Premature Menopause Treatments: Can Early Menopause be Treated?Fertility Treatment
Menopause is a natural phenomenon in women's bodies that often occurs in the sixth decades of their lives. Menopause stops menstrual cycles and also the fertility ability. If menopause happens earlier than its typical time or its symptoms can be seen at a younger age, it is called early menopause, which requires medical treatment. Although prevention is better than cure, observing symptoms of ovarian failure, you should visit a specialist doctor to start the treatment better and faster.
In general, there are many reasons, both hereditary and genetic, most of which are related to lifestyle and cause premature menopause. Therefore, timely diagnosis and control of this disease can prevent female infertility, especially at a young age.
Is There a Definitive Treatment for Premature Menopause?
Although a complete and effective solution for the definitive treatment of early menopause has not yet been provided, modern medical methods can be used to treat and correct problems such as menstrual irregularity, follicle maturation disorder, and irregular ovulation. Female infertility caused by early menopause can be treated with the help of techniques such as the injection of ovarian stimulation drugs or the use of donated eggs.
Also, taking advantage of hormone therapy can prevent premature menopause by reducing the risk of osteoporosis and heart diseases. In general, early menopause treatment methods include:
- Hormone therapy;
- Birth control pills;
- Antidepressant pills;
- Lubricant gel;
- Ovarian PRP;
- Egg donation;
- Calcium and vitamin D;
- Vaginal laser.
Hormone therapy is an effective way to relieve symptoms of premature menopause and help women's fertility return. Consumption of estrogen and progesterone supplements and sometimes testosterone can prevent osteoporosis by decreasing symptoms and side effects of menopause. Also, using these hormones in the form of medicine regularizes the menstrual periods.
Hormone therapy helps to reduce menopausal hot flashes, improve the side effects caused by the decrease of estrogen in the body, and also reduce the symptoms of incontinence, helping women for whom other treatment methods are not effective. It should be noted that the dosage of these hormones prescribed for the treatment of premature menopause is slightly higher than the dosage prescribed for menopausal women. Therefore, hormone therapy itself can also have side effects.
Birth control pills
Taking birth control pills is recommended only as a relief for symptoms such as hot flashes, but it is not possible to treat premature menopause with LD pills. In addition, due to their side effects, birth control pills have to be taken under the supervision of a doctor.
Some serotonin inhibitors, which are used as antidepressants, are effective in improving the symptoms of early menopause (such as a 60% reduction in hot flashes). Of course, these drugs should also be taken under the supervision of a doctor on schedule.
Lubricants or lubricant gels are suitable tools to solve the problem of vaginal dryness caused by menopause. Vaginal dryness, in addition to causing discomfort for women, reduces the quality of sex between partners.
For this purpose, it is recommended to use non-hormonal moisturizing gels and creams. On the other hand, it is possible to improve vaginal dryness by adjusting the frequency and duration of sexual intercourse while helping to increase blood circulation in the reproductive organs.
Treatment of premature menopause with RF
Using RF for treating premature menopause can improve the symptoms of the disease and treat the problems caused by it. The RF treatment heats the vaginal tissue and stimulates collagen production in the vagina, which results in relieving the unpleasant symptoms and side effects of early menopause, like vaginal dryness, vaginal infection, and sexual reluctance for a relatively long time.
It should be noted that RF treatment requires no age limit and is performed in a few sessions, the results of which can be seen in a short period of time. Also, this method does not require anesthesia, and no wound, bleeding, or pain is expected.
Using stem blood cells as well as enriched platelets or PRP and injecting them into the ovaries can improve and strengthen the ovaries and the ovulation process to some extent. However, if the disease progresses, this strategy does not have much effect on increasing women's fertility.
In many cases, premature menopause reduces women's fertility; so no more mature and fertile eggs are developed for pregnancy. In such a situation, you can experience pregnancy again and have healthy children by using some alternative methods such as egg donation.
There is a high chance for a woman to go through early menopause if one of her close relatives has experienced it. So, freezing an egg is recommended for that woman in case she intends to get pregnant in the future.
Calcium and vitamin D
It is important to take vitamin D and calcium during menopause since this condition can lead to osteoporosis and muscle pain. Vitamin D and calcium can be provided in the form of supplements or any type of foods rich in these two substances.
Laser therapy is another method used to improve menopause symptoms, especially vaginal dryness and atrophy. The vaginal laser helps to increase the quality of sexual intercourse by eliminating vaginal dryness and reducing sexual pain. It is considered a suitable alternative solution for menopausal women who are dealing with cancer.
