Addressing Sexual Problems Caused By Premature Menopause
A woman’s enjoyment of sex — even her sex drive — may also take a swan dive if she’s in early menopause, Shapiro says. Vaginal dryness occurs when the body’s estrogen levels are low, which can lead to painful intercourse. “Vaginal estrogen tablets work well,” he says, as does vaginal cream. “These don’t get into the body, only into the vagina.”
Women without working ovaries also suffer lower testosterone, the male hormone that women have in small amounts. Thereâs been a lot of attention in the media about testosteroneâs ability to boost libido in women as well as in men. But Shapiro says he doesnât think the evidence justifies testosterone treatment for most women. “There are so many factors in a woman’s sex drive,” he tells WebMD. “No one has ever shown that libido is solely related to male hormones.”
Hormone therapy can be a valuable tool in treating symptoms of premature menopause, says Shapiro. “We can re-establish normal menstrual cycles, implant fertilized eggs. It’s like there’s no difference.”
Talk to your doctor, says Shapiro. “We believe in giving patients the information they need — like whether to have ovaries removed or not. Don’t make that decision based on age alone. Discuss it with your doctor. Talk about your priorities. Make your decision based on information, not on what you’ve heard from a friend.”
How Does Menopause Affect Iron Levels In My Blood
If you are still having periods as you go through menopause, you may continue to be at risk of a low iron level. This is especially true if your bleeding is heavy or you spot between periods. This can lead to anemia. Talk with your doctor about the amount of iron thats right for you. Good sources of iron include spinach, beans, and meat. Your doctor may also suggest that you take an iron supplement.
What Are The Causes Of Early Menopause
Early or premature menopause can happen for two reasons: follicle depletion or follicle dysfunction.
When these occur, eggs dont mature or get released, causing a womans period to stop. These processes are considered normal when they occur later in life. If they occur early, your doctor will likely check for an underlying cause.
Follicle depletion and dysfunction can happen for a variety of reasons:
- Aging. The risks of early menopause rise after age 35.
- Family history. Being related to women who have a history of early or premature menopause may raise your risk.
- Genetic disorders. Having abnormal chromosomes or genes, as occurs in Turner syndrome or Fragile X syndrome.
- Toxins. Exposure to chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy used to treat cancer can affect onset of menopause.
- Autoimmune conditions. When the immune system mistakenly attacks the bodys hormone-producing organs, it can sometimes affect the ovaries.
- Infection. Having certain infections such as the mumps virus.
- Surgery. Procedures to remove the ovaries or uterus may cause early menopause.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and your menstrual cycle.
They may also:
- ask about your history of exposure to toxins, such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments
- conduct a physical exam
- perform a pregnancy test
Early and premature menopause can increase your chance of developing other conditions. These include:
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General Recommendations For Ht
Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:
- HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
- HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
- Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
- Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a woman’s specific health profile.
- HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.
Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.
Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:
How Does Menopause Occur
Menopause is the physical change that marks the end of menstruation. The process of menopause is slow and begins months or years before the menstruation phase ends. The process has three stages :
This is the time when your reproductive cycle turns erratic, misses the rhythm and ultimately stops. What if you want to get pregnant under such circumstances?
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Calcium And Vitamin D
A combination of calcium and vitamin D can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, the bone loss associated with menopause. The best sources are from calcium-rich and vitamin D-fortified foods.
Doctors are currently reconsidering the use of calcium and vitamin D supplements. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises that healthy postmenopausal women don’t need to take these supplements. According to the USPSTF, taking daily low-dose amounts of vitamin D supplements , with or without calcium supplements , does not prevent fractures. For higher doses, the USPSTF says there is not enough evidence to make a recommendation. In addition to possible lack of benefit, these supplements are associated with certain risks, like kidney stones.
However, calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. Supplements may be appropriate for certain people including those who do not get enough vitamin D through sunlight exposure and those who do not consume enough calcium in their diet. They are also helpful for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about whether or not you should take supplements.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
Vitamin D is necessary for the absorption of calcium in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract and is the essential companion to calcium in maintaining strong bones.
When Does Perimenopause Start
The start of perimenopause occurs always before you hit a climax. So, it is like a preparation for many women. According to the studies, ladies face this stage approximately 8 to 10 years before the official diagnosed climax. So, it happens when you about to turn your 30s or 40s. Perhaps, some women may reach the perimenopause earlier or later, it will depend on different factors such as poor ecology or hereditary matters.
