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Risk Factors of Early Menopause
5 Dec. 2015

early menopauseMenopause is an important period in the life of every woman when menstruations stop permanently due to the decrease in the production of hormones by the ovaries. While this process should happen later in life, it may still occur at a younger age due to certain health issues, cancer treatment or removal of the ovaries. Menopause can be considered premature when it occurs before a woman turns forty.

What are the possible causes of early menopause?
Any health issue or surgery that disrupts the natural production of estrogen or damages the tissue of the ovaries can lead to early menopause regardless of the female age. In most cases, women that started early menopause are recommended to receive hormone replacement therapy. The therapy is prescribed because lower levels of estrogen can cause depressions, heart diseases, osteoporosis, and some other conditions. Some of the major factors that can lead to the occurrence of early menopause include:

Harmful habits and lifestyle choices. When it comes to unhealthy habits that can affect the occurrence of early menopause, smoking is definitely among contributing factors. According to various studies, women that smoke consistently are at high risk of early menopause and on average it happens one to two years earlier in comparison to non-smokers. If you don’t want your menopause to start earlier than expected, you should definitely quit smoking.

Genetics and chromosome defects. Similar to many other processes in the body, menopause can largely be influenced by your genes. It’s always useful to find out when your mother started menopause because it may help you understand when to expect this major change in your body. Also, having an incomplete chromosome or suffering from Turner syndrome can become the reasons for premature menopause among women.
young woman smoking

Body mass index. Having low BMI can in some cases contribute to the occurrence of early menopause because estrogen hormone is found in the fat tissues of the female body. In such a way, the less fat tissue a woman has, the greater the chance of early estrogen depletion.

Autoimmune diseases. Inflammation that occurs as a result of autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disorder, can negatively influence the function of the ovaries.

Chemotherapy. Undergoing chemotherapy can increase the risk of premature menopause due to its damaging effect on the tissue of the ovaries.

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