Home Remedies for Treating Premature Menopause
Along with pharmaceutical and medical treatments, some traditional remedies can improve the symptoms of premature menopause and delay the infertility caused by it. For example, in some cases, by wearing less and thin clothes and drinking cool beverages, symptoms such as night sweats can be reduced. The following methods are among the home remedies for treating early menopause:
Exercising is one of the factors affecting overall health, and it can also be useful in treating premature menopause. Doing regular exercises such as Kegel exercise with increasing the strength of the pelvic floor muscles and reducing urinary incontinence can help to improve the quality of sexual intercourse.
Massage and deep breathing techniques also help to reduce the side effects of early menopause. You can consult a specialist to get a suitable training program in the field of tai chi and yoga. All these sports, while maintaining weight in the right range, reduce stress and anxiety, eliminate constant fatigue during menopause, reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and reduce the risk of diabetes
Stop smoking and alcohol
Consumption of tobacco and any type of traditional or industrial drugs due to its destructive effect on body organs, especially reproductive organs, not only has no positive effect on early menopause but also increases its severity. Stopping smoking and drinking alcohol, along with avoiding stress and anxiety, will play an effective role in reducing the side effects of premature menopause and also reduce the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
What to Eat to Treat Premature Menopause?
The diet you take during menopause plays an important role in relieving its symptoms. For example, reducing the consumption of caffeinated beverages is helpful in treating the symptoms of early menopause. It is also recommended to help bone health and prevent weight gain by increasing the consumption of legumes, fruits, and fresh vegetables.
Avoiding certain foods such as fast foods, sugary and very sweet foods, and spicy foods may help reduce some of the symptoms linked to menopause; while foods rich in estrogen, such as flax seeds, soybeans, beans, and sesame seeds, are effective in controlling hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Also, it is better to consider drinking enough water, eating protein-rich foods, and taking special food supplements in your daily diet.
Is Hormone Therapy Dangerous for Menopause?
As mentioned, one of the ways to control the symptoms of early menopause is "hormone therapy"; however, this method, despite removing side effects such as hot flashes, may bring some risks. Due to the body's sensitivity to hormones, the type and amount of injectable drugs in this method should be determined only according to the doctor's prescription.
In the past, it was thought that this technique, which replaces the female hormones in women's bodies and compensates for these hormones’ deficiency after menopause, is useful in preventing dementia and heart diseases in women. However, new research shows that not only do hormonal treatments not play a role in this field, but they also cause serious harm to some women experiencing menopause.
Therefore, today, the use of hormone therapy is only prescribed for a certain group of women. For example, hormone treatment is not possible for women with cancer who have found symptoms of early menopause. Considering these cases, some points should be considered during hormone treatment. If the doctor confirms the need for hormonal treatment, estrogen drugs are available in the form of tablets, gels, suppositories, creams, vaginal rings, etc.
If the main problem of the person is vaginal symptoms and vaginal changes, it is better to use low-dose estrogen in the form of vaginal pills, vaginal creams, or vaginal rings instead of oral pills. In any case, the treatment should be started with low doses of hormones, except in women under the age of 45, when adequate amounts of hormones and longer treatment periods are recommended to deal with the long-term effects of estrogen deficiency.
In addition, regular visits to the doctor ensure that the benefits of hormone therapy outweigh its risks. If necessary, the doctor recommends the person perform screenings such as mammography or pelvic examinations.
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Contraindications to the Use of Hormones
In the following cases, it is usually not recommended to use hormone therapy to deal with early menopause:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding;
- Having or being suspected of having active liver or gallbladder diseases;
- Having or being suspected of having uterine cancer or breast cancer;
- Having a cardiovascular disease or high risk of this disease in the person.
How Is Premature Menopause Diagnosed?
Paying attention to the regularity of the menstrual cycle is an important point in diagnosing and treating premature menopause quickly. Stopping the period cycle along with severe hot flashes in girls or young women would require an immediate doctor's examination. The specialist prescribes special tests in addition to asking the person about their menstrual cycle, history of ovarian surgery, history of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, family history, pelvic infection, hormonal failure, etc.
One of these tests is the FSH hormone test, which is performed twice with a gap of one month. The normal amount of this hormone in the blood is between 10 and 15 ml per unit, and if this amount elevates to 40 ml, it will indicate a disease.
Ways to Reduce Early Menopause Symptoms
There are simple measures that can reduce the severity of early menopause symptoms as well as the pain and discomfort caused by it. The best thing to do is to reduce the amount of daily stress and anxiety and do massage and deep breathing techniques. By wearing fewer clothes and drinking cold beverages, you can reduce the severity of hot flashes, which is one of the common symptoms of menopause.
