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Can You Go Into Menopause In Your 20s

Your Mom Went Through Early Menopause

New Medical Procedure Can Delay Menopause by 20 Years | This Morning

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.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Premature Menopause

Symptoms of premature menopause are often the same as those experienced by women undergoing natural menopause and may include:

  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual
  • Hot flashes

These symptoms are a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen.

Along with the above symptoms, some women may experience:

How Is Premature Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Treated

Management of the condition can vary depending on why menopause started earlier than normal. Given the health risks associated with early menopause, hormone replacement therapy is routinely recommended to all women with premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency, unless there is a compelling reason it cant be used. There is a lot of confusion about the safety of hormone therapies. Many of the risks of hormone therapy used after natural menopause are not thought to apply to women who have premature menopause. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of hormone therapy with your doctor. Some healthcare providers have additional certification in the management of menopause, and these providers will be a valuable resource when receiving conflicting information about the safety of hormone therapy.

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What Are Premature Menopause Early Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency

Premature menopause and early menopause are conditions where a woman goes through menopause at an earlier age than is typically expected. Both conditions can result in women being unable to become pregnant. If there is no obvious medical or surgical cause for the premature menopause, this is called primary ovarian insufficiency . Primary ovarian insufficiency is also referred to as premature ovarian insufficiency.

The name premature ovarian failure is no longer used because women who are told they have early menopause can have intermittent ovulation, menstrual bleeding or even pregnancy after being told they have ovarian failure.

Going Through Menopause In Your 20s And 30s Sucks

Doctors Notes: Summer puts focus on hot flashes
  • Snap

“I’m self-conscious of sweating. Now I have to think about what clothes I’m going to wear. One day I thought I’d be fine and I wore a pale grey T-shirt to work and that was a disaster. The hot flushes are crazythey come out of nowhere at any time and I’m suddenly drenched in sweat.”

Sophie is 31 years old. She works as a television producer at an advertising agency in England. Like many young professionals, her priorities include her career, a mortgage, maybe marriage. She didn’t plan to add menopause to that list.

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The Londoner suffers from severe endometriosis. Her endometriumthe cells that line her wombhave migrated to other parts of her body. In Sophie’s case, that means her uterus and bowels. These cells follow her menstrual cycle, building and then breaking up and bleeding when she has her period. But unlike regular cells in the womb that are shed during menstruation, the excess blood has no way of being released and leads to chronic pain, heavy periods, inflammation, and the formation of scar tissue.

In order to prepare for an operation to have this excess endometrium cut out, Sophie was injected with Zoladex, a man-made hormone used to effectively switch off her period for three months. This will tame the endometrium, making it less bloody and easier to manage.

They did some blood tests and said, ‘Right, you’ve just been through menopause. That’s it. We can’t do anything about it. Off you go.’

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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.

Initiating Therapy

Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:

  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • 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.

Discontinuing Therapy

Safety Concerns

Women who should not take hormone therapy include those with the following conditions:

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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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.

How Common Is It

How do I know when menopause has started, and when I can stop using the Depo shot?

Approximately one in every 100 women under the age of 40, one in 1,000 women under 30 and one in 10,000 under 20 experience POI. A spontaneous early menopause affects approximately 5% of the population before the age of 45.

Spontaneous POI affects 1% of women before the age of 40, however increasing numbers of women are experiencing iatrogenic POI , therefore the exact number of women affected by all causes combined is unknown.

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Here’s What Women Need To Know About Early Menopause Which Occurs Between Ages 40 And 45 And Premature Menopause Which Occurs Before Age 40

For Leslie Mac, it started with irregular menstrual periods. Mac, a digital strategist and organizer, didn’t think much of it, but once she started going months without menstruating, she decided to see her doctor. “Something must be wrong,” she remembered thinking.

She was not expecting to hear that, at 28, she had already entered perimenopause, the transition to menopause.

“I didn’t even know it was possible to start the process so early,” Mac explained. By 34, she received a diagnosis of menopause, which is officially diagnosed when a woman goes a year without a menstrual period.

Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life and signals the end of the reproductive years. In the U.S., this typically occurs around age 51, but 5% of women have early menopause, which occurs between ages 40 and 45, and 1% experience premature menopause, which occurs before age 40.

While age of diagnosis may differ, premature and early menopause follow the same process as usual menopause. As women age, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in their body begin to decline. In premenopausal women, the ovaries produce these hormones in a regular cycle, and they’re important for both reproductive and overall health.

“You have estrogen receptors everywhere in your body,” explained Dr. Barb DePree, director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, founder of MiddlesexMD and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council.

Are There Other Health Issues That Affect Women In Premature Menopause

Like all menopausal women, women in premature menopause experience lowered estrogen levels as the ovaries stop most of their production of this hormone. Low levels of estrogen can lead to changes in women’s overall health and may increase their risk for certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis. Other health risks associated with the loss of estrogen include increased risk for colon and ovarian cancer, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cataract formation.

However, compared with women who go through natural menopause, women undergoing premature menopause spend a greater portion of their lives without the protective benefits of their own estrogen. This puts them at an even greater risk for the above mentioned menopause-related health problems.

