Premature menopause

Our approach

When it comes to premature menopause, the gynecologic experts at Northwell Health are devoted to researching and understanding your individual condition. This means going beyond the standard tests and diving deeply into causes, such as genetics or karyotype (chromosome) irregularities, to determine what treatment is best for you. Our interdisciplinary team of specialists can find solutions that will give you a seamless return to your everyday lifestyle. 

Overview

Premature menopause occurs when a woman is diagnosed before the age of 40. This can happen naturally, as a result of genetics, or as a result of health issues or medical procedures.  

Risk factors

Although there is no direct cause for premature menopause, there are several factors that play a role:

  • Genetics
  • Environmental factors, such as smoking
  • Medical treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Surgical menopause, a type of menopause induced by a surgical procedure such as a bilateral oophorectomy (the surgical removal of your ovaries)

Symptoms

Symptoms of premature menopause are similar to the symptoms of regular menopause:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular periods
  • Bladder irritability
  • Inability to get pregnant

Diagnosis

The most common evaluations for the diagnosis of premature menopause include a physical exam and a blood test to rule out pregnancy or other conditions, like thyroid disease. In addition, your doctor may also suggest hormonal testing and ruling out any type of genetic component or karyotype irregularity. 

Treatment options for premature menopause

The symptoms, health risks and emotional issues that may result from premature menopause can all be controlled through similar methods to that of regular menopause. Some of these treatments include hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen and low-dose antidepressants.