Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Premature Menopause Symptoms and Conditions That Cause Early or Premature

Premature menopause symptoms occur in some women because of genetics, medical procedures or illness. Unlike perimenopause, which is a natural condition that refers to the years leading up to or around menopause, premature menopause refers to menopause that occurs in a woman under the age of 40. Premature menopause symptoms are basically the same as the symptons of menopause.

Premature menopause symptoms include irregular periods that are heavier or lighter than usual and hot flashes. Some women experience vaginal dryness, irritable bladder or bladder control issues, mood swings, dry skin, sleeplessness and decreased libido. These are typical symptons of menopause; the number and degree of severity that a woman experiences varies.

Medical procedures that can cause premature menopause include chemotherapy or radiation therapy and surgical removal of the ovaries. Radiation therapy does not always cause premature menopause, as treatment does not always damage the ovaries. Hysterectomy sometimes includes removal of the ovaries, but not in all cases. Surgical procedures performed to treat colon and rectal cancer sometimes involves removal of the ovaries. Cervical cancer that does not respond to surgery and radiation sometimes leads to the removal of most of the organs in the pelvis, including the ovaries.

Some women appear to be genetically predisposed to premature menopause. If your mother or sister was diagnosed with premature menopause then you should see your doctor if you begin to have any of the symptons of menopause listed above. Premature menopause symptoms are similar to the symptoms caused by numerous other more serious medical conditions. Thus, it is never safe to assume that you are experiencing premature menopause without first consulting your doctor.

Other conditions that increase the likelihood of premature menopause include Graves? disease, hypothyroidism, lupus or another autoimmune disease in yourself or a family member. Unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant for a year or more could be due to premature menopause. Symptoms can be minor and sometimes unnoticed. If you have concerns consult your doctor. If you interested in information about perimenopause, natural menopause or premenstrual syndrome, please visit the Menopause and PMS Guide.

Patsy Hamilton was a health care professional for over twenty years before becoming a freelance writer. Currently she writes informational articles focused on women?s health for the Menopause and PMS Guide. Visit us at

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