Menopause is a natural phenomenon that causes a decline in female reproductive hormones when they reaches their 40s/ 50s. Medical professionals consider women menopausal when they don’t experience menstruation for at least 12 months.
The condition is followed by symptoms including insomnia, night sweats, vaginal dryness, hot flushes, low libido, etc. But if menopause starts earlier than the expected age, its impact can be huge on a woman’s mental & physical health and her relationships.
The time leading to menopause can be very stressful for many women, physically and emotionally.
But what happens if a women start going through menopause or experiencing these changes in her 30s, or 20s?
The psychological impact on a women’s health who is going through menopause at a younger age can be very significant. Such cases, however quite rare, do exist and such patients are unable to conceive baby despite being young.
Women tend to experience a much higher degree of anxiety and depression if they start menopausing prematurely.
They could be going through their daily routine while experiencing symptoms of menopause, but seldom they will consider it to be the cause. They can be on lunch with their female friends having hot flushes, and everyone will question if they have fever or allergy, but no one will ever question if they might be experiencing menopause.
As most females are unaware about premature menopause, and how it can happen.
Earlier menopause can negatively impact the woman’s work & family life, as well as her relationships.
In most cases, women are unaware that they are going through premature menopause. And often, symptoms of the condition like vaginal dryness and hot flushes can impact the intimacy between them and their partner.
This makes it important for patients to go for regular gynecology appointments.
Premature menopause can also prevent the women from having a child; their choice of having a child is taken away from them.
Menopause is not a deadly condition, it is merely a natural phenomenon, but if it occurs early it can cause physical and emotional trauma for the women.
In most cases, women are above 45 years of age undergo menopause. So, females expect to experience menopause-related symptoms around this time.
But in reality menopause transition, also known as perimenopause, can start occurring a decade before a patient has her final period. (Some females only go through this phase for a couple of months, while for many it also starts 3 to 4 years before they have their final period.) Women can also find themselves having night sweats, hot flushes, insomnia, heavy periods, depression, anxiety and lower libido at a very young age than they expect.
Hormonal changes that occur perimenopause – can cause fluctuation in estrogen levels,– which can be a contributing factor in causing the feeling of depression and mood swings. The good news is that these symptoms and dramatic emotional turmoil settle after menopause.
Premature Menopause – What & Why?
Then there are females who experience premature menopause, before 40 years of age or early menopause around 41 to 45 of age.
Sometimes menopause can be induced as a result of some medical treatment, like cancer treatment, that might have required removal of a woman’s uterus or/ and ovaries. Menopause gets induced in around 8% of women because of medical treatment, which is followed by a psychological impact, combined with the stress caused because of the original illness, leading to depression and anxiety.
Again due to lack of awareness, women often are unaware of how medical and surgical treatments can cause early menopausal.
Patients experiencing hot flushes, who are unable to sleep, experiencing any other symptom should consult a doctor.
Around 1% of women have a premature ovarian failure or POI (premature ovarian insufficiency) a condition in which the production of eggs in the ovaries reduces or completely stops before the women turn 40. Women with the following condition experience menopause-like symptoms (vaginal dryness, low sex drive & hot flashes) and also experience irregular periods.
Technically, POI is not the same as ‘premature menopause,’ so POI patients have a chance that their ovaries might start functioning and releasing eggs again.
Often POI patient can take years before they get diagnosed, and often their unsuccessful attempts to conceive a baby brings them to the hospital door.
During the menopause, several women report feeling that they have lost control of their body. The psychological impact of menopause is often worse as it occurs at an unexpected time.
Being a natural cycle, women are prepared for it, but experiencing it at prematurely can be a lot for them to digest.
Women experiencing premature menopause struggle with a variety of fears, including weight gain, osteoporosis, not bearing any/ more children, loss of sexuality, loss of femininity and ageing.
Often people assume that dieting and regular workouts can help them keep healthy but still anyone can suffer from it.
Women who have dealt with anxiety and depression before in their life have a higher risk of experiencing mood swings during premature menopause. However, personality development, lifestyle choices, and support systems, such as friends and family, can help patients deal with it.
IVF Treatment for Patients undergoing Premature Menopause
Most women experiencing early menopause struggle with the condition because it robs them of their choice to become a mother.
Fortunately, science has advanced enough to tackle this problem. Menopausal women can achieve pregnancy using eggs of a donor or frozen eggs to conceive a baby.
In-Vitro Fertilization can help in making women whose ovaries might be prematurely aging but haven’t reach the early menopause, without any external help like egg donation.
Patients shouldn’t feel ashamed of menopause, as there are several treatment options available that can help them make pregnant.
Patients can undergo IVF treatment in India, and discreetly conceive a baby without involving their entire family in the process.
Also Check: Tracking Pregnancy Week by Week