Menopause at age 21


I had 2 shots of the depo provera shot, the last being about 4 years ago. Before I got the depo provera shot I had regular periods for 4 years since I first started my period at age 13. When I took the depo provera I had my period everyday. I had my period for 9 months straight after I discontinued the depo provera shot. My periods then became very irregular. Then they would totally stop for months at a time. Finally this year I did not have a period for 6 months and I thought that I might be pregnant. I wasn’t. My GYN Dr put me on the pill to see if she could jump start my period. When that didn’t work she did hormone testing and found out that I had an FSH of 100 and that I was in fact in menopause at the age of 21. At first she thought that I had A mosaic Turners syndrome and we did chromosome testing and I was totally normal. I do not have a family history of early menopause in my family. The women in my family actually have not went through menopause until their early 50s. I now am unable to have children. I am positive that this is from the use of Depo Provera. Have you heard about any other cases?


I have several patients with premature menopause, and it is a well-known condition, although not very common. The current thinking is that it is an autoimmune condition (like rheumatoid arthritis or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) in which the woman’s immune system makes antibodies to her own ovaries, which are destructive to the ovaries. It can run in families. I do not think there is any evidence that it is related to the use of any type of hormonal contraceptive, including Depo-Provera.

Be sure you get adequate replacement of your normal female hormones. This is best done with bioidentical estrogen (estradiol) and progesterone, not synthetic hormones or birth control pills. About 10% of women with premature menopause will ovulate sproadically, and get pregnant. Those who are on adequate estrogen replacement are more likely to have a successful pregnancy.

Dr. Mary Davenport

Answered By:

Mary Davenport, MD, MS
Mary Davenport, MD, FACOG, an obstetrician/gynecologist from the Oakland Region of California, offers telehealth services over She graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine and completed her residency at UC San Diego. Dr. Davenport is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and serves on the Advisory Board of the California Association of Natural Family Planning.

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