“Marriages are made in heaven” but they indeed happen in Earth only after the girl and the boy agree to get married which could be in their late 20s, early 30s or even late 30s. Kids these days are impossible-they want to get a taste of everything in life before they submit to enter a nuptial agreement. While education and graduation were followed by marriage proposals for young women with men agreeing to marry once they settle down with a decent salary post family commitment such scenarios have disappeared from today’s world forever. Both men and women resist their parents urge for marriage, try to postpone it as much as possible and even doubt whether such lifelong commitments and responsibilities are their cup of tea. This puts the parents in gloom as they have not yet found a suitable bride/groom for their kid and there are even questions on fertility issues and pregnancy is at stake in many cases. On the other side, even married couples these days wish to enjoy their days together, travel around the world, party hard and work harder building a stable financial foundation for their family before planning for a baby. This makes them procrastinate their plans to go the family way. It’s no surprise that chances of pregnancy slim down as the woman’s age increases which is a reason why couples are advised against postponing their pregnancy plans indefinitely. But now, we have a shocking news that surely makes every young adult revisit his/her marriage and family plans immediately!
Young and beautiful, my close friend’s daughter finally agreed to a marriage proposal at the ripe age of 29. Planning for the wedding happened in full swing, her mom was delighted with her daughter’s choice of man and all things were happening perfectly. Some few months before the marriage date Divya started experiencing night sweats, hot flushes, mood swings and weight gain all of which were dismissed as effects of the marriage fear. She also started getting irregular menstrual cycles which made her worried mother take her to the gynae who bluntly told her that she was entering menopause. Both, the mom and daughter were shell-shocked upon hearing this as the poor daughter had not even been married yet! Unable to believe this they took the reports to another gynaecologist who reconfirmed the diagnosis.
Divya is not the only rare candidate to suffer from an early menopause but there are many other Divya’s in this world suffering from premature menopause. While women around the world enter menopause around 48-54 years of age such sudden menopause some 20 years in advance puts the woman’s life in a turmoil. Doctors report that urbanization and inappropriate lifestyle practices have made women contract menopause as early as 35 years (this is 10 years early compared to mean age of contracting menopause than it was a decade ago) and now there are cases of it in late 20s as well. Physicians have presumptions that only 1% of women suffer from unexplained premature ovarian failure (POF) caused by entering menopause before the age of 40 (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2017022/Why-ARE-young-women-hitting-menopause-New-research-reveals-fertile-years-shorter-feared--women-discovered-.html) but new research suggests that as many as six percent of women (or one in 16) experience premature menopause. And mind you, this was the largest study of this kind that looked into almost 5,000 50-year-old women. Another study in India found that 432 of the 980 women (42% were working women) in the study entered menopause around 30-35 years of age and 216 of them entered around 35-40 years of age. Doctors primarily blame cancers and its treatment procedures that include radiotherapy and chemotherapy for such high rates of premature menopause whose another important cause remains as smoking. Other causes include thyroid problems, mumps, hyperparathyroidism and Addison’s disease. Women who hit menopause at an early age are likelier to suffer from heart conditions and die younger compared to other women. These women also suffer from increased risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, stroke, colon and ovarian cancer.
Its been agreed upon that heredity does play a role in affecting premature menopause and certain genes puts the woman at a higher risk to it. For instance, when your sister suffers from this problem it puts you at a nine-times higher risk to it. Physicians suggest that those women with early menopause should opt for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to control side effects and protect bone and vascular health.
All of this boils down to the very fact that we are in an era that’s dominated by processed foods, sedentary lifestyle and inappropriate eating practices that puts each of us in critical situations such as this. While a girl attained puberty around 14-16 years of age decades ago now children in their fourth or fifth standard start menstruating primarily due to overweight, obesity and a passive lifestyle. They start menstruating sooner than expected and stop menstruating too sooner than expected! All this is sure to change only if we take care to eat a well-balanced diet and perform regular physical activity.
New Scare for Urban Women: Menopause in 20s: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/New-scare-for-urban-women-Menopause-in-20s/articleshow/19312613.cms
Premature Menopause on the Rise: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/Premature-menopause-on-the-rise/articleshow/36665763.cms
Early Menopause Tied to Heart Risk & Early Death: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-menopause-heart-death-idUSKCN11L2K2
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
+91 7846 800 800
Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.