You Can’t De­lay It

Simply Her (Singapore) - - Relative Values -

Dr Chua Yang, di­rec­tor, spe­cial­ist ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist at A Clinic For Women Dr Kelly Loi, ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist at Mount El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal Dr Kim Hayes, di­rec­tor and man­ag­ing physi­cian at Com­plete Health­care In­ter­na­tional

How many of us have joked that we can’t wait for the day our pe­ri­ods stop? For the cramp­ing, mood­i­ness, stain­ing and in­con­ve­nience to end? On av­er­age, Sin­ga­porean women hit menopause be­tween 50 and 51 years; the nor­mal age range is be­tween 45 and 55 years, says Dr Chua Yang, di­rec­tor, spe­cial­ist ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist at A Clinic For Women.

When a woman hits menopause, her ovaries stop pro­duc­ing eggs and her body makes less oe­stro­gen and pro­ges­terone, the fe­male hor­mones. This leads to less fre­quent pe­ri­ods and even­tu­ally, no pe­ri­ods at all – she then can­not get preg­nant any­more. If your pe­riod doesn’t come for 12 months in a row, chances are, you are menopaus­ing.

How­ever, one in 100 women here has early menopause – where she “When menopause hap­pens is largely pre­de­ter­mined by the num­ber of eggs a woman is born with, which de­creases as she gets older,” says Dr Kelly Loi, ob­ste­tri­cian and gy­nae­col­o­gist at Mount El­iz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal. “If she has surgery for ovar­ian cysts (where some ovar­ian tis­sue and eggs may be re­moved), or chemo­ther­apy and ra­dio­ther­apy for can­cer, th­ese can af­fect her eggs, and menopause may oc­cur ear­lier. Smok­ing can also lead to early menopause.”

Dr Chua ex­plains that there’s no known cause for early menopause in most women, ex­cept for a ge­netic link. “If you have a fam­ily his­tory of early menopause, there is lit­tle that can be done to pre­vent it,” she points out. There is also no way to de­lay it, with or with­out a fam­ily his­tory.

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