Health

Indian women facing early menopause: Survey

Nearly 4 per cent of Indian women experience signs of menopause between 29 and 34 years of age, says a recent survey conducted by The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC). The figure goes up to 8 per cent in the case of women between 35 and 39 years of age.

What is shocking is that women around the world normally reach menopause between 45 and 55 years of age, with a mean age of around 51 years.

According to the study, women often notice an irregular menstrual cycle that suddenly ceases. This is when most of them approach a gynaecologist and are confronted with premature menopause.

“One of the culprits could be Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) — a condition when the ovaries stop functioning normally before the age of 40. The cause of POF goes undetermined in majority of the cases, but changing food habits, work culture with increased stress are some of the reasons,” said Dr. Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF specialist at Mother’s Lap IVF Centre.

Dr. Shobha said: “A woman’s body is going through so many changes today because of the atmosphere and lifestyle requirements, which is why we have been seeing cases of premature ovary failure in young adults. It is better to plan a family on time, and if you have any medical issues then you should consult your doctor soon.”

Its symptoms are the same as those of natural menopause — change in pattern of periods, hot flashes, mood swings, crying spells and sleeplessness. “If you experience these, you should consult any fertility centre and go for a blood test. If your FSH level (follicle stimulating hormone) is more than 25mIU/L then you may have POF” said Dr. Anubha Singh, infertility expert from Shantah IVF Centre.

“Lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking, thyroid or auto-immune diseases, exposure to radiation like chemotherapy or radiotherapy, and poor nutrition can also cause premature menopause. Along with this, genital tuberculosis can also lead ovaries to fail,” Dr. Singh added.

Multiple studies, meanwhile, have shown that the age of menopause can be inherited.

Also, a strong association has been observed between siblings, twins, mothers and daughters. Further, menopause seems accelerated in women whose mothers experienced early menopause or premature ovarian failure.

The study concluded that though heredity does play a role, the extent remains to be identified.

Go natural

You can try natural treatments to help relieve hot flashes. Among the most common tips are: Eat soy: Soy contains phytoestrogens. The best sources of soy are tofu, soy powder, soymilk, and soy nuts.

Exercise: An active lifestyle can lower your risk of premature menopause. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise thrice a week is very important.

A good multivitamin supplement: Make sure your body receives an ample supply of Vitamin D, E, zinc and magnesium.

Eat foods that are rich in calcium such as cheese, almonds, green leafy vegetables, milk, fortified cereals like corn flakes, and raisin bran.

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Printable version | Oct 21, 2020 8:19:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/Indian-women-facing-early-menopause-Survey/article14403551.ece

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