Treatments For Early Menopause
A GP will probably recommend you take this treatment until at least the age of natural menopause , to give you some protection from osteoporosis and other conditions that can develop after the menopause.
If you have had certain types of cancer, such as certain types of breast cancer, you may not be able to have hormonal treatment.
The GP will talk to you about other treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to help protect your health.
If you’re still getting symptoms, the GP can refer you to a specialist menopause centre.
Going through the menopause early can be difficult and upsetting.
Permanent early menopause will affect your ability to have children naturally.
You may still be able to have children by using IVF and donated eggs from another woman, or using your own eggs if you had some stored. Surrogacy and adoption may also be options for you.
Counselling and support groups may be helpful.
Here are some you may want to try:
Page last reviewed: 02 February 2021 Next review due: 02 February 2024
Emotional Impact Of Early Or Premature Menopause
Premature menopause can be emotionally devastating. Some of the common issues women may face include:
- grief at the prospect of not having children
- fear of ‘growing old before their time’
- concern that their partner wont find them sexually attractive anymore
- self-esteem problems.
Psychological counselling and support groups may help women come to terms with their experience of early or premature menopause.
How Do I Know If I Am Going Through Early Or Premature Menopause
You know you have gone through menopause when you have not had your period for 12 months in a row. If you think you may be reaching menopause early, talk to your doctor or nurse.
- Your doctor or nurse will ask you about your symptoms, such as hot flashes, irregular periods, sleep problems, and vaginal dryness.
- Your doctor or nurse may give you a blood test to measure estrogen and related hormones, like . You may choose to get tested if you want to know whether you can still get pregnant. Your doctor or nurse will test your hormone levels in the first few days of your menstrual cycle .
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Perimenopause And Menopausewhats The Difference
Perimenopause is menopauses opening act. Its the time leading up to menopause when a womans hormones begin to change. A women is still having periods during this time, but they become more irregular.
Menopause is the final period a women has. Its the curtain closing, so to speak. This is known when a woman goes 12 months without a period. Everything after that is post-menopause.
Do Hormones Play A Role
You know it. Dr. James Wang, a Naturopathic Doctor , adds that with POI, A patients ovaries produce insufficient amount of estradiol, a hormone that helps follicles develop and eggs release. While estrogen levels tend to be low for those with POI, follicle-stimulating hormone levels are usually high, according to the Mayo Clinic. As you may have guessed, FSH stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles. While you might expect FSH levels to be low for POI, think of it this way: The body is having to work extremely hard to stimulate follicles , which results in high levels of FSH.
The Mayo Clinic adds that high levels of prolactin the hormone that encourages breast milk production are also typical in those with POI. Irregular or absent menstruation and issues with ovulation are often associated with high prolactin levels. This is similar to new mothers who are breastfeeding, which can cause similar menopause-like symptoms.
To summarize: Not only is there a lack of follicles to develop and release an egg, but theres also imbalanced levels of fuel to help the ovaries do so.
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What To Expect When Youre Expecting Perimenopause
There are commercials about it, ads in magazines about it, even skits on Saturday Night Live about it. We hear about menopause more often than wed like, especially if were fast approaching it. But what we dont often learn about is perimenopause, the period preceding menopause that lasts four years, on average.
Dr. Catherine Sundsmo, a family medicine doctor with Sharp Rees-Stealy, recently took some time to explain perimenopause and all that comes with it. Here are her top five tips on what to expect when youre expecting perimenopause:
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Determining If You Are In Perimenopause
Unlike pregnancy, there is no test you can take to definitively tell you if have reached perimenopause. If you observe perimenopausal symptoms while taking the placebo pills in your birth control pack, this is often a good indicator that your body is in perimenopause.
Some women who are using birth control choose to stop taking the pills because they want to let the bodys natural hormones take over, possibly giving them a more conclusive answer. If symptoms persist, you are likely in perimenopause. If, after halting the birth control, the symptoms disappear, they could have been side effects of the medication, meaning you are not in perimenopause.
It may take anywhere from four weeks to several months for the body and its hormones to regulate after you have ceased taking birth control. There is also a possibility that you have already reached menopause, and menstruation might not be present at all.
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How Long Does A Woman Go Through Menopause
The entire process of menopause typically lasts between 7 and 11 years, though it may be more or less for some.