The official causes that may greatly accelerate climax:1. Your family, mother or grandmother reached a climax early 2. You are a heavy smoker 3. There is hysterectomy history 4. You underwent some cancer treatment and procedures.
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Menopause Mystery: Why Do Female Killer Whales Experience The Change Of Life
For people who cannot take estrogen therapy, or choose not to, Stuenkel says some drugs in the antidepressant family, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, can help with hot flashes. Stuenkel says, “While they’re not perfect, they can take the edge off and help enough so that women can get a better night’s sleep.”
There are an abundance of nonhormonal, nondrug treatment options for managing symptoms, some of which have significantly more evidence backing them than others. In 2015, a North American Menopause Society panel found that cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis were significantly effective in treating hot flashes. The same panel also found that popular herbal remedies are “unlikely to help,” although some NPR listeners who wrote in said they got relief from some of those treatments.
For depressive and anxiety symptoms, women may want to seek out professional counseling or a psychiatrist.
When do I need to see a doctor?
You might not need to at all. Some people sail right through menopause with little trouble. But if you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your life, it’s worth making an appointment. Some of these symptoms could indicate other problems that need treatment, such as fibroids or even cancer.
Ways to cope with symptoms
For people approaching this stage of life or who are already going through it, here are four steps for making this transition more manageable.
1. Get educated
2. Monitor your health
3. Practice smart self-care
4. Cultivate community
What Are The Symptoms Of Early Menopause
“Around 1 in 100 women go through the menopause before the age of 40 – this is known as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. The symptoms of early menopause are essentially the same but happen earlier than expected.
1 in 100 women go through the menopause before the age of 40, Dr Shree explained
“Sometimes you can go through premature menopause after operations such as hysterectomy, or cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It can also stem from underlying medical conditions such as Addison’s disease, or a family history of early menopause,” she continued.
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How Is Menopause Diagnosed
If you believe you are going through menopause and have concerns, talk to your doctor. Menopause does not require an official diagnosis unless you want to confirm it. Your doctor may order a blood test to check your hormone levels. They will check for estrogen as well as a follicle-stimulating hormone .
What Is The Average Age For Menopause
Menopause itself is just one moment in time, marking 12 months of no periods. This means that you will only know that you have reached menopause retrospectively when you realise youve had a year with no periods.
For UK women, the average age of menopause is 51, but symptoms can start several years before that. Symptoms typically start showing at an average age of 45 years. This is your perimenopause or the storm before the calm as our medical advisor Dr Stephanie Goodwin calls it. The time after menopause is called post-menopause, and its common for your symptoms to continue into this time.
What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis isnt entirely preventable, but you can take steps to strengthen your bones. Eating foods high in calcium like cheese, yogurt, spinach or fortified cereals can help boost calcium intake. Adding a calcium supplement can also help. Some people also need a vitamin D supplement because it helps their body absorb calcium.
How Do You Know If You Are Still Fertile
It is difficult to know about your fertility as the menstrual cycle turns irregular during perimenopause. You may or may not ovulate, and also the levels of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones fluctuate while the egg quality could deteriorate. All these factors cause a decrease in fertility, but we cannot exactly predict the probability of natural conception.
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How Is Early Menopause Diagnosed
Perimenopause is the year or so before menopause when periods become irregular, leading to menopause. When youve had 12 months without menstrual bleeding, you are considered to be in menopause.
Tests arent usually needed to diagnose menopause. But if you think youre experiencing early menopause, you may want to see your doctor to be sure.
Your doctor can order hormone tests to determine whether your symptoms are due to perimenopause or another condition. The hormones to check include estrogen, follicle-stimulating hormone , and thyroid-stimulating hormone . If you have an underactive thyroid , youll have high TSH levels.
Who Is At Risk For Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Certain factors can raise a woman’s risk of POI:
- Family history. Women who have a mother or sister with POI are more likely to have it.
- Genes. Some changes to genes and genetic conditions put women at higher risk for POI. For example, women Fragile X syndrome or Turner syndrome are at higher risk.
- Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Age. Younger women can get POI, but it becomes more common between the ages of 35-40.
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Signs Of Menopause At Age 40
For most women, natural menopause starts between the ages of 45 and 55. However, for some women, the changes of menopause start even earlier before age 40. This is known as premature menopause and is typically due to illness, medical procedure, or genetics.
