Everything you need to know about early menopause
Early menopause, as the name suggests, is menopause that occurs earlier than normal, before the age of 40. Rarely, it can be considered as unjust premature aging since it puts an end to the prospect of having children without using IVF.
What is early menopause?
Early menopause or premature ovarian failure (PFO), has the same warning signs as normal menopause (irregular period cycles, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, etc.). It presents itself by a cessation of menstruation for 4 consecutive months before the age of 40. In general terms, it affects 1% of women before the age of 40, 1 out of 1000 women before the age of 30, and 1 out of 10,000 women before the age of 20.
What causes early menopause?
Early menopause is caused by premature exhaustion of the ovaries. They no longer contain follicles capable of producing an egg.
The origin, in 80% of cases, is “idiopathic”, i.e. unknown. But it can be:
- autoimmune (the woman’s ovaries are destroyed by her own antibodies),
- viral (following an infection that has also affected the ovaries),
- genetic (family cases, but also genetic diseases such as Turner syndrome),
- toxic, as a result of taking certain medication treatments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy), and perhaps even as a result of excessive smoking.
What to do if you are worried or in doubt?
Consult your gynecologist. He or she will be able to give you advice and carry out tests if necessary. If you are diagnosed with early menopause:
- your gynecologist may ask for a hormone test, in particular, to check the state of functioning of other hormonal glands that may be affected,
- you may benefit from hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which can alleviate symptoms up to the theoretical normal age of menopause (51),
- If you wish to have a child, IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), although difficult, is not excluded. However, it is necessary to have recourse to egg donation or to have frozen your own.
- If you wish to have a child, IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) is the recommended solution. However, if you have not already frozen your own eggs, an egg donation is required.
Menopause is sometimes preceded by a period of menstrual irregularities, this period is called peri-menopause and concerns the years during which hormonal changes due to reduced ovarian function become noticeable. Perimenopausal women under the age of 40 are ideal candidates to benefit from the advantages of PRP treatment for ovarian rejuvenation and reactivation of folliculogenesis.
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