Premature menopause reaches alarming proportion in Kashmir
Srinagar, Jan 11:
Aliya (name changed), 30, hailing from Srinagar city was married in January
last year. Three months back, she stopped getting her periods. Excited that she
may have conceived, Aliya underwent tests, which revealed that she had already
slipped into premature menopause.
“I used to have
irregular periods but I never thought I would get menopause at 30. It was a big
blow as my parents had planned my marriage so painstakingly and within a year
all this happened,” she said.
Rehana, 34, a homemaker, who had no idea she has polycystic ovarian syndrome
(PCOS) until she and her husband decided to have a child and she had difficulty
months of fertility medication, she conceived. Six months after the birth, her
menstrual cycles turned erratic, falling into a rhythm only with medication.
Later her tests
revealed a bulky uterus and dysfunctional ovaries. She was diagnosed with
premature ovarian failure, a sign of premature menopause.
A worrying trend
is setting in the valley with the rising incidence of young women facing
pre-ovarian failure and pre mature menopause, both leading to infertility. A
condition which was predominantly seen among older couples, infertility is now
seen more frequently in women who are younger than 35 years of age.
Dr Rahila Yousuf,
Consultant Gynecologist at JLNM Hospital, Rainawari described premature ovarian
failure — also known as primary ovarian insufficiency —a loss of normal
function of the ovaries before age 40.
“If the ovaries
fail, they don’t produce normal amounts of the hormone estrogen or release eggs
regularly. Infertility is a common result. Women with premature ovarian failure
may have irregular or occasional periods for years and may even become
pregnant. Women with premature menopause stop having periods and can’t become
pregnant,” she said.
The doctor said
that on an average 6-7 females with such medical conditions visit her for
treatment every month. The gynecologist said that chronic and prolonged stress
may lead to early menopause or premature ovarian failure.
“The major causes
include chemotherapy, removal of both ovaries, chromosomal defects, a genetic
history of early menopause, autoimmune diseases like thyroid imbalances and
overenthusiastic doctors who keep surgically removing cysts from ovaries,” she
irregular periods or with longer or shorter menstrual days, those suffering from
polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or other hormonal condition such as thyroid
etc, are all high risk cases, as per the doctor.
gynecologist, Dr Auqafeen Nisar said there is a treatment but it is highly
includes inducing artificial bleeding using hormones. But again, it can prove
to be highly expensive. Those from low-income groups cannot afford it,” said Dr
Auqafeen, who has been spearheading a campaign called ‘Panin Fikir’ to break
the menstrual taboo in the valley.
She said that
prevention and early detection are the way forward. “The daily intake of calcium and
multi-vitamins, exercise and a healthy balanced diet is required to cut down
the risk of hitting menopause early,” she added.
Earlier a survey
depicted that the hospital prevalence of primary infertility is 20 per cent in
Kashmir. The survey attributed it primarily to stress, and prevailing
conditions in the valley.