Premature Menopause and Pregnancy

Premature menopause can be a problem for women who still have plans to become mothers. However, should these plans be ruled out completely? We'll tell you below.
Premature Menopause and Pregnancy

Last update: 27 September, 2018

Premature menopause occurs when women under the age of 40 stop ovulating and having menstrual cycles. This condition can be caused by genetic factors or people’s lifestyles. But does premature menopause suppress every chance of getting pregnant?

After 51 years old, which is the average age of onset for menopause, women’s bodies undergo great changes. However, this can happen even earlier due to changes that we’ll explain in more detail below.

When women younger than 40 stop ovulating and their menstrual period disappears, it’s known as premature menopause. It’s believed to affect one in every 1,000 women between the ages of 30 and 40, and one in every 100 between the ages of 40 and 50.

In addition to the normal symptoms of menopause, premature menopause can also produce other effects on a woman’s body. Many wonder if it causes infertility for those who have barely reached the age of 40.

We’ll try to provide information from the following data about this concern.

Causes of premature menopause

  • Stress: women who suffer high levels of stress are 80% more likely to experience the disappearance of their period before the age of 45. In addition, the symptoms of menopause intensify.
  • Smoking: smoking is a habit that can cause premature menopause. In fact, non-smoking women tend to have regular menopause up to three years later than those who do. The main reason is that tobacco reduces the production of estrogen, which can also cause bone problems such as osteoporosis.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: again, lifestyle appears to be a determining factor. Physical activity promotes efficient metabolism and therefore healthier muscle and heart tissue and better hormonal balance.
  • Surgeries or genetic disorders: procedures such as hysterectomy or oophorectomy (removal of one or both ovaries) can lead to premature menopause. In the same way, Celiac’s disease or Turner syndrome can also be responsible for its onset.
  • Oncological treatment: chemotherapy and radiotherapy are also possible reasons for early menopause.
    Premature Menopause and Pregnancy

Symptoms of premature menopause

The symptoms generated by premature menopause are the same as those experienced by women over the age of 50. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia and night sweats
  • Hot flashes at different times of the day
  • Emotional instability: depression, irritability, sadness
  • Pain when having sex, which reduces sexual desire
  • Palpitations and tachycardias
  • Different types of urinary problems
  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal dryness and dry skin

“Premature menopause occurs when women younger than 40 stop ovulating, which makes their menstrual period disappear. It affects one in every 1,000 women between the ages of 30 and 40, and one in every 100 between the ages of 40 and 50.”

Premature menopause and pregnancy

Now, is premature menopause capable of producing infertility in women? In addition to the drawbacks mentioned above, premature menopause can cause disorders, such as a tendency to develop osteoporosis and joint pain, cardiovascular diseases or breast cancer risk.

Another negative consequence is sterility. However, there are alternatives to correct this.

Premature Menopause and Pregnancy

To be clear: menopause causes the body to stop generating ovules. However, through in vitro fertilization or oocyte donation, you could have a fetus in your uterus. Remember that your uterus is in perfect condition, so it’s not an impediment for being a mother after menopause.

Among the women who suffer from premature menopause, between 5% and 10% get pregnant normally. To a great extent, this depends on the possible intermittent functioning of the ovaries for a certain time.

In fact, many of these pregnancies are often not sought after, since the women think that their ability to become pregnant has disappeared.

This dysfunction of the ovaries has no possibility of being treated. It’s important, however, for the woman to be medicated with hormonal supplements in order to increase her estrogen level. It fulfills important immunological and regulatory functions in the body.

As a result of everything that has been explained, we can conclude once again that science grants opportunities to people who encounter obstacles on the road to parenthood. In the case of premature menopause, it’s worthwhile to lead a healthy lifestyle to help prevent this condition from occurring.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Estudio de la insuficiencia ovárica primaria e insuficiencia ovárica oculta (2017). Sociedad Española de Ginecología y Obstetricia. Prog Obstet Ginecol. 2017;60(6):600-611.
  • Karina Juárez R; Ricardo Lara A; José García O. Insuficiencia ovárica prematura: una revisión. REV CHIL OBSTET GINECOL 2012; 77(2): 148 - 153.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.