7 things to know about early menopause
Early menopause occurs before age 40
If menopause occurs on average between the ages of 45 and 55, it can happen early and affect women before their 40s. This is called premature ovarian failure. The phenomenon is rare because it affects 1% of women.
Early menopause is related to the number of follicles
Every woman is born with a limited stock of ovarian follicles. At the beginning of a cycle, the ovary triggers the growth of a group of follicles that will produce estrogen. But only one of them develops more than the others: it is ovulation. It is also at this time that progesterone is produced. So, at each cycle, an egg is expelled and the stock of follicles decreases.
The cycles become more and more irregular, until there is no more ovulation, it is menopause. There is no more production of estrogen or progesterone. Result? Some signs appear:
The causes of early menopause are numerous
Early menopause can be natural or caused by heavy treatment, a surgical procedure such as the removal of both ovaries, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Certain diseases can also be responsible for early menopause: such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, insulin-dependent diabetes, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis ... Chromosome and genic causes can also be mentioned.
Early menopause can be hereditary
Your mother or your grandmother is concerned? So maybe you will be too. Early menopause may be hereditaryand come on the maternal or paternal side. Moreover, it often happens that the first rules appear at the same age as the mother or the grandmother.
However, this phenomenon can occur for other causes, and in many cases, doctors do not know why the oocytes were destroyed prematurely: this is called idiopathic cause (unknown cause).
Against menopausal problems, hormonal treatment may be prescribed
Patients who experience an early menopause and who are disturbed by hot flashes associated with the phenomenon may be prescribed a hormone replacement therapy for menopause (THM), proposed by the attending physician or the gynecologist. They can take the drug, combined with estrogen and progestin, until the age of natural menopause if the cause allows it.
The hazards of this treatment, accused of increasing the risk of breast cancer, endometrial cancer or thromboembolic and cardiovascular, had been singled out by the National Institute of Cancer (INCa). It can be prescribed in the absence of contraindications and after a clinical examination, including a mammogram.
Some foods would reduce the risk
Here is a surprising discovery made by researchers at the University of Massachusetts (USA). By sifting through a study that gathers data from 116,000 women aged 25 to 42 in 1989, scientists noted that dietary calcium and vitamin D intake was linked to a 17% reduction in the risk of early menopause.
For a good source of calcium, we can eat a handful of almonds, of milk, of hard cheese or even sardines. For vitamin D? Herring, mackerel, salmon, eggs or mushrooms.
A woman was able to give birth to twins despite an early menopause
A 37-year-old woman with early menopause due to autoimmune disease was born Twins in December 2018 according to a recent press release the APH-HP (Assistance Public-Hôpitaux de Paris) relayed by The Parisian. "She was producing antibodies that reacted against her ovaries, but she still had ovarian follicles"explains Prof. Michaël Grynbergn, Head of the Department of Reproductive Medicine and Fertility Preservation in Jean-Verdier.
The medical team carried out in vitro maturation (IVM): it took immature follicles for maturation in vitro, and then these were successfully fertilized by the sperm of the spouse. Two embryos were then implanted in his uterus.
If they do not ovulate anymore, women affected by early menopause can still have a child, especially with egg donation. In case of artificial menopause, it is possible to freeze her oocytes before. In addition, the body sometimes has many surprises, and some cases of women who have been diagnosed in early menopause may have been pregnant.
Sources: Health Insurance
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