Common Causes of Early Menopause

Christina Dodd 

Medical Procedures That Lead To Early Menopause

Menopause is a natural occurrence in women but there are several medical procedures that cause premature menopause. When menopause happens naturally it comes in three different stages. It begins with perimenopause which lasts for up to ten years before menopause begins. Postmenopause is the final state of menopause.

Common Causes of Early Menopause

Most women experience the first stage of menopause in their 40s, but many women in their 30s begin to notice the symptoms of perimenopause. Common symptoms of perimenopause are sudden hot flashes and a change in menstrual cycle. Women that are going through perimenopause can still become pregnant, but may find it more difficult to conceive. Once a woman has stopped menstruating for 12 months in a row she has reached menopause. Certain medical treatments and surgeries can cause women to experience menopause prematurely. Women who receive certain chemotherapy or radiation treatments or who undergo a hysterectomy may experience early menopause.

Does Bilateral Oophorectomy Surgery Result In Menopause?

Women who have both of their ovaries surgically removed experience immediate menopause. Women of all ages who undergo a bilateral oophorectomy will experience immediate menopause symptoms. Instead of experiencing a variety of symptoms spread out over time, they will be thrust into full menopause, experiencing severe symptoms as their body attempts to adjust to new hormonal levels.

Why Would a Woman Have Her Ovaries Removed?

Women need to have their ovaries removed if they have ovarian, cervical or uterine cancer. In certain cases women who are predisposed to ovarian or breast cancer may choose to have the surgery as a preventative measure. The operation is also performed when a woman has medical issues with her ovaries such as fibroids or recurring infections. In some cases, women who have their uterus surgically removed have one or both ovaries removed as well. If a woman keeps one or both ovaries she will not go into immediate menopause.

Any medical procedure that involves the removal of female organs such as fallopian tubes or the uterus can result in early menopause. The surgical treatment for rectal and colon cancer can result in the removal of the ovaries or uterus. If a woman must have female organs removed as part of an overall cancer treatment she will likely face immediate menopause or end up going through menopause at an earlier age than expected.

Medical Treatments That Lead To Immediate Menopause

Chemotherapy commonly leads to immediate menopause in certain woman. Radiation treatments can also lead to immediate or early menopause. Not all women go through menopause after chemotherapy; many women go on to have children after their cancer treatments. Women of childbearing age are usually advised to use reliable birth control methods during the chemotherapy and radiation process. There is no scientific evidence of chromosomal abnormalities occurring in the children of women who have received chemotherapy treatments.