Early menopause in sufferers seems to be triggered by a hysterectomy, which 55 per cent of CFS patients have had. The surgery has often followed a pattern of excessive bleeding, bleeding between periods and missed periods-and CFS sufferers are around twice as likely to have menstrual problems as women who don't suffer from CFS.
It's not the first time that CFS has been linked to menstrual issues. Earlier studies have found an association with pelvic pains, endometriosis and polycystic ovaries, but now researchers from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have linked it to early menopause. In an analysis of 84 women with CFS and 73 non-sufferers, the researchers discovered that CFS women were twice as likely to have gone through early menopause, and the majority were the result of a hysterectomy.
This would explain why women in their 40s are most likely to suffer CFS, say researchers, but it doesn't resolve the chicken-and-egg problem of whether early menopause is the cause of later health problems, such as CFS, or is the result of earlier health issues that may also be related to CFS.
(Source: Menopause, 2015; 1 doi: 10.1097/GME.0000000000000411)