Disclaimer:The views expressed in this article intend to inform and induce conversation. They are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Pandia Health, and are for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
What Are The Effects Of Early Or Premature Menopause
Women who go through menopause early may have or similar to those of regular menopause.
But some women with early or premature menopause may also have:
- Higher risk of serious health problems, such as and , since women will live longer without the health benefits of higher estrogen levels. Talk to your doctor or nurse about steps to lower your risk for these health problems.
- More severe menopause symptoms. Talk to your doctor or nurse about to help with symptoms if they affect your daily life.
- Sadness or over the early loss of fertility or the change in their bodies. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, including less energy or a lack of interest in things you once enjoyed that lasts longer than a few weeks. Your doctor or nurse can recommend specialists who can help you deal with your feelings. Your doctor or nurse can also discuss options, such as adoption or donor egg programs, if you want to have children.
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Hormones Pills Patches And Rings
The combined oral contraceptive pill is often just called “the pill”.
There are some specific advantages to the COC pill for more mature women. Taking the COC pill may improve period problems such as heavier or irregular periods which may occur as you approach your menopause. They may also help with any menopausal symptoms that you may have. There is also some evidence that taking the COC pill when you are aged over 40 years may increase the density of your bones. This means your bones are stronger and may be less likely to fracture when you have gone through the menopause. The COC pill can safely be taken by women over the age of 40 years with no other medical problems.
However, for some women, the COC pill may have more risks as they get older. You should not take it if you are aged over 35 years and a smoker. You should not take it if you are aged over 35 years and have migraine. You also should not take it if you have a history of stroke or heart disease, or if you are very overweight. Women who have complications from diabetes should not take the COC pill. These are just a few of the conditions which make it unsafe to take the COC pill. Your doctor or healthcare professional will go through your medical history with you to decide if it is safe for you personally. If you have no medical problems or risk factors for medical problems, the COC pill can be taken until the age of 50 years.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Premature Ovarian Failure / Premature Menopause
This is a common cause of premature ovarian failure. In fact, some research has shown that up to a third of the women with premature ovarian failure have it due to an autoimmune disorder.
When this happens, your bodys immune system mistakenly attacks itself. In effect, your body senses part of itself as an invader so it sends out antibodies to destroy this perceived threat.
In the case of premature menopause, you may have antibodies to your own ovarian tissue, to your endometrium, or to one or more of the hormones regulating ovulation.
These antibodies attack your reproductive system, and may interfere with and ultimately destroy your ovarian function. If you have a family history of autoimmune disorders or have one yourself , this may be the cause for your premature menopause.
Some cases of hereditary premature menopause are caused by defects on an X chromosome. Its a very complicated topic, but, briefly, heres what happens:
1. Fragile X syndrome
Women have two X chromosomes and, even though only one of these chromosomes is active, a defect on either one can cause premature menopause. This defect appears to interfere with the production of eggs.
So if you are a fragile X carrier, you have a lesser number of eggs in your ovaries, which in turn leads to an earlier menopause generally at least six to eight years before other women.
2. Turners Syndrome
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Can You Get Pregnant While Perimenopausal
While the chances of becoming pregnant during perimenopause are fairly low, it is possible. If you are 50 or older, contraception is recommended until a year has passed since your last period. If you are younger than 50, you should use contraception for at least 2 years from your final period.
If you have been taking the oral contraceptive pill or using a vaginal ring, you should talk to your doctor about whether this is still appropriate, because it may be associated with health risks when taken after the age of 50. Whats more, you may not realise that youve reached menopause, because taking the pill can mask the symptoms. Any oestrogen-containing method of contraception is generally not recommended after the age of 50 years.
And remember, even if youve been through menopause, its still possible to contract sexually transmitted diseases . If you have a new sexual partner, consider using condoms to protect yourself.
How Can Perimenopausal Women Benefit From Low
Low-dose birth control can be implemented both to prevent pregnancy and alleviate symptoms of perimenopause. Although low dose birth control is typically not recommended for individuals under the age of 30 because it can decrease bone density, it may have the opposite effect for those going through perimenopause. This is especially important, as the risk of osteoporosis increases with age. Low dose birth control may also be implemented to help prevent ovarian and uterine cancers.
