Class 10 Biology class: Girls start menstruating between the age of 10-15 years and often hit menopause anytime between 48-55 years.
A survey conducted by the Institute of Social and Economic Changes (ISEC), begs to differ. It brings to light the fact that about 4% of the Indian women hit menopause between 29-34 years and about 8% of them are menopausal between 35-39years. This is usually caused due to a condition is known as the Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) wherein the ovaries stop functioning before one turns 40.
Cause For Premature Menopause
For a condition that cannot be reversed, premature menopause often comes as a shock. Research says that it is usually caused due to tremendous physical, emotional and mental strain supplemented with improper nutrition and even heavy smoking or drinking habits. It can also be accelerated because of the thyroid, autoimmune dysfunction, genetically, and exposure to radiations especially to the pelvic regions ( a reason why the laptop should not be placed on the lap).
Why is Premature Menopause Not Healthy?
Besides the fact that premature menopause primarily means an end to childbearing years, it can also lead to some serious diseases – osteoporosis being the most common of them all. It also invites other diseases like cataracts, gum disease, and even colon and ovarian cancer.
The Phase Before ‘No More Periods’
Menopause isn’t really a happy phase in a women’s life, and an early menopause just makes the situation worse. Starting with irregular periods, a woman’s body undergoes a lot of hormonal changes from fluctuating levels of oestrogen and progesterone to worsening of mood swings during the perimenopausal peri until one fine day her menstruation cycle ceases completely.
Such changes leave a woman prone to hot flashes, which is assumed to be caused due to changes in circulation and as an effect, a red flushed face and sweating are common occurrences. Itchy skin, vaginal dryness, reduced libido and even depression can be noticed during perimenopausal.
Coping Up With Premature Menopause
The most common way to cope with premature menopause is the hormone replacement therapy. This therapy helps in normalising the levels of oestrogen and progesterone and the process is continued till one reached the average age of menopause.
Apart from this, the only other way to reduce the stress to deal with it is to talk about it to a doctor, who would then probably suggest a few other therapies.
Premature menopause cannot be reversed, hence the best possible way is to accept the fact and ensure that the right menopausal health care is taken.
Situation In India
The situation of premature menopause came to light after the release of a report by ISEC. It was found that even though lifestyle changes played a major role, about 20% of the illiterate women constituting majorly from the rural areas faced premature menopause, when compared to 11.1% of those who at least held a graduate degree.
Education and standards of living have a huge role to play. Women who started childbearing at an early age, underwent multiple pregnancies, had a low body mass index seem to be prone to premature menopause.
Not only does the country need to focus on women’s health, but needs a holistic approach to dealing menopausal health. Menopause, be it natural or premature is a major change that occurs in a woman’s body and combating it (not as a disease, but a natural process) is very important.
Ladies, it is high time that we devise ways to succeed in our lives, and still, be calm. After all, it is all a mind game.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.