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More women developing early menopause

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A study of the early menopause has revealed that a greater number of women have developed the condition.

The study attributed the rise in cases of premature ovarian failure to a boost in the number of people surviving childhood cancer over the past couple of decades.

The early menopause, which affects one woman in every 100, sees women younger than 40 lose the function of their ovaries.

Exposure to chemotherapy and radiotherapy at a young age can trigger the condition - long before a woman approaches middle-age.

Backing this up, early menopause is suffered by 8% of women who survive a childhood cancer. Among those who were exposed to both radiotherapy and alkylating agents, this rises to between 30-40%, according to figures.

Women who have stopped ovulating become infertile, but if they want a baby they can look into using an egg or embryo donation.

The study was published on Monday in The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist.

Co-author of the review Puneet Arora said: “Premature ovarian failure is usually permanent but ovarian activity can resume in some cases.

“Women who are diagnosed with the condition need support as these women are often anxious and depressed. However recent scientific advances in assisted conception provide hope to women.”

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