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Home / Lady Speak

What could make your ovaries go on an early retirement?

 Premature menopause can be brought about by a number of conditions (Shutterstock)

Premature menopause can occur naturally, without any clear reason or it can be brought about by any of these conditions;

1.    Removal of both ovaries (Bilateral oophorectomy)

The surgical removal of both ovaries will end your periods right away. Your estrogen hormone levels will quickly drop and you will start manifesting strong menopausal symptoms.

2.    Chemotherapy and radiation treatment on pelvic cancers

Not all women who go through chemotherapy and radiation of the pelvic area will go through early menopause. However, such treatments can cause serious damage in the ovaries and your periods may stop for some time.

3.    Hysterectomy

The surgical removal of the uterus can bring about premature menopause, may be a year or two earlier than expected. You will no longer have periods but since the ovaries are intact, they will continue to produce hormones.

4.    Family history

Women who have a close relative—either a mother or a sister—who has experienced premature menopause are more likely to have premature menopause.

5.    Health conditions

· Autoimmune disorders such as lupus, Grave’s disease and hypothyroidism may cause the body immune system to mistakenly attack the ovaries and prevent them from optimal production of hormones.

· Chronic fatigue syndrome that causes extreme weakness, unrefreshing sleep, memory loss, headache, muscle and joint pains has been shown to cause premature menopause.

· HIV and AIDS. Research has shown that women with HIV but not adhering to the antiretroviral therapy regimen have a higher chance of developing early menopause and with more severe menopausal symptoms.

 

· Chromosomal abnormalities. Women with chromosomal conditions such as Tuner’s syndrome who at birth, they lack all or part of one X chromosome end up having abnormal ovaries. These will in time cause abnormal menstruation cycles and early menopause.

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