By Dr. Ruchi Malhotra, IVF Speciality
The main reason for early menopause is genetic predisposition. The average age for menopause is generally about 51 years. The onset of early menopause occurs in one’s twenties and thirties.
Apart from family history, the other reasons that can cause early or premature menopause are surgical removal of ovaries and thyroid disease. Also, if a woman has been subjected to radiation therapy or chemotherapy as a part of the treatment of an illness, her chances of early menopause increases.
So, if menopause hits early, what are the chances of conceiving and having a baby? Well, IVF is a technology that helps you achieve a successful pregnancy even if you experience a premature menopause. If the woman has Premature Ovarian Failure, she mostly likely would not have a fair chance of pregnancy. In fact it is also suggested that women with early menopause should not conceive with their own eggs. But if the woman’s own eggs had been stored before having menopause or radiation therapy or chemotherapy or any other disease, then such eggs would have a fair chance to result in a healthy embryo.
So, to avoid complications and uncertainty, it is advised to take help of IVF technology and donor eggs to get pregnant. Treatment with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) improves ovary function thereby allowing production of more viable eggs. Hence, supplementation of DHEA before IVF procedure is started on an individual certainly improves pregnancy rates along with quality of egg and embryo. Pregnancy using donor eggs has been observed to be the most efficient and effective technique in premature menopausal women. The donor eggs are taken from young donors with healthy ovaries. When the fertilization is done in vitro, the embryos are implanted in the woman’s uterus. Prior to implantation, the uterus of the woman is prepared to receive the embryo. Injections of oestrogen and progesterone are given for the purpose.
Sometimes even IVF can cause early menopause in some women. Experts believe that women are born with a fixed number of eggs in the ovary that are released during ovulation. So, according to healthy menstrual cycles, one egg is released every month from the ovary. So, a total of 12 eggs are released every year. But in IVF the ovaries are stimulated to release multiple eggs at a time to increase the chance of fertilization.