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Perimenopause: Rocky Road To Menopause
What are the signs of perimenopause? You’re in your 40s, you wake up in a sweat at night, and your periods are erratic and often accompanied by heavy bleeding: Chances are, you’re going through perimenopause. Many women experience an array of symptoms as their hormones shift during the months or years leading up to menopause that is, the natural end of menstruation. Menopause is a point in time, but perimenopause is an extended transitional state. It’s also sometimes referred to as the menopausal transition, although technically, the transition ends 12 months earlier than perimenopause .
Can All Women Try Hrt/mht
Some women should generally not take HRT because of pre-existing medical problems, such as breast cancer, previous stroke or heart attack, blood clots or liver disease. Talk to your doctor about whether or not HRT is a suitable treatment option for you.
There are alternative treatments for menopause symptoms in women unable to take MHT. Ask your doctor if they would be suitable for you.
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Continuing Birth Control Pills To Manage Perimenopause Symptoms
Taking birth control during perimenopause has several benefits. Doing so keeps hormone levels consistent, reducing the fluctuations that produce perimenopause symptoms, many of which can significantly and negatively impact womens lives.
The obvious benefit is contraception, and it is necessary for many women experiencing perimenopause. In fact, in the United States, women in their 40s have the second highest rate of unintended pregnancy . In addition, birth control pills can protect perimenopausal women from ovarian and uterine cancers, while also helping to prevent bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis.
In general, birth control is safe for nonsmoking women who are older than 35, as most perimenopausal women are, and who do not have a history of any of the following:
- High blood pressure
- Blood clots
Are There Any Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms
There are many treatments available to help relieve troublesome symptoms associated with menopause. Sometimes, it can take a bit of trial and error before finding the treatment that works best for you every woman is different and experiences her own range of symptoms, so a treatment that works for one woman may not work for another. Talk to your doctor, who can recommend the best treatment options for you.
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How Do You Know When You Have Reached Menopause
While theres no definitive test that can confirm menopause, your gynecologist can help you determine whether you are near menopause by reviewing your symptoms along with your medical and menstrual history.
With changing levels of hormones during perimenopause, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Heavy and irregular periods
Conception And Demographics In Older Women
During the perimenopause, menstrual irregularities can occur with both prolonged or shorter anovulatory cycles and sometimes heavy menstrual bleeding . Hot flushes often begin at this time. Women’s fecundity declines when they reach their mid-30s, with an associated increase in pregnancy loss secondary to oocyte ageing. However, a decrease in the ability to conceive does not occur until women are in their mid-40s. The 2013 National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles research project showed that 1 in 5 pregnancies conceived when the mother is aged 40 years or older are unplanned and 28% of these pregnancies end in termination. In Western society, relationship breakdown and re-partnering is increasing, and sexual intercourse occurs more frequently in new relationships. Sexually transmitted infection rates are increasing most rapidly in women over the age of 40 years. Only condoms protect against STI transmission, including HIV.
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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.
How Can Early Menopause Be Prevented
Though some cases of premature menopause can’t be prevented, here are some measures you can take if you suspect you are at risk:
- Stop smoking.
- Use hormone-free, organic skincare products
- Eat organic, healthy food
- Avoid processed foods
We hope you found this information useful! Are you at risk or have you experienced early menopause? Share your story with us in the comments below.
Taking The Pill During Perimenopause Whats Good To Know Should You Choose The Pill
For a woman in her 40s starting or continuing on the Pill, we have three basic recommendations.
1. First, ask for the lowest-dose birth control pill options available today when talking to your healthcare provider.
2. Second, apply the basic healthy hormonal support guidelines detailed above to the extent you can.
3. Third, keep track of how you feel on the Pill.
If a perimenopausal woman really wants to continue to use the Pill or start the Pill and it seems right for her, I recommend trying the lower-dose pills now available. The most common birth control pill prescribed by my colleagues for women in this situation tends to be the Loestrin 1/20 or Loestrin 24 pills they are low-dose, regulate periods nicely, and contain the least anti-androgenic progestin all of which minimizes any decrease in libido and seems to have the fewest side effects overall. Its also available in several generic forms at lower cost.
While theres no perfect solution for every situation, were fortunate nowadays to have a range of birth control options for women. These include not just oral contraceptives but other options that can be very attractive for women in perimenopause.