What Else Affects When A Woman Will Finally Stop Having Menstrual Periods
Researchers continue to explore a number of factors that may influence the timing of menopause.
The level of education a woman has completed is one thing that seems to correlate with menopause timing, says Faubion. Women who have more education tend to go through menopause later, she says.
A study published in January 2020 in JAMA Network Open found that pregnancy and breastfeeding may reduce the risk of early menopause.
How frequently a woman has sex has also been correlated with early menopause. A study published in January 2020 in Royal Society Open Science found that women who had sex at least once a week were less likely to go through menopause compared with women who had sex less than once a month.
Your Mom Went Through Early Menopause
Or your sister, or your grandmother. POI seems to be genetic: “You tend to see it run in families,” Dr. Tassone says. “It can come from either side.” A 2011 review of studies found that in up to 20 percent of cases, the woman has a family history of the condition.
Early Menopause Symptoms A Woman Should Never Ignore
Do you or someone you know suffer from early menopause symptoms? By the time menopause hits women in their 50s, they have already raised their families and are looking forward to putting menstrual cycles and child birthing behind them.
Unfortunately, some women experience signs of menopause long before they should. Women as early as 40 years of age can go into menopause leaving them with hot flashes and an ongoing problem with mood swings. Early menopause symptoms can often be mistaken for a medical condition or a mental health issue. Thankfully, there is testing that can be done to verify your concerns and get you the help you need.
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What Are The Stages Leading Up To Menopause
After puberty, there are three other phases of female fertility:
- Pre-menopause:;Women have full ovarian function, regularly produce estrogen and ovulate.
- Perimenopause:;The ovaries begin to fluctuate in their ovulation and production of estrogen, which can result in unpredictable menstrual cycles and symptoms.
- Menopause: When the ovaries have shut down. Someone would be in menopause after 12 months without menses.
Why Is Hormone Therapy So Important For Most Younger Women Who Go Through Menopause Early
We tend to think of ovarian function and menses as solely a reproductive issue, but reproduction is not the only function of the ovaries. They are also endocrine organs, and there are estrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors throughout the entire female body.
This is why it is important to find a North American Menopause Society certified practitioner certified practitioner and start hormone therapy right away if you are in premature or early menopause and dont have contraindications.
Literally every part of a womans body is anticipating those hormones until the age of regular menopause, and losing them early can cause health risks that are normally associated with old age in womensuch as osteoporosis, heart disease, or dementiato arrive early if hormone levels are left unchecked. HT is the recommended course of treatment for all women without contraindications who go through menopause early or prematurely.
There are as many ways to take HT as there are for taking hormones for birth control, from a patch to a vaginal ring, to gels, creams, and pills. Your NAMS certified practitioner can help you find the right FDA-approved dosage, type, and delivery method for you.
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What Are The Risks Of Pregnancy During Perimenopause And Menopause
Pregnancy becomes riskier as you age above 35. Here are some of the risks for both you and the baby .
- IVF treatment could result in multiple fetuses. This is likely to cause preterm labor, low birth weight in babies and delivery complications.
- High blood pressure could lead to preeclampsia.
- Gestational diabetes.
- Placenta previa, in which the placenta lies low in the womb and causes problems during childbirth.
- Placental abruption in which the placenta is detached from the womb, causing fetal growth problems, stillbirth, and premature birth.
- Stillbirth or miscarriage.
Can Early Menopause Be Reversed
Early menopause cant usually be reversed, but treatment can help delay or reduce the symptoms of menopause.
Researchers are investigating new ways to help women who are in menopause to have children. In 2016, scientists in Greece announced a new treatment that enabled them to restore menstruation and retrieve eggs from a small group of women who were in perimenopause.
This treatment made headlines as a way to reverse menopause, but little is known about how well it works.
The scientists reported treating more than 30 women, ages 46 to 49, by injecting platelet-rich plasma into their ovaries. PRP is sometimes used to promote tissue healing, but the treatment hasnt been proven to be effective for any purpose.
The scientists claimed the treatment worked for two-thirds of the women treated. However, the research has been criticized for its small size and lack of control groups. Though the research might have potential for the future, its not a realistic treatment option right now.
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Why Does Inducing Menopause Help With The Symptoms Of Endometriosis
Endometriosis means that deposits of endometrium exist outside of the womb cavity and they thicken and bleed with every cycle. Inducing menopause causes suppression of the menstrual cycle and activity of the ovaries meaning that the symptoms of endometriosis may resolve. The methods of inducing a menopause are:
- Hormones by injection or nasal spray: These suppress your own hormones and stop your menstrual cycle. This means that your periods stop and you are likely to experience menopausal symptoms.
- Surgery involving removal of both ovaries. This may be with or without a removal of your womb but will permanently induce a menopause. The loss of libido is often felt more with a surgically induced menopause.
