopause are as follows:
1. Sudden hot flashes that spread through the upper body
2. Fluctuations in the volume of periods
3. Irregular periods
4. Reduced sexual desire in women
There may be a variety of causes of premature menopause, such as:
1. Lifestyle factors: Activities such as regular smoking can bring forward the menopausal age by several years. This occurs due to the negative effects of smoking on the hormone estrogen. Underweight women also tend to have less estrogen in their body which can facilitate early menopause.
2. Genetics: Genes play a role in determining whether a woman will reach menopause early or not. If your mother had premature menopause then you are likely to be affected by premature menopause as well.
3. Autoimmune Diseases: In some cases, various autoimmune diseases such as thyroid problems affect the ovaries leading to premature menopause.
4. Chromosomal Complications: Certain chromosomal complications such as Turner syndrome impair the function of the ovaries. This defect occurs when a woman does not have a complete chromosome.
5. Epilepsy: It is a seizure disorder which happens due to problems in the brain. Women affected by epilepsy are more likely to be affected by premature menopause.
Treatments for Premature Menopause are as follows:
1. Oral Contraceptive Pills: It is a type of hormone therapy that may be used to treat premature menopause.
2. Antidepressant Medications: These medications have been reported to reduce symptoms of hot flashes in women.
3. Hormone Replacement Therapy: Female hormones estrogen and progesterone are injected or taken in the form of pills to control menopausal symptoms.