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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
SW: Feature Report Channel
Reported November 12, 2010

Menopause In Your 20's

BETHESDA, Md. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- For most women, menopause hits around age 50. But thousands of girls and young women have the “change” hit decades too early, meaning motherhood could be out of the question. Researchers are using a patch to help some women realize their dreams of being called “mom."

Christine Eads spends her day talking to Sirius XM radio listeners about Hollywood happenings, current events, even the latest TV shows.

“I have to watch television and read magazines, and it’s just horrible," Christine Eads, radio personality, told Ivanhoe.
But what played out in her real life was more like a bad soap opera. After years of irregular periods, night sweats and dozens of doctor’s visits...

“You’re too skinny. You’re not eating right. It’s the medicine you’re taking," Eads said.

Even being told she might have an STD … finally, the right diagnosis-- menopause at 26.

“It turns out, some young women, even teenagers, can have the signs and symptoms of menopause develop,” Lawrence Nelson M.D. National Institutes of Health reproductive endocrinologist, explained.

POI, or primary ovarian insufficiency, affects 1 out of every 1,000 women between 15 and 29 years old. The ovaries don’t work right... And a simple blood test can determine if you have it -- but it's often misdiagnosed for years.

Eads enrolled in a National Institutes of health study. She wore a patch, pumping her full of estrogen and testosterone to regulate her hormones. A breakthrough in a study done by Dr. Nelson found 73 percent of women with POI may still be able to have a baby.

“Most of them still have the capability of the ovary to work again, it’s just that something is keeping it from working normally,” Dr. Nelson added.

Not only did the patch help Eads with her POI… meet Aiden, the child she thought she'd never have.

"He’s a pretty cool kid. He’s eight now. Yeah, he is amazing. I am so lucky," Eads concluded.

From early menopause to the child she calls her "miracle."

Treatment for POI typically involves hormone replacement therapy, which can help alleviate menopausal symptoms and increase a woman’s chance at ovulation. Dr. Nelson says women with POI are also more at risk for developing osteoporosis later in life.

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