PMS and other premenstrual disorders could make you more likely to go through menopause before age 45
If you suffer from PMS, you could be more than twice as likely to go through menopause early.
A new study of 3,635 women found that those who struggle with premenstrual disorders (PMD) — from cramps and headaches commonly associated with Premenstrual Syndrome to the more severe Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder — were more likely to experience early menopause and suffer menopause-related vasomotor symptoms (VMS), such as hot flashes and night sweats.
“We found compared to women without PMDs, those with PMDs have 2.67 times the risk of having early menopause,” lead study author Yihui Yang, a doctoral student at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, told CNN.
While PMS is more commonly known, PMD “is a severe, sometimes disabling extension” of PMS, the Mayo Clinic says, as it “causes extreme mood shifts that can disrupt daily life and damage relationships.”
Underlying depression and anxiety are thought to be the cause of both PMS and PMD, the Mayo Clinic says, “so it's possible that the hormonal changes that trigger a menstrual period worsen the symptoms of mood disorders.”
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However, Yang’s team didn’t find an association between early menopause and anxiety and depression.
“We observed a significant association among PMDs without depression and anxiety, indicating such association cannot be explained by comorbid depression and anxiety,” the study said, pointing to biological differences instead.
“Women with PMDs may have a blunted hypothalamic-pituitary response, “ the study found. “Associations between PMDs and early menopause are stronger in smokers.”
Nicotine has been proven to impact the hypothalamus, according to the National Institute of Health. However, Yang noted more research is needed.
In the US, the average age of menopause is 51, according to the Mayo Clinic. Menopause is considered “early” if it occurs before age 45, Yang told CNN.
“It is important to identify women at risk for early menopause because of its link with poorer heart, brain and bone health,” Dr. Stephanie Faubion, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Women’s Health and medical director of The Menopause Society, told CNN.
And according to the National Institute of Health, “long-term consequences of premature or early menopause include adverse effects on cognition, mood, cardiovascular, bone, and sexual health, as well as an increased risk of early mortality.”
The health risks of early menopause are so impactful, the Cleveland Clinic notes that providers will often recommend hormone therapy for those undergoing it.
And as Yang notes to CNN, knowing PMS or PMD can indicate a predisposition towards early menopause can help those with the disorders get medical help.
“They may consult health professionals for potential prevention and/or intervention when the time comes."
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