What Other Factors Influence When Perimenopause Starts Or When A Woman Reaches Menopause
New research published online on April 12 in Menopause, the journal of NAMS, looked at the various factors that may affect the age when natural menopause occurs.
They found that there are factors that do seem predictive of when a woman will approach menopause, such as higher estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone levels, which weve known for a while,” says Streicher. Irregular menstrual bleeding and hot flashes were also indicators of earlier menopause, she adds.
One new finding uncovered in the research was around alcohol consumption. The authors observed that participants tended to increase their alcohol consumption when approaching menopause, making it a potential clue that the change was coming.
That makes sense, says Streicher. This can be a time of added stress for women, and we know that any stressful situation can cause someone to drink more, she says.
Although this study didnt find a strong association with smoking, other research has indicated that smoking is related to early onset of menopause, says Streicher.
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How Is Early Menopause Treated Or Managed
Early menopause generally doesnt require treatment. However, there are treatment options available to help manage the symptoms of menopause or conditions related to it. They can help you deal with changes in your body or lifestyle more easily.
Premature menopause, however, is often treated since it occurs at such an early age. This helps support your body with the hormones that would normally be made until you reach the age of natural menopause.
The most common treatment includes hormone replacement therapy . Systemic hormone therapy can prevent many common menopausal symptoms. Or you may take vaginal hormone products, usually in low doses, to help with vaginal symptoms.
HRT does have risks though. It can increase your chances of heart disease, stroke, or breast cancer.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits to your individual care before starting HRT. Lower doses of hormones may decrease your risk.
Diagnosis Of Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
If you have irregular periods or have stopped your periods for more than three months, please see your doctor and make sure your doctor includes hormone tests to exclude early menopause.
Your doctor will need to do a full physical examination and investigate the cause of your symptoms.
The criteria for a diagnosis of POI are:
- at least three months without a period
- two blood tests to confirm whether the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone are more than 40IU/l the two tests need to be performed on the third day of your period and at least one month apart.
A doctor is likely to perform the following tests:
- pregnancy test, FSH and Oestradiol
- prolactin this is the hormone usually involved with breastfeeding, but when raised, it causes periods to stop
- transvaginal ultrasound this is an internal ultrasound of the vagina and uterus to check for evidence the ovary is functioning by:
- counting the number and size of the follicles or eggs in the ovary
- measuring the volume of the ovaries
- assessing the thickness of the lining of the uterus or endometrium
- checking for any blockage that is stopping menstrual blood flow.
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Conditions That Increase Your Risk Of Early Menopause
There’s no crystal ballor DNA testto forecast when you’ll hit menopause, but your best bet is to look at when your mother and older sisters did. “Family history is the best predictor,” says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University School of Medicine. Thing is, it’s not even close to perfect.
While the average age of menopause in the United States is 51and the normal range spans from ages 40 to 58, according to the North American Menopause Societyresearchers are increasingly identifying lifestyle choices and conditions that can speed up the process by 2 or more years. “There are lots of things that are toxic to ovaries and can cause them to poop out sooner,” Minkin says.
And if you’re thinking, What’s the big deal? So my periods stop a little sooner, it’s important to know that earlier menopause is considered a marker of biological aging and may warn of chronic disease risk in later life, according to a 2014 review of menopause studies. “Women who undergo an early menopause are at significantly higher risk of stroke, heart disease, osteoporosis, depression, and dementia,” Minkin says, adding “if they don’t take estrogen.” If menopause knocks on your door early, Minkin urges you to discuss estrogen therapy with your health care practitioner.
3. Being too skinny
What Is The Difference Between Early And Premature Menopause
Early or premature menopause happens when ovaries stop making hormones and periods stop at a younger age than usual . This can happen naturally or for a medical reason, such as when both ovaries are removed in a hysterectomy.
Early and premature menopause can have the same causes. The only difference is the age at which it happens. Menopause that happens before age 45 is called early menopause. Menopause that happens before age 40 is called premature menopause.
Women who have gone through early or premature menopause cannot get pregnant.
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How Is Premature Menopause Diagnosed
To diagnose premature menopause, your doctor will most likely perform a physical exam and draw blood to rule out other conditions, such as pregnancy and thyroid disease. They may also order a test to measure your estradiol levels. Low levels of estradiol, a form of estrogen, can indicate that your ovaries are starting to fail. When estradiol levels are below 30, it may signal that you are in menopause.
However, the most important test used to diagnose premature menopause is a blood test that measures follicle stimulating hormone . FSH causes your ovaries to produce estrogen. When your ovaries slow down their production of estrogen, your levels of FSH increase. When your FSH levels rise above 40 mIU/mL, it usually indicates that you are in menopause.
