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How Do You Know If You Are Starting Early Menopause

At What Age Do Most Women Reach Menopause

PERIMENOPAUSE: How To Tell If You Are In Early Or Late Perimenopause!

The medical definition of menopause is no menstrual bleeding for a year, according to Lauren Streicher, MD, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and the medical director of the Northwestern Center for Menopause and the Northwestern Center for Sexual Medicine in Chicago.

Most women experience menopause between age 40 and 58, and the average age at menopause is 51, according to the North American Menopause Society.

Many women are surprised when they go through menopause in their forties because they think theyre too young, but its not unusual, says Dr. Streicher.

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.

Some chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer can also make your periods irregular. Any bleeding, even just spotting, after menopause isn’t normal. You need to talk to your doctor.

You have hot flashes and night sweats.

Hot flashes can make you feel warm or hot suddenly for no apparent reason. Your skin may flush red and your heart may beat faster. Then you may feel suddenly cold.

Night sweats are hot flashes that happen during sleep. They can be so intense they wake you up.

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 Can You Tell

And I know, you know, it’s a huge gap, when on Earth are you going to know when you’re starting the menopause when you’ve got no periods to give a really clear indication of what’s going on? In this situation, it really is a question of being aware of how you are feeling.

Are you starting to get menopause-like symptoms like hot flushes or night sweat? Or maybe joint aches or low mood or anxiety or maybe a bit of fatigue, or you’re just feeling out of sorts? If you’re in the average age group, then it’s more than likely that this is you starting the approach to the menopause.

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What Is The Difference Between Premature Menopause And Early Menopause

The difference between premature menopause and early menopause is when it happens. Premature menopause occurs before a woman is 40. Early menopause is when a woman undergoes menopause before age 45.

Many of the causes of premature menopause can also be causes of early menopause. The two types of menopause also share many of the same symptoms.

Heart & Cardiovascular Health

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Women experiencing a premature or early menopause may have an increased risk of heart disease, compared to women who reach menopause at the expected age, although this remains controversial.

A recent study suggested women with premature or early menopause may also be at greater risk of stroke. This might be because of the loss of the beneficial effects of oestrogen on the blood vessels and the lipid profile of younger women. Further understanding in this area is still needed.

There are also other cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as family history, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

A healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and heart problems. Stopping smoking, eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, maintaining a healthy body weight and doing regular physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease in women of all ages.

There is some evidence that suggests menopausal hormone therapy, or MHT use in women with premature or early menopause reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It is recommended that you have annual monitoring of blood pressure, weight, smoking status and cholesterol and sugar levels, as well as a discussion with your doctor, to help keep a check on your risks of cardiovascular disease.

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Will Being Super Healthy Help Delay Menopause

Although maintaining good overall health is important for a variety of reasons, it wont necessarily translate to later menopause, says Streicher. I have women who tell me, I have a healthy diet, Im thin, I work out all the time, and I look young. Im sure Im not going to go through menopause early, and when I do, I wont have hot flashes and other symptoms. I wish I could say that was true, but its not, she says.

Body weight might matter, though. We do know that the extremes of weight, in someone who is very obese or someone with very low body weight, may impact the onset of menopause, but for the majority of women in the middle it doesnt seem to have a big impact, says Streicher.

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What Is Premature & Early Menopause

‘Premature menopause’ is when the final menstrual period occurs before a woman is 40. ‘Early menopause’ is when the final menstrual period occurs between 40 and 45 years. Up to 8% of women have had their final period by the time they are 45. The number of women reaching menopause by this time may be increased in relation to treatment after cancer, or removal of the ovaries.

This may happen because:

  • periods stop spontaneously due to primary ovarian insufficiency this affects up to 1% of women
  • menopause is induced by a secondary cause such as:
  • surgery when ovaries are removed surgically
  • chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment for cancer.

This video explains the causes of and treatments for premature and early menopause.

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How Can You Alleviate Perimenopausal Symptoms

Some women deal with the symptoms of perimenopause, and some women seek treatment for specific health concerns. Women with heavy bleeding, periods that last longer than seven days, spotting between periods or cycles that are less than 21 days should contact a doctor.

Typically, perimenopause is a gradual transition, and no particular test indicates what is happening to the body. Hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen treatments and antidepressants can help treat perimenopausal symptoms.

Start by identifying what’s bothering you most and then working with your doctor to address it. There are steps you can take to feel better. Lifestyle changes that can make a big impact in easing perimenopausal symptoms and improving your overall health include:

  • Yoga

How Will Menopause Affect Me

How you know you are in menopause

Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only once in a while. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Others may be new to you. For example:

  • Your menstrual periods may not come as regularly as before. They also might last longer or be shorter. You might skip some months. Periods might stop for a few months and then start up again.
  • Your periods might be heavier or lighter than before.
  • You might have hot flashes and problems sleeping.
  • You might experience mood swings or be irritable.
  • You might experience vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
  • You may have less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused.

Other possible changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing estrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Talk to your doctor about possible for your menopause symptoms if they bother you.

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Overactive Bladder Or Discomfort

Women can also find they have bladder changes during menopause. If you have this symptom, you might find you need to urinate more often, you cant hold on or your bladder might feel full and uncomfortable.

What can you do about your symptoms?

Understanding menopause and developing a strategy to manage your symptoms can improve your health and lifestyle.

