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Pre mature menopause is defined as menopause that occurs before the age of forty. Often, the cause of pre mature menopause, also known as early ovarian failure, cannot be determined. On the other hand, factors that may play a role are heredity, stress, heavy smoking, poor dietary intake, excessive alcohol consumption and the presence of autoimmune diseases (disorders in which the immune system attacks your body).

A woman who undergoes menopause prematurely may have been born with fewer eggs in her ovaries; if they are released at a normal rate, her eggs would soon be depleted. Radiation therapy for pelvic cancer, or chemotherapy for any type of cancer, can quickly destroy a large number of eggs, leaving an insufficient number to last that long. Severe infections of the ovaries caused by a virus such as mumps can also injury large numbers of eggs. In some cases, the ovaries simply become dormant and although there may be enough eggs, they refuse to respond normally to follicle-stimulating hormone and so they fail to produce estrogen.

This may be temporary and the ovaries come back into action, or it may be permanent. Surgical removal of the ovaries before the age of forty will bring on a sudden and severe pre mature menopause if hormone replacement is not taken.

Women who experience pre mature menopause, no matter what the cause may be, are at early and increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. To prevent these serious diseases, unless she has another health problem that would prohibit it, a woman who has a pre mature menopause should take sufficient hormone replacement therapy at the time of her menopause and ideally up to the age of fifty – in some cases, even longer, especially if her bone density is low. This will be able to give her adequate protection from these debilitating diseases.

A woman who goes through menopause pre maturely often experiences a wide range of negative emotions, including anger, disbelief, resentment, shock and even shame. If you are in a situation like this, it is important that you receive counseling from a sympathetic doctor or a qualified therapist, because if you keep all these feeling bottled up inside you, you may find yourself feeling depressed.

If you have early menopause, you may find it difficult to relate much to the information available about menopause, which is usually designed with fifty-year-old women in mind and thus you may find yourself feeling increasingly isolated. On the other hand, if you can find an understanding physician, you may be able to work through these negative feelings. It is essential to understand that menopause is not synonymous with old age. If you go through menopause early, it merely means that your ovaries have exhausted their supply of eggs sooner than normal.

With timely and proper treatment, pre mature menopause will not cause you to age more quickly, or to change your personality or mental ability. Certainly, to all your family and friends, you will appear just the same as before. With regards to your sex life, adequate hormone replacement should help you to feel and act just as sexy as ever.

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The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.