Shocking! Indian women as young as 29 years are now experiencing menopause

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According to the report, nearly 4 percent of Indian women are experiencing signs of menopause between 29 and 34 years of age

As a woman, you may have felt that you are constantly stressed while trying to balance between your personal life and career. And as it turns out, this very reason is causing many Indian women as young as 29 to hit menopause.

Yes, you read it right!

This shocking revelation was made by The Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in their recent survey. They reported:

  • Nearly 4 percent of Indian women experience signs of menopause between 29 and 34 years of age
  • The figure goes up to 8 percent in women between 35 and 39 years of age

Ideally, women across the globe hit menopause between 45 and 55 years of age, with the mean age of around 51 years. According to this study, most women who were studied, often noticed an irregular menstrual cycle which suddenly ceased.

This is when most of them approached a gynaecologist and were confronted with premature menopause. Experts suggest that this is a result of Premature Ovarian Failure (POF).

What is Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)?

We spoke to Dr Shobha Gupta, Medical Director and IVF specialist at Mothers Lap IVF Centre, Delhi, who explained this condition.

"The cause of POF remains undetermined in majority of the cases but changing food habits, work cultures with increased pressure and high stress jobs are some of the reasons," she says.

Dr. Shobha says, "A woman’s body is going through so many changes today because of lifestyle requirements. That is why we have been seeing cases of premature ovary failure in young adults. It is better to start and plan family on time and if you encounter medical issues then consult your doctor soon."

Symptoms of POF

The symptoms of POF are usually the same as menopause and include the following:

  • Vaginal dryness (the vagina may also become thinner and less flexible)
  • Change in pattern of periods (can be shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, more or less time between periods)
  • Hot flashes (sometimes called hot flushes), night sweats (sometimes followed by a chill)
  • Mood swings, feeling crabby, crying spells (probably because of lack of sleep)
  • Irregular periods
  • Sleeplessness
  • Reduced sex drive

Continue reading to know what you do next and treatments for POF.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult a fertility centre and go for a blood test. "If your Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) level is more than 25mIU/L then you may have POF," she says.

Dr Gupta, however, adds that multiple studies show that the age of menopause can be inherited and a strong association has been observed in siblings, twins, mothers and daughters.

“Menopause seems accelerated in women whose mothers experienced early menopause or POF. Heredity does play a role, although we don't know exactly in what way and how much. Certain genes that run in a woman's family may predispose her to premature menopause," explains Dr Gupta.

She however, says that there is a possibility to help women with POF.

How technology can help women with POF

"If your ovaries fail then you can consult a gynecologist and opt for hormone replacement therapy. In this procedure. some of the hormones like estrogen and progesterone are replaced," the doctor explains.

Apart from hormone replacement, you can opt for in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).

"Egg donation is an essential process of IVF. This treatment involves recruiting an egg donor who agrees to undergo stimulation with injections for approximately 14 days. It is followed by egg collection. Here, the donor eggs are mixed with the husband's sperms to form an embryo. Two embryo(s) are then transferred in a woman who is less than 40 years. The remaining good quality embryos can be kept frozen for future use," she explains.

Dr. Shobha Gupta advises, “Being an infertility specialist, I understand the value of getting pregnant and if any couple wants to delay pregnancy then they should consult the doctor first for guidance.”

Read: Ultrasound guided embryo transfer maximises IVF success rates 

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(Image for representational purposes only | Courtesy: Madbangles)

Written by

Deepshikha Punj