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Menopause – Genetics and Family

February 18, 2021


"There are definitely genetic risk factors for early onset menopause. So if you have a family member, your mother or your sister that experienced premature ovarian failure, you definitely may be at risk. Patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome or polycystic ovarian disease are also at risk for early premature menopause. Typically women in a family experience similar symptoms. They'll go through menopause at around the same time. They'll have their periods at around the same time. And they experience menopause around the same way. This is not, you know, the rule. I have seen many patients who have a sister who floated through menopause and another sister who struggled. So not everybody is exactly the same, but that's generally the case. So if you're concerned, how am I going to go through menopause? What's it going to be like for me? Talk to your sister, talk to your family member, talk to your mother, talk to your aunts. And even if you don't know for sure what is going to be for you, it's important that you get information because we don't talk about this enough. We're not talking to our family members, friends, and each other. What's it going to be like for me? What is it? What do you feel? How long does it take? How long does it last? Is it really that bad? And start to gather information and talk to people. Talk to your colleagues, talk to your peers, talk to your friends. These are conversations that we need to be having with each other. There's still stigma and taboo for some reason, associated with menopause. Like it's a dirty word. Like we don't want to talk about it. So we need to start having these conversations, educating and informing women about what to expect and allowing them to make decisions for what's best for them. And the more time they have to think about those decisions, to investigate the risk factors, to get the genetic testing, to read about the risks, the side effects, the more informed and educated they will be. So knowledge is power. These are things that we need to be talking about before we're in the throes of menopause. These are things that we need to be talking about during the pre and perimenopause. These are decisions that can't be made overnight and they do require time and are individually defined."

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