Does endometriosis cause early menopause?
Studies show that endometriosis affects approximately 2 to 10 percent of women ages 25 to 40 years old in the United States. Since women can start peri/menopause as early as 40, we want to explore whether or not endometriosis can cause early menopause.
What is endometriosis?
Mayo Clinic defines endometriosis as a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside your uterus.
Endometriosis can cause pain during periods and may create fertility issues. Here are other symptoms Mayo Clinic highlights:
- Pain with intercourse
- Pain while going to the bathroom during your period
- Excessive bleeding
What causes endometriosis?
The Office on Women’s Health and Mayo Clinic share they are not sure of the actual cause of endometriosis, but researchers are evaluating other possible causes. Here are a few to take note of:
- Problems with menstrual period
- Endometriosis usually runs in families, so genetics may be a factor
- An immune system that isn’t working properly won’t protect against endometrial tissue growing outside of the uterus.
- If you’ve had a hysterectomy or C-section, endometrial cells may attach to a surgical incision
- Estrogen and progesterone can play a role in endometriosis
What is the connection to early menopause?
Research on more than 106,000 women from 1989 to 2015 found that endometriosis was associated with a 50% greater risk for early menopause. Unfortunately, this study included 95% non-Hispanic white women. Studies need to be placed with a more diverse group to reevaluate the results.
How to prevent:
The main focus for prevention is to keep lower estrogen levels in your body. You can do this by:
- getting prescribed hormonal birth control by your doctor.
- exercising at least 4 hours a week to see results. Regular exercise and low body fat help lower the amount of estrogen in the body.
- not drinking alcohol or limit to one glass per day.
- avoiding drinking more than one caffeinated drink a day.
How do you find out if you have endometriosis?:
If your doctor thinks you might have endometriosis, they will take the following steps to confirm and prescribe accordingly:
- Pelvic exam
- Medication/hormonal birth control (these only work if you keep using them)
Risk factors for endometriosis:
Mayo Clinic cites the following risk factors for getting endometriosis.:
- Not giving birth to children
- Starting period young
- Going through menopause at an older age
- Menstrual cycles less than 27 days
- Heavy menstrual periods that last longer than 7 days
If you’re not trying to get pregnant, hormonal birth control is usually the first option. If that isn’t working, your doctor may suggest surgery as an option.
Does endometriosis go away after menopause?
In most cases, endometriosis goes away after menopause. Women who are obese and using Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) have a higher risk of still getting endometriosis after menopause.