Table of Contents
- Menopause definition and facts
- What is menopause?
- At what age does a woman typically reach menopause?
- What are the signs and symptoms of menopause?
- What are other signs and symptoms of menopause?
- What conditions can cause early menopause?
- What tests diagnose menopause?
- What are the treatment options for menopause?
- Hormone treatment and therapy for menopause
- Oral contraceptives and vaginal treatments for menopause
- Antidepressants and other medications for menopause
- Home remedies: Plant estrogenes for menopause
- Home remedies: vitamin E, black cohosh, and herbs for menopause
- Vaginal lubricants for menopause symptoms
- Lifestyle factors in controlling the symptoms and complications of menopause
- What are the complications and effects of menopause on chronic medical conditions?
What conditions can cause early menopause?
Certain medical and surgical conditions can influence the timing of menopause.
Surgical removal of the ovaries
The surgical removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) in an ovulating woman will result in an immediate menopause, sometimes termed a surgical menopause or induced menopause. In this case, there is no perimenopause, and after surgery, a woman will generally experience the signs and symptoms of menopause. In cases of surgical menopause, women often report that the abrupt onset of menopausal symptoms results in particularly severe symptoms, but this is not always the case.
The ovaries are often removed together with the removal of the uterus (hysterectomy). If a hysterectomy is performed without removal of both ovaries in a woman who has not yet reached menopause, the remaining ovary or ovaries are still capable of normal hormone production. While a woman cannot menstruate after the uterus is removed by a hysterectomy, the ovaries themselves can continue to produce hormones up until the normal time when menopause would naturally occur. At this time a woman could experience the other symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes and mood swings. These symptoms would then not be associated with the cessation of menstruation. Another possibility is that premature ovarian failure will occur earlier than the expected time of menopause, as early as 1 to 2 years following the hysterectomy. If this happens, a woman may or may not experience symptoms of menopause.
Cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Depending upon the type and location of the cancer and its treatment, these types of cancer therapy (chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy) can result in menopause if given to an ovulating woman. In this case, the symptoms of menopause may begin during the cancer treatment or may develop in the months following the treatment.
Premature ovarian failure
Premature ovarian failure is defined as the occurrence of menopause before the age of 40. This condition occurs in about 1% of all women. The cause of premature ovarian failure is not fully understood, but it may be related to autoimmune diseases or inherited (genetic) factors.
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