What are the risks and problems associated with early menopause?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Early menopause is a tricky subject. The risk of this condition occurs because the body no longer has whatever protection the hormone estrogen naturally provides. So women who experience menopause before the age of 45 are living longer without estrogen’s protective benefits against heart disease, and conditions like osteoporosis, low bone density and bone fractures.

And women who experience menopause before age 40 because of premature ovarian failure (POF), ovarian surgery, or chemotherapy and radiation are at particularly high risk for certain problems. That's because estrogen is one of those hormones that is a work horse of sorts. It targets tissue everywhere in the body including the skin, heart, brain, blood vessels, bones and reproductive organs, to name a few. So there are many long-term consequences of living without this crucial hormone for long periods of time including the ones mentioned above, as well as sex, mood and thinking problems. If you experience early menopause, talk to your doctor as to whether the value of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) outweighs the risks.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.