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Early menopause after removal of the ovaries promotes muscle pain, study shows

In the research, women facing so-called surgical menopause also had a higher risk of developing sarcopenia, a condition characterized by the progressive loss of muscle mass

A new study recently published in the scientific journal Menopause has raised evidence that women who have been diagnosed menopause early surgical – that which results from removal procedures ovaries – are more likely to develop muscle disorders and pain than those who enter menopause naturally and in the expected age range.

644 women participated in the study, of which 468 were in natural menopause and 176 had experienced early menopause, either due to natural or surgical causes. After selecting the participants, a questionnaire was administered, answering questions about musculoskeletal discomfort, including aspects such as physical strength, ability to walk or stand without difficulty, climbing stairs and history of falls.

The results of the study revealed that 46.7% of women who faced early surgical menopause presented musculoskeletal disorders, while the same happened with 29.3% of those who went through this phase naturally and within expected age. The prevalence of sarcopenia, a condition characterized by the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength, was also higher in the group undergoing surgery in early menopause (45% versus 27.6%).

Among women with spontaneous early menopause, the results initially also highlighted a greater sensation of musculoskeletal discomfort and sarcopenia. However, after the researchers adjusted for a number of factors, this relationship did not prove to be as significant as that observed in the group with early surgical menopause: it was believed that the situation was more related to the specificities experienced by each of these women.

According to the researchers responsible for the study, the results indicate that the Ache and the decline in muscle mass are more linked to hormonal changes than to age itself. This is because premature surgical menopause causes a more abrupt and complete loss of hormones produced by the ovaries, including estrogen and testosterone, than other types of menopause seen.

“The use of hormone therapy until the natural age of menopause can potentially mitigate some of the long-term adverse effects,” emphasized the hospital’s medical director The menopause societyStephanie Faubion, in a statement.

What is early menopause?

According to Sergio Podgaec, gynecologist and obstetrician Israelite Albert Einstein Hospital, in São Paulo, menopause is marked by the definitive end of menstruation, which generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 50. “The woman has a reserve of oocytes and, when this reserve is exhausted, with consequent interruption of ovulation, menstruation ceases. When this process occurs before the age of 40, we speak of early menopause, whether it develops spontaneously or through interventions surgical processes,” explains Podgaec.

In addition to surgery, early menopause, also known as “primary ovarian failure,” can be related to genetic factors, such as Turner syndrome, and also to autoimmune diseases, such as vitiligo, thyroiditis and myasthenia gravis (causing muscle weakness). According to Manuela Gurgel, gynecologist at Casa de Saúde São José, metabolic disorders, including enzymatic changes, could also be linked to the problem, as well as treatments considered aggressive, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which induce ovarian failure due to toxins.

What are the symptoms of early menopause?

The main symptom observed in early menopause is change menstrual pattern. Typically, women diagnosed with this condition begin to have more spaced menstrual cycles with less bleeding, eventually resulting in a complete absence of menstrual flow.

With the interruption of ovulation there is a decrease in the production of female hormones, such as estrogen. This leads to the manifestation of symptoms characteristic of hormonal deficiency and early menopause, such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances and reduced bone density, which can cause osteoporosis, as well as dryness or atrophy of the vaginal mucosa. .

Another significant impact related to primary ovarian failure is infertility. With the end of egg release, female gametes are prevented from finding male gametes to carry out fertilization, which has a direct impact on the woman’s reproductive ability. According to Podgaec, even in cases of assisted reproduction, it is often necessary for patients to use donor eggs.

“In addition to infertility, vaginal dryness and atrophy are common symptoms that can compromise intimacy and sexual well-being. These problems can lead to a reduction in quality of life and trigger anxiety and depression,” Manuela underlined.

Is there a treatment?

Yes. Treatment for early menopause follows a similar approach to that applied in common menopause. When there is no absolute contraindication to the use of estrogen therapy, the use of estradiol is recommended to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, vaginal atrophy and to promote the patient’s sexual health and quality of life. For women with a uterus, the addition of progesterone is necessary, according to Podgaec.

For patients with contraindications to estrogen use, Manuela emphasizes that alternative treatment options currently exist. This may include centrally acting drugs or even herbal medicines in some cases. “It is important to underline that each treatment must be individualized according to the specific needs of the patient, considering his particularities and health conditions”, underlines the doctor.

In addition to hormone replacement therapies, similar to those used in conventional menopause, other measures must be taken into consideration, such as nutritional interventions, physical activity and, above all, therapeutic monitoring.

Source: Terra

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