Pseudomenopause

Definition - What does Pseudomenopause mean?

Pseudomenopause refers to a hormonal state in which a woman who is of reproductive age does not ovulate or produce enough hormones to have a menstrual cycle due to hormonal interruption. The hormonal interruption may be caused by using medications that reduce natural hormone levels such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. Sometimes pseudomenopause occurs in women of reproductive age when they fail to produce sufficient levels of hormones naturally.

Pseudomenopause differs from natural menopause where menstrual cycles stop due to a reduction in hormone levels related to aging. Pseudomenopause is reversible with the removal of the offending medication or by inducing a natural cycle with the use of introducing other hormones.

FertilitySmarts explains Pseudomenopause

GnRH agonists or antagonists work by down-regulating or blocking the release of the reproductive hormones called luteinizing hormone (LH ) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This results in prevention of ovulation as well as the production of estrogen and progesterone. This is beneficial in the treatment of diseases such as endometriosis because it is these hormones that promote the growth of uterine lining that grows outside the uterus and causes pain.

During in vitro fertilization (IVF), GnRH drugs are used to prevent premature ovulation in order to control the timing of egg release for egg retrieval and fertilization. Often FSH is supplemented in order to support the growth of the eggs and uterine lining.

Although GnRH creates a menopausal state, this is reversible upon removal of the drug. The body starts to naturally produce fertility hormones again.


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