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Understanding premature menopause and the sexual health issues it results in

Premature Menopause usually occurs near the age of 51. However, it can sometimes happen late; also, it can come earlier than expected as well. For the 1% women population, it occurs even before they approach the age of 40 years, and this is regarded as premature. Premature menopause can appear as a bit of a blow, and most females who get struck by menopause early can feel unready for the alterations it brings. If you approach menopause in your early 40s, this is referred to as ‘early menopause.’

It is impossible to foretell when a woman reaches menopause, but they’re likely to get indications as perimenopause symptoms often appear way before the menopause itself. You’ll identify that you have reached menopause if you don’t get a period for one complete year or 12 months in a row. This symbolizes that your ovaries have eventually lost the capacity to produce and deliver hormones and ovulate.

What are the causes of premature menopause?

It’s difficult to tell for sure, but medical specialists conclude that smoking can contribute. For some females, it happens because of some surgery or medical therapies such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy carried out on the pelvic area. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can result in premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) and premature menopause because they interfere with follicular maturation and cause direct primordial follicle loss.

Sometimes autoimmune diseases can give rise to premature menopause (for instance, hypothyroidism, lupus, and Graves’ disease). In other cases, a family history of premature menopause can signify a greater likelihood of experiencing menopause early.

Symptoms of premature menopause:

There is no difference between natural menopause symptoms and symptoms of premature menopause. When your level of estrogen drops greatly (or becomes irregular before it finally declines), you might experience at least a few of the following symptoms of menopause:

  • Lighter or heavier periods than normal
  • Irregular periods followed missed periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Deprived vaginal tissues and reduced flexibility
  • Mood swings and changes in emotions
  • Sleeplessness or trouble staying asleep
  • Diminished sex drive
  • Irritation of the bladder or incontinence
  • Dry eyes, skin, or mouth
  • Painful sex (dyspareunia)

How would you understand if you’re undergoing premature menopause?

Maybe you’ve tried to become pregnant for one year or more without success. This alone can be a clue, but it’s an even powerful indicator if your nearly 40 and encountering any of the mentioned symptoms. But, it’s essential to consult a physician for an accurate diagnosis of premature menopause, as some symptoms could also be caused by a different condition.

Your physician will probably perform a physical examination and obtain a blood sample to deduce no additional conditions are causing your symptoms. They may book you in to examine your estradiol levels. Estradiol is a kind of estrogen (hormone), and in case your levels have fallen below 30, this could be due to premature menopause. They will also conduct a blood test to estimate your Female Sexual Health levels (follicle-stimulating hormone). If your FSH levels have risen to 40 mIU/mL or above, this can be a sure-fire indication that your ovaries are not generating as much estrogen as they used to.

Why would sex hurt during menopause?

Sadly, during menopause, women can encounter sexual pain, which creates lots of tension and trouble for females in sexual relationships. So, why does this happen during menopause? There can be several contributing factors:

Estrogen decreases, making the vaginal tissues become thinner and drier, resulting in discomfort and sexual pain. The dryness causes friction with penetration, so one may benefit from the use of a water-based personal lubricant.

Another issue caused by decreasing levels of estrogen is that your tissues lose elasticity, that’s why it might feel a bit tight down there. When your vagina begins to get drier and tighter to the extent that sex becomes painful, you’re probably undergoing vaginal atrophy, which happens commonly after menopause.

You might also discover that as your libido drops, and you’ve become less interested in having sex, the act becomes more painful as you are not comfortable enough to take pleasure in it. It’s not unusual for women to feel anxious about sex, particularly if their recent encounters have been painful. Sometimes this might lead to the origination of vaginismus, which can be a vicious circle.

Psychosexual therapy

The hypothesis underlying this approach is that the alliance between patient and therapist gives a reflection of the connection the patient/subject has with his/her partner. It allows recognizing any unpleasant interaction with the companion and any concealed disputes in the patient. Initially, the therapist questions the patient only when needed to minimize dominating her or him. Medical examinations and questioning can prove helpful in avoiding painful and powerful sentimental stuff that the subject or the expert may be hesitant to face.

It is very crucial to be conscious of the sentiments that evoke in the expert as well as the patient. As the patient unfolds his/her story and the physical examinations are carried out, different feelings among the two can arise. These sensations need to be addressed to the patient. Also, they can be used to familiarize him or her with the internal conflicts creating the difficulties. Treatment is given to a patient suiting his/her individual needs to facilitate the recognition of the different unconscious barriers preventing sexual fulfillment.

Explore the most useful menopause treatment options

Apart from the famous DIY approach we stated above (like using personal lubricants), investigations show that menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) is the most efficient way of treating vasomotor symptoms (such as hot flashes and vaginal atrophy). That’s because the advantages tend to surpass the risks if you are under 60 years of age.

Estrogen therapy (ET) is available in the form of pills, transdermal sprays, patches, or gels and is generally utilized for menopause symptoms. But, it does bring along various health hazards, so you might not be a fitting candidate for this therapy (based on your medical history and the reasons behind your premature menopause). Topical estrogen creams might be a more viable choice for separate symptoms.

For those favoring a more natural way, there are different options available—for example, plant-based Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy and many herbs and natural products.

If you are interested in Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy to say goodbye to sexual pain after menopause, the experts at Harbor compounding pharmacy can help you as they have witnessed that hormone replacement therapy has assisted numberless women in finding relief.

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