If youre age 40 or so, you might be in the throes of early menopause if you have been experiencing hot flashes, irregular periods, sudden emotional changes, and other signs of menopause.
Lets take a broader look at menopause what exactly menopause is, what is involved with early menopause, the causes of premature menopause, and the signs to watch for that indicate youre experiencing menopause.
How Is Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Treated
Currently, there is no proven treatment to restore normal function to a woman’s ovaries. But there are treatments for some of the symptoms of POI. There are also ways to lower your health risks and treat the conditions that POI can cause:
- Hormone replacement therapy .HRT is the most common treatment. It gives your body the estrogen and other hormones that your ovaries are not making. HRT improves sexual health and decreases the risks for heart disease and osteoporosis. You usually take it until about age 50 that’s about the age when menopause usually begins.
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements. Because women with POI are at higher risk for osteoporosis, you should take calcium and vitamin D every day.
- In vitro fertilization . If you have POI and you wish to become pregnant, you may consider trying IVF.
- Regular physical activity and a healthy body weight.Getting regular exercise and controlling your weight can lower your risk for osteoporosis and heart disease.
- Treatments for associated conditions. If you have a condition that is related to POI, it is important to treat that as well. Treatments may involve medicines and hormones.
NIH: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
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Diagnosis Of Premature Or Early Menopause
Premature and early menopause is diagnosed using a number of tests including:
- medical history, family history and medical examination
- investigations to rule out other causes of amenorrhoea , such as pregnancy, extreme weight loss, other hormone disturbances and some diseases of the reproductive system
- investigations into other conditions associated with premature or early menopause, such as autoimmune diseases
- genetic tests to check for the presence of genetic conditions associated with premature or early menopause
- blood tests to check hormone levels.
How Is Premature Menopause Treated
The symptoms and health risks of premature menopause, as well as the emotional issues that may result from it, can be managed with the methods similar to those used for natural menopause. Women dealing with infertility that is brought on by premature menopause may want to discuss their options with their doctor or with a reproductive specialist.
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What Happens At Menopause
Women are born with about a million eggs in each ovary. By puberty about 300,000 eggs remain, and by menopause there are no active eggs left.
On average, a woman in Australia will have 400-500 periods in her lifetime. From about 35-40 years of age, the number of eggs left in your ovaries decreases more quickly and you ovulate less regularly until your periods stop. Menopause means the end of ovulation.
Supporting Your Body Through The Menopause
There we have it the classic 34 symptoms of menopause. For many women, its a challenging journey from those first signs of menopause until their eventual subsistence on average, signs of menopause can last for up to four years after you have your final period.
The good news? Every womans menopause is different. You may not experience many of these symptoms other than menstrual cycle changes. If you do notice any, they might cause a problem for only a short period of time.
By ensuring a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise as well as capping caffeine and alcohol consumption we can offset many of these 34 signs of menopause. Needless to say, always consult with a medical professional if youre particularly concerned.
To help your body on the way and give yourself the best possible chance of a smooth menopause journey, consider a supplement like Cleanmarine Menomin. It is specially formulated to provide all-in-one essential nutritional support for women during the menopause were talking phytonutrients, superior omega 3 and beneficial B vitamin and biotin blends.
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What It Feels Like To Go Through Early Menopause At 35
20/02/2015 4:40 pm
Hot flushes, night sweats, an aching sense of loss. Nia Fisher explains how it feels to go through early menopause
Its a chilly winter night but Im lying in bed sweating, unable to sleep. Ive thrown my duvet aside and got rid of my pyjamas. Ive spritzed myself with water and turned my fan up high, but the heat is still intense, rising from my midriff towards my head in pulsating waves.
When I first experienced this unsettling feeling, I didnt know what was going on. Yes, I knew that night sweats were a symptom of menopause, but I thought that only happened to women in their fifties. I was just 35, single and not sexually active, so when I missed a few periods I thought it was odd, but put it down to stress. As an actress appearing in a West End musical, my work schedule was intense, my dad was having treatment for cancer and I was packing to move house.
I felt more emotional than usual, but it was the constant sweating that disturbed me, so eventually I went to see my GP, who recommended blood tests to measure my oestrogen levels and something called the follicle stimulating hormone in my body. Oestrogen is the most important hormone for regulating your cycle and is essential for reproduction, while FSH helps oestrogen production, so its crucial for fertility. If your level is too high, it can be because your ovaries are struggling to produce oestrogen and the body is working overtime to correct this, indicating youre approaching menopause.