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Early menopause is a condition that cannot be taken lightly. The reason is, menopause that occurs prematurely can be caused by certain medical conditions. Treatment steps also need to be adjusted to the underlying cause
Menopause is a normal thing that happens in this phase of a woman's life. However, if menopause occurs early, you should need to be vigilant. A woman can be said to experience early menopause if the menstrual cycle has stopped before the age of 40 years.
The symptoms experienced are almost the same as menopause in general, namely:
- Irregular menstruation
- Menstrual blood that comes out more or less than usual
- dry vagina
- Difficulty controlling urination
- Disorders of the urinary tract
- Skin, lips and eyes feel dry
In some women, menopause also causes emotional disturbances. It is characterized by a sudden bad mood, often feeling restless, mild depression, difficulty sleeping, and reduced sexual arousal.
However, this does not mean that these symptoms always indicate an early menopause. Therefore, you should consult a doctor if you experience some of the symptoms above to confirm the condition you are experiencing.
Various Causes and Risk Factors of Early Menopause
The following are some of the causes and factors that increase a woman experiencing early menopause:
1. premature ovarian failure
In this condition, the ovaries no longer function normally when a woman has not yet reached the age of 40. Women with premature ovarian failure generally still have periods, but find it difficult to get pregnant.
2. Genetic factors
A study revealed that a woman's age at menopause is related to heredity or genetic factors. This is because a woman's menopause is generally not much different from her mother's.
If the mother experienced early menopause, then her daughter has a higher risk of experiencing the same thing.
3. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy
Treatment of cancer or other diseases using chemotherapy procedures or radiation therapy around the pelvic area is known to have several risks, including premature menopause.
This is because the radiation waves used in this therapy can disrupt the ovaries, so they cannot function normally.
4. Drugs and other diseases
Early menopause can also be caused by chronic diseases, tumors in the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, psychological disorders, and the use of drugs.
Not only that, several other diseases such as HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, Turner syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome can also cause premature menopause.
5. Smoking habit
Smoking is one of the habits that can affect the occurrence of early menopause. Several studies have shown that women who smoke may experience menopause earlier than women who do not smoke.
6. Too low weight
The hormone estrogen is stored in fat tissue in the body. Women who are too thin have less body fat. As a result, the hormone estrogen is stored too little. This can affect the function of the ovaries and the reproductive system.
In addition, it should be noted that some surgical procedures and surgeries performed to remove the ovaries can also cause premature menopause in women.
How to Overcome Symptoms of Early Menopause
Until now, premature menopause cannot be treated or prevented with certain medications or treatments. However, there are several ways to deal with the symptoms that may arise.
The following are some medical treatments to relieve early menopause symptoms:
Hormone therapy or estrogen therapy is the most effective way to control early menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes or a burning and dry feeling in the vagina. This therapy is available in various forms, such as birth control pills, transdermal sprays, gels and creams, as well as preparations for intravaginal use.
Always obey the doctor's advice when undergoing this therapy, because this therapy also has side effects, such as increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer.
Several types of antidepressant drugs, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can be used to relieve symptoms of premature menopause, such as hot flushes. This medicine can only be obtained and used according to the doctor's prescription and instructions.
Nonhormonal vaginal gels, creams and lubricants
When entering menopause, the vagina will feel dry. To fix this, you can use a lubricant in the form of a gel or cream. This lubricant can prevent the vagina from feeling dry and reduce the risk of irritation to the vagina.
Assisted reproduction technology
Women with early menopause will face infertility problems or have difficulty having children. However, pregnancy can still be attempted through other means, namely by donating eggs.
In addition, early menopause can also increase the risk of osteoporosis, because low estrogen levels can reduce bone density.However, this can be prevented by consuming foods and drinks rich in vitamin D, calcium and vitamin D supplements, and exercising regularly.
You need to be more careful in recognizing the various symptoms of early menopause. Immediately consult a doctor if these symptoms appear, so that an examination and appropriate treatment can be carried out according to the cause.