Does The Age My Mother Reached Menopause Mean Anything
Most likely your moms age at menopause will provide a clue. When we look at the things that are the greatest determinants for when someone is going to go through menopause, genetics seems to be one of the most important things, says Streicher.
A womans race or ethnicity can influence when she goes through menopause, too, she says. Findings from the Study of Womens Health Across the Nation indicate that women of color tend to begin perimenopause and menopause at earlier ages than white women.
The question I always ask women when they ask when theyre going to go through menopause is, When did your mom go through menopause? because that is very often predictive, says Streicher.
Theres a lot of truth in that. You may follow what happened with your mother; if she went through menopause early or late, you may, too, she says.
What Does Estrogen Do
The ovaries are the primary producers of estrogen. Estrogen triggers female sex characteristics like breasts and broader hips during puberty. This collection of hormones is also responsible for regulating the menstrual cycle throughout the childbearing years and initiating lactation after pregnancy.
Estrogen also plays a role in bone health by working with vital nutrients to rebuild bone structures. Skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles, and the brain are also impacted by estrogen.
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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Menopause Symptoms At Age 40
For the vast majority of women, menopause symptoms dont start this early. If menopause happens before age 40, its called premature menopause. If it happens between age 40 and age 45, its known as early menopause. Fewer than 10 percent of women experience premature or early menopause.
But if youre in your early 40s and are regularly experiencing symptoms such as changes to your periods timing or flow, hot flashes, mood changes or sleep problems, dont ignore them. Talk with a womens health specialist.
A specialist like an OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife can work with you to determine whether your symptoms are related to menopause, or another reason such as hormonal disorders or other health conditions.
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.
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Changes You May Notice
Your periods become irregular.
This is the classic sign that you are on your way to menopause. Your periods may come more often or less often, be heavier or lighter, or last longer or shorter than before.
When you’re in perimenopause, it can be hard to predict when, or if, your next period may come. It’s also harder to gauge how long your period will last or if your flow will be heavy or light. It’s harder to get pregnant during this phase, but it’s still possible as long as you have periods.
You have hot flashes and night sweats.
Like so many symptoms of menopause, hot flashes and night sweats can vary a lot from woman to woman. They can last 1 minute or 5 minutes. They can be mild or severe. You can have several an hour, one a week, or never have them.
For some women, these symptoms go on for years or decades after they’ve stopped their periods — into the time called postmenopause.
How Long Is Too Long For A Period During Perimenopause
The road to menopause comes with many changes. Night sweats, hormonal imbalances, and vaginal dryness are a few of the well-known symptoms of perimenopause. Heavy, painful periods are also a symptom thats quite common roughly 25 percent of women report experiencing them. Read on to learn the basics of perimenopause bleeding and how to manage extended perimenopause periods.
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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 .
Are You Headed For Menopause
You won’t know exactly when your menopause will hit. All you can do is pay attention to how you’re feeling and notice changes. Keep in mind that symptoms vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women have no symptoms at all.
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Symptoms Of Early Menopause
The main symptom of early menopause is periods becoming infrequent or stopping altogether without any other reason .
Some women may also get other typical menopausal symptoms, including:
Read more about the symptoms of the menopause.
How Is Early Menopause Diagnosed
The time leading into menopause is called perimenopause. During this time, you may have irregular periods and other symptoms that come and go.
Youre generally considered to be in menopause if you go 12 months without menstrual bleeding, and you dont have another medical condition to explain your symptoms.
Tests arent usually needed to diagnose menopause. Most women can self-diagnose menopause based on their symptoms. 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 help determine whether your symptoms are due to perimenopause or another condition. These are the most common hormones to check:
- Anti-Mullerian hormone . The
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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.
An Early First Menstrual Period May Lead To Premature Menopause
How do you know if you’re starting perimenopause?
The most telling symptom is changes in your menstrual cycle, says psychiatrist Hadine Joffe, the executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
“It’s the menstrual cycle pattern that really defines this lead-up to menopause,” she says. During perimenopause, periods “might be shorter, then a long one, or then a skipped one, or then the flow might be different,” says Joffe.
There’s no blood or hormone test that can “diagnose” perimenopause. Joffe says a hormone test isn’t helpful because hormonal cycles become erratic and unpredictable during this stage.
“There’s not really one point in time when a hormone test is done that can be definitive,” she says. Even if you took several tests over time, “you might get a very different readout.”
Surprisingly, sometimes doctors aren’t prepared to help women recognize the start of this life phase. Edrie was upset at her doctors’ responses â or lack thereof. “I felt so disappointed in the medical industry. How many women has my OB/GYN seen and not recognized the symptoms of perimenopause?”
What symptoms to expect
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What Is Menopause Its A Moment In Time
Menopause is a specific point in time. Menopause occurs when periods stop and youve gone 12 consecutive months since having your last period. Once youve hit that moment, you enter post-menopause.
Reaching menopause means that youre no longer able to bear children. Every woman except for those whove had their ovaries removed before puberty will go through menopause.
When does menopause start?
