Premature menopause can have many reasons, it can be physiological or the result of surgery or pharmacological treatments. Here are the typical ailments of this condition.
We are talking about premature menopause when the fertile life (and the menstrual cycle, therefore) ends before the age of 40. The premature menopause may be due to spontaneous factors , so natural and often hereditary or be a consequence of pharmacological or surgical therapies ( hysterectomy ).
Menopause, we know, is not a disease but a physiological event in a woman’s life. Even the early menopause may be, but because of its atypical must be observed more carefully to avoid potential interference with the well-being and daily health and life as a couple.
What are the typical ailments of menopause that comes prematurely? Are they the same as those of menopause that comes at the right time ?
This article was written in collaboration with our staff of medical specialists
Premature menopause: what it is and when it comes
Menopause is a physiological condition, therefore natural, which occurs in the life of a woman generally between 45 and 55 years . It represents the end of a long and gradual process of transformation of her organism, which passes through alterations in hormone production and a series of other disorders , with characteristics and traits that it is never possible to generalize because every woman is different and therefore also every menopause is different.
However, it may happen that the end of the menstrual cycle arrives early: “We talk about premature menopause if it occurs before the age of forty, explains professor Alessandra Graziottin , director of the Center for Gynecology and Medical Sexology H. San Raffaele Resnati in Milan.
Premature menopause: what can be the causes
We have already mentioned that premature menopause can be a natural condition or an induced condition.
Often, among the causes that determine the arrival of a physiological premature menopause there can be :
- premature ovarian failure (it goes by the name of POF, Premature Ovarian Failure) , or the physiological depletion of the number of follicles (determined for each woman from birth) and therefore the natural end of fertile life
- ovarian dysfunctions of various kinds that can affect the normal activity of the ovaries
- autoimmune diseases (e.g. thyroiditis or rheumatoid arthritis) which may be a contributing cause of early or early menopause
- genetic inheritance issues (grandmother, older sister or mom who have had premature menopause)
- issues related to environmental factors and lifestyle (smoking, obesity, anorexia, etc.)
and induced causes :
- removal of the ovaries or uterus ( hysterectomy )
- oncological conditions involving chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- ovarian cysts
Premature menopause: what can be the typical ailments
Menopause is an important step in a woman’s life and, due to the hassle and discomfort it can cause, for some it can be a stressful event , both mentally and physically. In the case of premature menopause , in particular, emotional disturbances can be even more complicated to manage.
For this reason it is important that you consult a gynecologist who specializes in menopause disorders and evaluate together the opportunity to have the support of other specialists.
If menopause arrives early and unexpectedly, it could be a difficult event to deal with because, despite having the age of a girl or a little more, we are living biologically the condition of a more mature woman, with a series of problems that were not yet ready to know. And with one more fact to deal with: the impossibility of having biological children at a time when they are often still sought.
When the menstrual cycle disappears prematurely, the most frequent psychological discomforts in menopause can worsen and lead to anxiety or depression . Don’t underestimate them and consult with your gynecologist to find appropriate support.
On the physical level, however, the disorders of early menopause are largely the same as those of menopause in physiological age , for which in both cases the decrease in estrogen production is responsible:
- menstrual irregularities and worsening of premenstrual syndrome (in the initial phase called perimenopause )
- hot flashes and night sweats
- sleep disturbances and nocturnal tachycardia
- swelling, water retention and a tendency to gain weight
- vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse ( dyspareunia )
Premature menopause: among the intimate disorders there can be Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy
The menopause can modify the intimacy because the decrease in estrogen production has repercussions “ecosystem intimate” (in the absence of natural lubrication, the vaginal walls become dry and brittle). When one is still very young, however, this difficulty in relationships can have a greater influence on the quality of life of the woman which is measured by a natural intimate aging process , yes, but little known and little communicated.
One of the most frequent causes of difficulty and pain during intercourse is represented by Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy , a progressive pathological condition closely related to menopause (affects 1 in 2 women in this phase) and of which vaginal dryness (the most common intimate discomfort in this phase) represents a symptom-spy. There are also other signs for recognizing Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy :
- local irritations with itching and burning
- pain during intercourse
- blood loss .
Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy does not heal on its own, nor do the symptoms go away over time. For this reason , early diagnosis plays an important role : ask your gynecologist or an experienced menopause specialist to follow you and advise you on the right path.