Premature Menopause

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

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Quick GuideMenopause and Perimenopause Pictures Slideshow

Menopause and Perimenopause Pictures Slideshow

What are complications of premature menopause?

Women who have premature menopause are faced with the challenges of infertility if they desire to become pregnant. This can be accompanied by feelings of emotional distress and depression.

There is also an increased risk of osteoporosis in women with low estrogen levels. Women with premature menopause have a longer time period of their life with low estrogen levels, which increases their risk for low bone density. Women can help offset this risk by taking calcium and vitamin D supplements, consuming plenty of dietary calcium, and getting exercise such as walking.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for premature menopause?

The prognosis for women with premature menopause is related to the circumstances and cause of the condition. If premature menopause occurs due to surgery or cancer treatments, the prognosis is related to the underlying reasons for these treatments. Women with premature ovarian failure for undefined causes may have an increased risk for osteoporosis, as mentioned above. These women may also be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease later in life, although this risk has not been fully studied.

REFERENCES:

American Pregnancy Association. Premature ovarian failure.

Womenshealth.gov. Early menopause (premature menopause).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2014
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