Premature Menopause

Posted by e-Medical PPT Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Average age of onset for "natural" menopause is 51. However, because of genetics, illness, or medical procedures, some women go through menopause before the age of 40. Menopause that occurs before this age, is known as "premature" menopause.
Symptoms of premature menopause are often the same as those experienced by women undergoing natural menopause and may include:
* Irregular or missed periods.
* Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.
* Hot flashes
These symptoms are a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen.
Along with the above symptoms, some women may experience:
* Vaginal dryness (the vagina may also become thinner and less flexible)
* Bladder irritability and worsening of loss of bladder control(incontinence)
* Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings, mild depression)
* Dry skin, eyes, or mouth
* Sleeplessness
* Loss of Libido
Osteoporosis or decreased bone density affects almost all women with premature menopause due to an insufficiency of estrogen. There is also an increased risk of heart disease, hypothyroidism in the form of Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Addison's disease, and other auto-immune disorders.
The cause of premature menopause is usually idiopathic. Some cases of premature menopause are attributed to autoimmune disorders, others to genetic disorders such as Turner syndrome and Fragile X syndrome.
Serum FSH measurement alone can be used to diagnose the disease.Currently no fertility treatment has officially been found to effectively increase fertility in women with premature menopause.It is important to initiate the hormonal replacement therapy after the diagnosis of premature menopause.

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