Normally, menopause begins around the age of 50. Premature ovarian failure can cause ovaries to stop functioning normally before 40. This condition happens when the ovaries stop releasing eggs regularly or do not produce normal amounts of estrogen. Early menopause can cause infertility, and the chances of conceiving naturally are very low.
Early menopause can be caused by genetic abnormalities affecting the ovaries. Often, there is a family history of the condition. About 10-20% of women experiencing this condition will find it in their family history. There are also certain medical conditions that can cause early menopause, such as thyroid disease or surgical removal of the ovaries. Radiation or chemotherapy can also cause this condition.
Symptoms of Early Menopause
Estrogen deficiency, primary insufficiency and menopause share similar symptoms:
- Decreased sexual desire
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Dry eyes
- Hot flashes
- Irregular or skipped periods
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
If you miss your period for three months or more, you should see your doctor. There are various reasons you may miss periods; finding the cause is important, especially if you expect to get pregnant at some time. Missed periods due to early menopause can lead to infertility. Diagnosing the issue early may increase your options for pregnancy.
The best chance for becoming pregnant for patients with early menopause is when the condition first begins. The earlier it can be diagnosed, the more likely fertility treatments will be successful. Even relatively young women can experience diminished ovarian reserves.
Pregnancy and Early Menopause
Since early menopause means the cessation of the menstrual cycle, pregnancy is not likely. Fortunately, with the help of in vitro fertilization (IVF), a woman who experiences this condition may still have an opportunity to become pregnant. Donor eggs will be required, but the chances of carrying a baby are still relatively good. IVF with donor eggs has a high success rate compared to other fertility treatments.
Neway Fertility provides you with options when you are having trouble conceiving. Contact our office, and schedule a consultation appointment with one of our fertility specialists to discover your options for starting a family.