Have I entered menopause? And how it affects fertility
10-20% of all couples or singles experience a period of involuntary childlessness. This means that you try in vain to get pregnant for more than 1-2 years without success.
The reasons can be many. One of them can be early menopause, which is manifested, among other things, by a high amount of the hormone FSH in the woman (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). If the ovaries are running at a reduced function, and there are not many eggs capable of fertilization left in the ovaries, your body will increase the FSH concentration and decrease the estrogen production. In that case, it is difficult for the woman to get pregnant.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Some of the most normal symptoms of menopause are irregular periods. There are both those who experience that their periods become heavier, while others experience that they become infrequent and weak. You often see periods when the cycle is regular followed by periods when the period is irregular.
In connection with menopause, you as a woman will also become more sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Even small temperature increases are enough for the body to try to get rid of the heat. Therefore, many women will experience hot flashes in connection with menopause. There is a big difference in how often women experience hot flashes. Some may have a few single ones, while others have over 100 in a day and continue to have them for years after menopause. An early sign that the body is entering menopause is that hot flashes occur just before or during menstruation.
According to Anette Tønnes Pedersen, who is a senior physician at the Gynecological Clinic at Rigshospitalet, 1-2% of all women are affected by early menopause. This means that you have elevated sex hormones and stop menstruating before you turn 40. If you include women who go through early menopause for medical reasons such as removed ovaries or chemotherapy, then it is 3-4% of Danish women who are affected by early menopause.
Among other things, the menopause stops estrogen production, which helps to affect the ability to have children, just as it also decalcifies the bones. This can mean that you are at greater risk of getting cardiovascular diseases and being affected by arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis. It is therefore important to detect the early menopause so that you can be treated with estrogen. Estrogen treatment is also necessary if there is a desire for pregnancy. So see a doctor if you have symptoms of early menopause.
Early menopause and fertility
Most women who go through early menopause will find it difficult to get pregnant. This is because fertility already falls 10 years before menopause/menopause occurs. If you go through menopause at 38, your fertility at 28 may have been the same as that of a 40-year-old woman who first goes through menopause at 52, which is the average age for menopause in Denmark. According to Rigshospitalet, approximately half of women in early menopause will occasionally ovulate spontaneously. If you, as a woman, have unprotected sex when you ovulate, Rigshospitalet estimates that 5-10% will become pregnant. The call is therefore to seek fertility treatment such as insemination/reagent treatment or egg donation if you have a desire to become pregnant and have gone through menopause early.
If you want to test whether you are going through menopause at home, you can buy our FSH Menopause Test and see how to use it here:
Sources: Sundhed.dk, University of Copenhagen, Early menopause: That's what the expert says | femina, Netdoktor.dk, Rigshospitialet.