What is Early Menopause, What are its Symptoms?

Early menopause, which manifests itself with symptoms such as hot flashes, heart palpitations and menstrual irregularity, is a fearful dream for women. As such, “Is it possible to get pregnant in early menopause?”, “How to treat early menopause?” Questions like these may be on your mind, too. In this article, we told you what you need to know about early menopause, so let’s get started.

What is early menopause?

The cessation of menstrual bleeding before the age of 40 is called premature (premature) menopause. In order for the diagnosis of menopause to be made, it is necessary not to see any bleeding, including spotting, in the last 1 year.

What are the causes of early menopause?

autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system does not work properly, and the body perceives its own organs as foreign and attacks its cells.

The immune system sends cells to attack the ovaries. Because the ovaries are damaged, they cannot secrete hormones and cannot produce eggs. The most common problem leading to premature depletion of the ovaries is autoimmune diseases.

ovaries stop working

When the ovaries stop producing the hormone estrogen, it causes premature menopause. This condition is often confused with premature ovarian failure.

But premature ovarian failure (POF) occurs when the ovaries stop working properly. In early menopause, egg production stops.

Surgical removal of the ovaries

The ovaries may need to be removed for various reasons. Surgical removal of both ovaries leads to early menopause. However, if one of the ovaries is removed, menopause will not occur as menstruation will continue.

Cancer treatments

Chemotherapy drugs or radiation given for cancer treatment can also damage rapidly dividing cells such as eggs, causing premature menopause.

Some people may experience temporary menopause due to low-dose and short-term treatment. The ovaries that stop working after treatment can work again after a while.

However, if the egg reserve is damaged during this period, infertility may occur even if menstruation starts again.


Some infections, such as malaria, tuberculosis, and measles, can damage the ovarian tissue and disrupt hormone secretion. Conditions that cause damage to the ovaries, such as pelvic infections and chocolate cysts , can also cause premature menopause.

genetic factors

The most important factor that determines the age at menopause is genetics. If there is a family history of early menopause, the risk is high. Therefore, the age at which the mother reaches menopause is a major determinant in this regard.

Therefore, those with early menopause in their family should have their ovarian reserves checked and take the necessary precautions from a young age.

Chromosome disorders

Some genes in the body are involved in hormone production and egg formation. When there is a problem with the disorder of these genes, the ovaries may not function properly. As a result, premature menopause may occur.

Because; Those born with disorders related to chromosomal disorders such as Turner Syndrome, Down Syndrome or Fragile X Syndrome may have premature depletion of the ovaries and early menopause.

Life style

  • smoking,
  • not exercising,
  • Being very thin or overweight
  • Factors such as being under intense stress can lead to early menopause. Therefore, it is very important to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

What is the age of early menopause?

It is not possible to give an exact age, but it can be seen in the average age of 35-40. It is also possible to see it earlier.

What are the early menopause symptoms?

This situation, which starts as a sparsity in menstruation, results in the cessation of menstruation. The main symptoms are:

  • hot flushes,
  • Palpitation,
  • Dryness and infection in the vagina,
  • menstrual irregularity ,
  • sleep problems,
  • depression and anxiety,
  • mood changes,
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Dryness and pigment changes in the skin,
  • Hair loss,
  • Pubescence,
  • Dry mouth and gingivitis,
  • Loss of sexual desire,
  • Joint and muscle pains
  • Problems in the bladder and urinary system.

Can early menopause be prevented?

Although very rare, treating the disease that causes early menopause can delay the disease. However, once menopause begins, it is unlikely to reverse the situation.

If autoimmune diseases underlie early menopause, treating it can slow or stop the process. But in most cases, early menopause follows a progressive course.

How to treat early menopause?

The aim of early menopause treatment is to replace the hormones the body needs. It is important to close this gap, especially since women who have entered menopause under the age of 40 are at risk for health due to estrogen deficiency.

For this reason, hormone replacement (HRT) therapy is applied to avoid health problems due to the decreasing protective estrogen in the body. Medicines used in the treatment of early menopause allow the body to replace the hormones it needs.

With regular annual controls and hormone supplementation up to the age of 50, the severity of possible menopausal symptoms decreases. When the normal menopause period is reached, the treatment can be stopped.

Can you get pregnant in early menopause?

One of the first things that comes to mind is, “Can a menopausal woman get pregnant?” the question is. If there is a decrease in ovarian functions in the hormone tests and there is no menstrual period for 12 months, unfortunately, pregnancy is not possible.

However, the situation is different if there is no long-term interruption yet, and if it is said that menopause is approaching for reasons such as menstrual irregularity or bad hormone values. Pregnancy is possible in early menopause before the egg cells are completely depleted, naturally or with methods such as in vitro fertilization. You can also have egg freezing in case of sudden menopause.

Does early menopause accelerate the osteoporosis (bone loss) process?

Bone resorption can be seen in those who go through early menopause due to estrogen deficiency. Conditions such as insufficient calcium intake, smoking and lack of exercise can also contribute to bone loss.

Especially if hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not applied, estrogen hormone cannot fulfill its task of protecting the bones.

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