The age at which menopause occurs is predetermined from birth and it’s impossible to delay it.
However, there are certain external factors that can hasten its appearance. While it’s not within your abilities to alter your genetic code, you can protect yourself and avoid certain harmful habits.
You can also prepare to live your new phase in life with full health and tranquility.
Globally, the average age for entering menopause is between 50 and 51 years old. Only one in 100 women enter menopause during their 40s.
This can occur when you have poor lifestyle habits and introduce certain elements that speed up the onset of menopause.
Do you want to know what things you should not do and that will invariably affect you? Read on to discover them.
1. Chromosomal defects
Genetic problems that are linked to the sex chromosome X, like Turner syndrome and fragile X chromosome syndrome, can accelerate the onset of menopause.
These conditions are found in women who have defective ovaries from birth. They contain fewer healthy follicles and many of them present with atrophies.
Genetic causes are usually diagnosed when women are very young, most often well before they enter puberty.
There may be some cases of women who develop normally, entering menstruation at the right age but wind up going through menopause prematurely.
For these reasons you should always visit your gynecologist and receive any tests that they suggest.
See also: What is pelvic inflammatory disease?
2. Radiation therapy and chemo can accelerate the onset of menopauseThese two treatments are intended to prevent the growth of cells. They not only attack malignant cells, but also those that are healthy.
Therefore, among other side effects, cancer treatments can lead to premature loss of ovarian function.
On the other hand, there are medications that can trigger menopause regardless of what age you are. One example of this is a drug that is commonly used for severe cases of endometriosis.
Remember that if you have questions or are experiencing any symptoms of menopause that you need to talk to your doctor. Ask them and understand all the side effects of any medications you receive.
3. Surgery to remove the ovaries and uterus
Surgical removal of both ovaries causes you to immediately go into menopause. A woman’s cycles stop after surgery and hormone levels decrease rapidly.
Normally you experience severe symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and a loss of sexual desire.
Some women undergo a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, but keep their ovaries.
These patients don’t enter menopause immediately because the ovaries continue to produce hormones. The only thing you’ll notice is that because the uterus is no longer there, you will stop having your period and won’t be able to get pregnant.
4. Drugs and toxinsThe most common cause for early onset menopause is caused by the intake of drugs and toxins. Coming into contact with pesticides, alcohol, and tobacco products is related to ovarian damage.
Women who have these habits are at an increased risk of early menopause.
On average, these women enter this state two years earlier than non-smokers and non-drinkers.
For that reason, quitting smoking and reducing your alcohol consumption is very important. Getting physical exercise also helps your ovaries maintain normal hormone levels.
It’s important to note that the use of birth control pills is not related to the onset of menopause.
Women who have epilepsy may experience a decreased sex drive and fertility problems.
This disorder involves constant changes in the proportions of estrogen and progesterone, so that patients with epilepsy will reach menopause earlier.
It could be related to the effects of the seizures on areas of the brain that regulate reproductive hormones. Estrogen promotes seizures while progesterone protects you from them.
A logical explanation, therefore, is that increased levels of estrogen relative to progesterone are generated when the attacks occur.
6. Autoimmune diseases
The emergence and development of autoimmune diseases make your body produce antibodies that attack its own tissues and ovaries, as well as estrogen receptors.
All of this triggers the degeneration of the ovaries and the onset of menopause.
Thyroid diseases and diabetes are present in 20% of the cases of early menopause. If you suffer from one of these, it’s important that you follow your treatment regimen to the letter.
There is also an association with endocrine system autoimmune disorders such as vitiligo, anemia, lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome, and chronic hepatitis, among others. Pelvic infections that attack the ovaries can also be a cause.
We recommend you read: 10 signs of diabetes you shouldn’t ignore
Preparing yourself for menopauseMenopause signals the end of your reproductive life and there are cases when it has occurred at 20 years of age. We’ve already mentioned six factors that can accelerate the onset of menopause.
Some of them are controllable or avoidable, but others may simply happen to you. What we do recommend is that you lead a healthy lifestyle and take care of your health.
Focus on the things you can control and work on them.