Increasingly, women in India are now facing the problem of premature menopause, some even before having a child. A recent study by the Institute for Social and Economic Change has concluded that almost 4 percent of indigenous women experience symptoms of menopause between the ages of 29 and 34 years, while for women in the age group 35 and 39, the figure is 8 percent. The average age of menopause in India is 47 years, while worldwide is 51 years.
early menopause is a state in the last menstrual period it occurs before a woman turns 40.
“Every month I see a woman or two less than 40 years old with menopause. And, at least six or seven girls aged around 32-34 years come every month with low AMH (AMH ), indicating the imminent menopause, “says Dr. Meenakshi Ahuja, gynecologist and obstetrician, Apollo Cradle Royale, New Delhi.
One of the reasons for premature menopause is premature ovarian failure (POF), a condition where the ovaries stop working normally before the age of 40. The POF exact cause is not yet known, but the change in eating habits, work culture, with an increase in stress are some of the reasons.
Stress, coupled with poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking plays a role in early menopause, but has not yet been established whether the stress alone can cause early menopause. However, stress makes a woman experiences menopause symptoms more severely.
Lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking, thyroid or autoimmune diseases, exposure to radiation such as chemotherapy or radiation, and poor nutrition can also cause premature menopause.
The genital tuberculosis can also lead to failure of the ovaries.
The age at which a woman reaches menopause can also be genetic. There is a strong association between mothers and daughters, brothers and twins.
Other reasons for premature menopause is surgery (when the ovaries are removed surgically- oophorectomy), chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer.
“Early menopause is a condition caused due to the depletion of estrogen. Apart from the reasons mentioned above, the air pollutants also have an added effect. In addition, the lack of fat in the body also causes early menopause as estrogen is stored in peripheral fat. So this obsession with size zero women and zero diet (vegan) animal fat are also causing early menopause, “says Dr. Ahuja.
Symptoms of premature menopause are the same as the normal one. These include hot flashes, mood swings, changes in the pattern of periods, crying spells and insomnia. “If you have these symptoms, you should consult any fertility center and go for a blood test. If your level of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) is more than 25 mIU / L then you may have POF” says Dr. Anubha Singh, an expert infertility.
According to a study by Professor Steve Horvath School of Medicine David Geffen University of California (Los Angeles), women who go through menopause before others are more likely to age faster and are more vulnerable to age-related diseases. Professor Horvath teaches human genetics and biostatistics at the University.
Other effects include brittle nails, thinning hair, wrinkles, adult acne and weight gain.
“Other consequences include dryness of mucous membranes of the vagina and leads to sexual problems. Skin, heart and bone health are estrogen-dependent and estrogen deficiency affects these organs,” reports Dr . Ahuja. “It also has a serious effect on the psyche too,” he adds.
What can you do about
“First please add some desi ghee in your diet,” says Dr. Ahuja, “and cut smoking and stress of life. ”
Go for natural treatments to help relieve hot flashes. Eat soy because it contains phytoestrogens. The best sources of soy include tofu, soy powder, soy milk and soy nuts.
physically active. An active lifestyle can reduce the risk of premature menopause. Aerobic exercise 30 minutes a day, three times a week is important.
sure to have a daily multivitamin supplement. Your body should receive an ample supply of vitamin D, E, zinc and magnesium.
eat foods that are rich in calcium, such as cheese, almonds, green leafy vegetables, milk, fortified cereals such as corn flakes and raisin bran.