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Ht Forms And Regimens

HT comes in several forms:

  • Oral tablets or pills
  • Vaginal ring
  • Topical gel or spray

HT pills and skin patches are considered systemic therapy because the medication delivered affects the entire body. The risk for blood clots, heart attacks, and certain types of cancers is higher with hormone pills than with skin patches or other transdermal forms.

Vaginal forms of HT are called local therapy. Doctors generally prescribe vaginal applications of low-dose estrogen therapy to specifically treat menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and pain during sex. This type of ET is available in a cream, tablet, or ring that is inserted into the vagina.

Bioidentical Hormones

Bioidentical hormone therapy is promoted as a supposedly more natural and safer alternative to commercial prescription hormones. Bioidentical hormones are typically compounded in a pharmacy. Some compounding pharmacies claim that they can customize these formulations based on saliva tests that show a womans individual hormone levels.

The FDA and many professional medical associations warn patients that bioidentical is a marketing term that has no scientific validity. Formulations sold in these pharmacies have not undergone FDA regulatory scrutiny. Some of these compounds contain estriol, a weak form of estrogen, which has not been approved by the FDA for use in any drug. In addition, saliva tests do not give accurate or realistic results, as a womans hormone levels fluctuate throughout the day.

Myth #: Weight Gain Is Inevitable In Menopause

Take control of your menopause symptoms

Unwanted weight gain is common in menopause but not inevitable. As you enter perimenopause and menopause, estrogen levels drop naturally and may create a hormonal imbalance. Your body reacts by trying to protect itself by actually storing fat especially around the waist, hips and thighs. Since fat tissue also acts as a source of estrogen, your body holds on to it even more as your estrogen levels continue to fluctuate.

With these changes taking place in your body, youll find a healthy weight by shifting your diet and establishing exercise habits. One of the most important things you can do is eat! Weve seen again and again how good nutrition helps women balance their hormones and find a way to overcome menopause weight.

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Women’s Health Topics We Need To Talk About In 2020

Mood problems like depression can spike during perimenopause, especially among women who have previously experienced them. Many of our listeners wrote in to say that during perimenopause, they felt incredibly irritable and quick to anger in a way that they had never experienced before.

And of course, many â but not all â women experience hot flashes, though they may not recognize them. “It’s hard, because no one sits us down and teaches us, ‘Here’s what a hot flash feels like,’ ” Stuenkel says. “I’ve seen women who think they’re having panic attacks, or heart palpitations. That can be frightening.”

Other common symptoms include more frequent urinary tract infections, difficulty sleeping through the night, vaginal dryness that can make sex painful, night sweats and a decrease in libido.

What treatments are there for symptoms?

Some symptoms, like heavy or irregular periods, can be managed with an oral contraceptive, which can “shut down the body’s own erratic hormonal fluctuations,” says Stuenkel.

“This can kind of be a lifesaver,” she says. Such medication may help with hot flashes, too.

Getting Support For Early Menopause

Going through the menopause early can be difficult and upsetting.

Permanent early menopause affects your ability to have children.

You may need fertility treatment using donated eggs. You can use your own eggs if you had some stored.

Surrogacy and adoption may also be options for you.

Counselling and support groups may be helpful:

  • The Daisy Network a support group for premature ovarian failure
  • Cancer.ie provides information about menopausal symptoms after cancer treatment

Content supplied by the;NHS;and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 8 July 2021 Next review due: 8 July 2024

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Psychological Wellbeing & Emotions

The diagnosis of a premature or early menopause can bring many changes and challenges: when menopause does not come at the age and stage of life you expected it to, it can have a major impact on your wellbeing. Women who experience premature or early menopause can be at greater risk of depression, anxiety and mood changes.

It can be very upsetting for some women to experience menopause in their 20s or 30s when they expected it to happen in their late 40s or 50s. Often this is a time of feelings of loss, sadness and grief. These feelings are very common, along with the feelings of losing your body image, fertility, femininity and sexuality, and feeling old before your time.

It can take some time to diagnose a premature or early menopause. Not knowing what is wrong, having no control over symptoms and not knowing what the future holds can be frightening. Some women with early menopause talk of ‘loss of womanhood’ and ‘loss of dreams’.

Associated illnesses, such as cancer and chemotherapy or surgery to remove ovaries, may also alter the course of your life. Plans, dreams and expectations must be re-thought and that can be very challenging and distressing.

During this time, women can experience a sense of loss of control, loss of ability to plan and loss of self-image, but often there is no one with whom to share the grief. Girlfriends might not understand because they are not yet experiencing menopause, and, for some, mothers haven’t yet reached menopause either.

Do Your Research And Seek Out A Digital Community

Menopause Weight Gain: What Causes it & How to Prevent it

A growing number of young people are turning to social media to find sound advice and to shed the feelings of loneliness and isolation often associated with menopause. Dr Anita Mitras feed is a good place to start: it dismantles the myths of menopause and all aspects of female health in a relevant and understandable way. Its amazing that sometimes one person sharing their story can help so many other people. These problems can be so isolating. I often get people commenting on my posts on instagram saying, Oh, I thought it was just me, and that makes me really happy because that person doesnt feel so alone on their journey, she tells Vogue.

Her informative Instagram posts, in turn, help her to develop a better understanding of her patients experiences. We need to improve dialogue between doctors and patients. The more we start listening to women and listening to what theyre experiencing, we can actually help them.

Instagram content

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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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