The average menopause age is around 51. But some women experience menopause in their 40s with a small percentage experiencing menopause even younger. Some women may not reach menopause until their 60s.
Theres no way to know your exact menopause age until it happens, but genetics seem to play a strong role. You may get a general idea of when to expect menopause based on when your family members went through it, particularly your mother.
Genetics arent the only thing that can impact when menopause starts. Medical factors can also influence menopause timing. When the ovaries are removed, symptoms will begin to show immediately.
Certain medical conditions like autoimmune diseases have also been associated with early menopause. Women whove undergone treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy are also more likely to show symptoms earlier.
The Course Of Perimenopause
A change in your periods is often the first sign of perimenopause, but there are other signs to look out for. The most common are hot flashes, sleep problems, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and a decrease in sex drive. Not every woman will experience all of these symptoms. For those who have symptoms, they may come in any order.
Once these symptoms arrive, most women can expect menopause itself to be a few years away.
There are many treatments to help with bothersome symptoms like hot flashes and sleeplessness. Even a few years of hormone therapy can help you get through the worst of it.;;
If you are prone to anxiety or depression, know that perimenopause can bring those conditions back to the surface. Finding a support network can make a big difference. Antidepressants also may be an option.
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Low Estrogen Health Risks
Osteoporosis is when the bones become weak and brittle due to a lack of calcium. Estrogen preserves bone health by preventing calcium loss. When estrogen levels decline because of hormonal changes, it may increase the risk for fractures in the spine, hips, legs, and arms.
Women who drink a lot of alcohol, smoke, and do not exercise are at an increased risk of osteoporosis. Thin and petite women and those with a family history of osteoporosis also have a higher risk of developing this condition.
Estrogen seems to play a role in protecting the body from heart disease because it may elevate good cholesterol levels in the blood. A sharp increase in heart disease risk occurs with menopause.
What’s The First Sign Of Perimenopause
The first perimenopause sign is typically a disruption of your menstrual cycle. For many women, your period starts earlier or later than normal. For example, if your menstrual cycle has always been 28 days, during perimenopause, your period could come as early as 21 or as late as 35 days. Some women start skipping months entirely and then experience heavier-than-normal periods when they do have them.
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How Long Will Menopausal Transition Symptoms Last
Menopause is technically one full year without bleeding, and perimenopause is the stage before the final menstrual period, also known as the menopausal transition. Puberty and perimenopause are similar in that they both involve hormonal changes, and the transitions can take place over several years. Some medical organizations, such as the American Osteopathic Association, refer to perimenopause as reverse puberty in women.
According to NAMS, this phase can last four to eight years, and it comes with symptoms caused by hormone fluctuations, such as mood swings, poor sleep, and hot flashes.
The age at which a woman begins perimenopause can help predict how long the transition to menopause will last, according to research published in the journal;Menopause;in February 2017.;The authors found that perimenopause lasted longer in women who started the transition at a younger age, and the women had more symptoms, such as hot flashes.
Early Menopause May Trigger Aging Old
Women who go through menopause earlier than others are more likely to age faster and are the most vulnerable to age-related diseases, according to a new study published on Monday.
The findings could settle a long-standing debate, said Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.
For decades, scientists have disagreed over whether menopause causes aging or aging causes menopause, said Horvath, senior author of the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Its like the chicken or the egg: which came first? Our study is the first to demonstrate that menopause makes you age faster.
Horvath and colleagues analysed DNA samples of more than 3,100 women in a 15-year study of post-menopausal women, known as the Womens Health Initiative.
Measuring the biological age of cells from blood, saliva and inside the cheek, they were able to pin down the relationship between each womans chronological age and her bodys biological age.
We discovered that menopause speeds up cellular aging by an average of 6%, said Horvath.
That doesnt sound like much but it adds up over a womans lifespan.
For example, a woman who enters early menopause at age 42 would age more rapidly over the next eight years than a woman who entered menopause at age 50.
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Menopause Occurs After Ovaries Stop Producing Estrogen
What causes things to shut down so that their ovaries are no longer producing estrogen? Dr. Streicher asks. A lot people think its when you run out eggs. This isnt going to happen were born with millions and millions of eggs its really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly, she says.
If someone has pregnancy or if someone is breastfeeding, is this going to delay the aging of the eggs? On the basis of this observational data, this research would suggest that this is the case, says Streicher.
The numbers in the prospective study are meaningful and it appears that there is an association between women who breastfeed and have pregnancies, that they tend to go through a later menopause, says Streicher. But do we know why thats the case? No, she adds.
Hysterectomy With Ovaries Left Intact
People who have their ovaries intact, but without their uterus, won’t get their period anymore. They may, however, still experience premenstrual syndrome or premenstrual dysphoric disorder because the hormones made by the ovaries cause the body to continue to “cycle” monthly.
Occasionally, people whose ovaries were not removed;during a hysterectomy experience;hot flashes;and other menopausal symptoms. This is mostly due to the disturbance of the blood supply to the ovaries during surgery.
In addition, some people may undergo menopause a few years sooner than they normally would if they never underwent a hysterectomy .
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