Early Menopause Tied To Heart Risk And Early Death
By Andrew M. Seaman, Reuters Health
4 Min Read
– Women who enter menopause before age 45 are more likely to have cardiovascular problems and to die younger than women who enter menopause later in life, according to a new analysis.
The findings suggest that age at menopause may help predict womens risk for future health problems, said lead author Dr. Taulant Muka, of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Women with early onset of menopause may be a group to target for proactive cardiovascular prevention strategies, Muka told Reuters Health in an email.
One in 10 women enter so-called natural menopause by age 45, Muka and colleagues write in JAMA Cardiology. Natural menopause is when the ovaries spontaneously reduce or cease production of certain hormones, like estrogen. Menopause can also be brought on by surgery and other medical issues.
Mukas team looked at data on more than 310,000 women who had participated in a total of 33 studies published since the 1990s.
Comparing women who had their last period before age 45 to those who entered menopause at age 45 or older, the researchers found women with earlier menopause had a 50 percent higher risk of coronary heart disease, which can cause chest pain, heart attacks and strokes as plaque builds up on the walls of arteries.
Women who entered menopause before age 45 were also about 20 percent more likely than women with later menopause to die from cardiovascular disease .
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Hot Flashes And Night Sweats
Estrogen deficiency throws off how the brain regulates body temperature, and this may lead to hot flashes. A;hot flash;is a sudden, intense feeling of heat or burning in the face, neck, and chest, often accompanied by redness.
A night sweat refers to a hot flash that occurs during sleep. Night sweats can negatively impact your sleep cycle, which may lead to tiredness during the day.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause
Women may have different signs or symptoms at menopause. Thats because estrogen is used by many parts of your body. As you have less estrogen, you could have various symptoms. Many women experience very mild symptoms that are easily treated by lifestyle changes, like avoiding caffeine or carrying a portable fan to use when a hot flash strikes. Some women dont require any treatment at all. Other symptoms can be more problematic.
Here are the most common changes you might notice at midlife. Some may be part of aging rather than directly related to menopause.
Change in your period. This might be what you notice first. Your periods may no longer be regular. They may be shorter or last longer. You might bleed more or less than usual. These are all normal changes, but to make sure there isnt a problem, see your doctor if:
- Your periods come very close together
- You have heavy bleeding
- Your periods last more than a week
- Your periods resume after no bleeding for more than a year
Vaginal health and bladder control. Your vagina may get drier. This could make sexual intercourse uncomfortable. Or, you could have other health problems, such as vaginal or bladder infections. Some women also find it hard to hold their urine long enough to get to the bathroom. This loss of bladder control is called incontinence. You may have a sudden urge to urinate, or urine may leak during exercise, sneezing, or laughing.
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What To Expect After A Diagnosis
If possible, find a supportive and sympathetic doctor to help you adjust to the diagnosis of early menopause. Your doctor will help to counsel you, prescribe appropriate treatments and refer you to relevant specialists when necessary. This is a specialist area and usually, at least initially, an endocrinologist or gynaecologist with expertise in early or premature menopause should assess and advise you.
Your doctor should see you regularly over the years to reassess your health needs, including reviewing your medications and to test routinely for potential risks associated with POI. Often it is necessary to have a team of health professionals monitor you through the years after you have been diagnosed.
You may need to seek out a specialist early-menopause clinic or individual practitioners, such as infertility specialists, endocrinologists , psychologists or psychiatrists for support.
What Is Perimenopause Its When Menopause Symptoms Begin
Perimenopause or pre-menopause is a word that means around menopause. Perimenopause describes what happens to your body leading up to menopause. This stage typically starts about four to eight years before menopause.
When you enter perimenopause youll probably start to notice some early menopause symptoms like changes to your period or mood shifts. These changes happen because your bodys estrogen and progesterone levels are starting to naturally decline. As your ovaries produce lower amounts of these hormones, your body adapts. Its basically the reverse of what happened to your hormones as a teenager.
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Treatments To Relieve Signs And Symptoms
There is no treatment that can reverse or prevent premature menopause. However, women who have reached menopause do have treatment options that can help control unpleasant symptoms.
Types of treatments for symptom relief include:
- Hormone therapy: hormone therapy is available in different forms including pills, patches, transdermal sprays, or gels or creams. Localized hormone treatments are also available for intravaginal use. HT/ET is the most effective way to control symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Because HT/ET has been associated with certain health risks , experts recommend using the lowest effective dose of hormone therapy for the shortest period of time necessary for symptom control.
- Oral contraceptive pills are a form of HT that is sometimes used to help relieve menopausal symptoms.
- Antidepressant medications: the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and related medications have been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of hot flashes in up to 60% of women.
- Non-hormonal vaginal gels, creams, and lubricants can help prevent the symptoms of vaginal dryness.
- Assisted reproductive technologies: in selected cases, pregnancy may be achieved using donor eggs in women with premature menopause.