In addition, following a high-fiber diet and avoiding alcohol and tobacco prevent the aggravation of disease symptoms. It should be noted that the use of lubricant gel and moisturizers also help to improve vaginal dryness.
How to Treat Premature Menopause with Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a long-standing, natural, and effective treatment option that can help regulate female hormones, boost energy levels, and improve blood circulation in the uterus, making it a promising treatment for female conditions such as menstrual disorders. Acupuncture can also help reduce symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.
It is a safe and non-invasive treatment option that can be used alone or in combination with other therapies, such as energy therapy and Qigong, under the supervision of a licensed expert who has experience treating premature menopause.
How to Prevent Premature Ovarian Failure?
There is no 100% permanent solution to prevent premature ovarian failure. However, certain lifestyle factors may help reduce the risk of early menopause. These factors include consuming a healthy diet rich in fresh fruits, vegetables, phytoestrogen sources like soybeans, beans, sesame seeds, and flax seeds, vitamin D sources, and protein sources such as meat, beans, and eggs.
In addition to these dietary changes, incorporating daily consumption of dairy products like yogurt, milk, and curd, engaging in regular exercise, and managing stress can play an effective role in preventing premature menopause.
Early Menopause and Ovarian Reserve
Naturally, each baby girl is born with a specific number of follicles in her ovaries. Once puberty begins, every month, a follicle is released from one of the ovaries. If the released egg combines with sperm, pregnancy occurs; otherwise, a monthly period happens. Obviously, with increasing age, the amount of ovarian reserve decreases until menopause, when there will be no more follicles left in the ovaries, leading to a permanent inability to conceive.
In other words, there are 1000 eggs in the ovaries by nearly the start of menopause. Still, due to the lack of female hormone secretion at the time of menopause, eggs don't grow anymore, and the end of female fertility occurs.
Due to the importance of mentioned cases, if there is a history of premature menopause in first-degree relatives or a history of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, it is mandatory to check the condition of the ovaries and their reserve (to prepare for pregnancy) by a doctor. In addition, a person can experience a healthy pregnancy in the future with the help of the egg-freezing method.
Premature menopause can be a challenging condition for women under 40, leading to reduced female fertility and potential long-term complications. While there is no known cure, there are various ways to manage symptoms and reduce the impact of the condition.
It's important to remember that menopause doesn't necessarily mean the end of the road for having children, with modern medical techniques such as egg freezing offering new possibilities. By adopting a positive mindset and preparing for the changes ahead, women can navigate menopause with greater ease and confidence.
Frequently Asked Questions about Premature Menopause Treatment
1) Can Soy Be Effective in the Treatment of Premature Menopause?
As a phytoestrogen, soy mimics the effects of estrogen in the body, providing relief from hot flashes and other discomforts. However, it is important to note that some individuals may experience side effects such as stomach discomfort and diarrhea.
On the positive side, soy can also help reduce constipation and prevent osteoporosis. Additionally, the active compounds in soy have been shown to lower blood fat and total cholesterol levels, as well as decrease harmful LDL cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.
2) Can Menopause Be Delayed?
Premature menopause is a natural occurrence that cannot be delayed or reversed. While some treatments may result in the resumption of menstruation, these cases are rare and caused by hormonal imbalances.
It is important to note that women experiencing premature menopause should continue to use contraception if they do not wish to get pregnant until their symptoms have completely subsided.
3) Can You Get Pregnant After Menopause?
Natural pregnancy after menopause is not possible, as women's fertility typically decreases after the age of 42 and diminishes by the age of 50. However, there is still a chance of fertility in the early stages of menopause. Women who have gone through natural menopause can still become mothers through alternative solutions such as egg donation, embryo donation, or using a surrogate (if they freeze their eggs at a younger age).
4) What helps with menopause hot flashes?
Hot flashes are a natural and common symptom of menopause that can be effectively managed with hormone therapy. However, due to the potential side effects of hormonal treatments, it is recommended that women explore home remedies to alleviate hot flashes. It is important to note that this symptom typically resolves on its own within two years.
5) Is It Possible to Reverse Menopause?
While there are hormone replacement therapies and other treatments that can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with menopause, there is no known cure or method to reverse the process. It is crucial for women going through menopause to seek guidance from a trusted obstetrician and gynecologist and to consider utilizing care options to navigate this stage of life.
6) Does Hormone Replacement Therapy in Early Menopause Treatment Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?
Estrogen-only hormone replacement therapy can slightly increase the risk of breast cancer (by up to 2%). Therefore, it is considered a safe treatment method. However, it should not be used for women who have breast or uterine cancer. Women undergoing hormone replacement therapy should also undergo regular screenings for breast cancer to ensure early detection and treatment if necessary.