If your symptoms are bothering you, your doctor can help. Your doctor can tell you about the changes in your body and offer options for managing your symptoms. Many treatment options are available and include:

  • Non-hormonal treatment options
  • Complementary therapies

If you have any concerns or questions about options to manage your menopausal symptoms, visit your doctor or go to the Find an AMS Doctor on the AMS website.

NOTE: Medical and scientific information provided and endorsed by the Australasian Menopause Society might not be relevant to an individuals personal circumstances and should always be discussed with their own healthcare provider. This Information Sheet may contain copyright or otherwise protected material. Reproduction of this Information Sheet by Australasian Menopause Society Members, other health professionals and their patients for clinical practice is permissible. Any other use of this information must be agreed to and approved by the Australasian Menopause Society.

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.

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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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Are My Symptoms Due To Early Menopause Or Has My Lymphoma Come Back

If your symptoms have worsened or youre worried that your lymphoma has come back, contact your medical team straightaway. Its natural to worry that symptoms could be linked to your lymphoma. Your medical team can offer information and reassurance and, if necessary, arrange for any tests or scans.

Some of the symptoms of early menopause are similar to those of lymphoma. For example:

  • Night sweats are common in women going through early menopause but they can also be a symptom of lymphoma. They are more likely to be caused by lymphoma if you have other symptoms of lymphoma, such as loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, tiredness or itching.
  • Vaginal dryness is common during and after early menopause but can also be a side effect of chemotherapy.
  • Difficulty sleeping and tiredness can happen for many different reasons, but they can also be linked to lymphoma or early menopause.

Symptoms Of Premature And Early Menopause

The Four Stages of Menopause and Their Symptoms ...

The symptoms of early menopause are the same as for menopause at the typical age and can include:

  • menstrual cycle changes, including changes to the usual bleeding pattern, particularly irregular bleeding
  • hot flushes
  • viral infections the evidence is inconclusive, but it is thought that a viral infection, such as mumps or cytomegalovirus, could trigger premature menopause in some women.
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    Symptoms Of Induced Menopause

    People who experience induced menopause do not go through natural menopause where there is a gradual transition of many years before the final menstrual period occurs. The term induced describes menopause caused by medical treatment.

    The most common type of induced menopause is surgical. With surgical menopause, menopause is abruptusually on the day of surgery. With menopause induced by medication, there might be a short transition before the damaged ovaries shut down completely.

    Symptoms of induced menopause may include:

    • Hot flashes
    • Joint pain
    • Sexual problems, including pain with intercourse

    Induced menopause can occur at any age after puberty and at an age before natural, spontaneous menopause would occur. The abrupt loss of ovarian hormones with induced menopause will be more drastic than what is experienced with natural menopause. Symptoms will be more intense and will have a rapid onset.

    How Doyou Know If You Are In Menopause

    The first time you wake up in the middle of the night,sweating and flushed, you may start to wonder. Is this it? Am I startingmenopause?

    While hot flashes can be a symptom of menopause the timewhen women in their mid-40s to mid-50s stop getting periods and are no longerfertile it can take many months or even years to go through the process. Inthe meantime, youll start to see the signs of menopause that are caused by a drop in your hormonelevels.

    What Signsand Symptoms Indicate Menopause?

    Menopause is defined as going for 12 months without aperiod, so youll almost certainly begin to have symptoms before you can beofficially diagnosed as menopausal. This period when yourestarting to experience symptoms is called perimenopause, and it usually startssometime in your late 40s or early 50s.

    Irregular periods are a key sign that you are inperimenopause. This may mean youll have heavier or lighter periods, or yourcycle may be shorter or longer than you have come to expect. Although for alarge portion of women, irregular periods are a part of life throughout thechildbearing years. While you may notice changes as you start the journeytoward menopause, you may not realize that your irregular periods are anydifferent from those youve experienced in the past.

    There is no straight answer for how to know if you are in menopause, but if youare noticing changes in your cycle, youll also want to pay attention to thefollowing signs of menopause:

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    How To Tell If You Have Early Menopause

    To diagnose early menopause correctly women should seek help from their doctor. While the symptoms of early menopause can be very telling, your doctor or gynaecologist will have to perform medical tests to confirm if this is the case. If you suspect you might have early menopause it is advisable to visit a doctor so he/she can perform a diagnose. However, in this OneHowTo article we explain you the symptoms of this condition and the different methods used to determine if you have early menopause.

    The symptoms of early menopause are similar to those of normal menopause. Among the most common symptoms are these:

    • Changes in your periods
    • Insomnia
    • Lower sex drive

    If you experience any of these symptoms and think that you’re still young to have menopause you should call your doctor or gynaecologist and make an appointment.

    At your appointment, explain the reasons why you think you have early menopause. Your doctor may perform a physical examination and a pregnancy test to rule out other possible conditions with similar symptoms.

    A thyroid condition or pregnancy have similar symptoms of early menopause, but if the doctor rules out these symptoms, he/she might do a blood test to check your levels of estradiol, a form of estrogen. The results of this test may indicate an ovarian insufficiency, which will point as early menopause as the most likely cause.

    Early Menopause Signs And Symptoms

    Perimenopause…What is it and how do you know you are in perimenopause? Signs, tests and help!

    All women will eventually experience menopause. However, women may begin this transition at a young age. It is estimated that four in every 100 women will experience menopause in their 20’s and 30’s. While its causes are not entirely known, there are many signs and symptoms that can indicate early menopause.

    Learn more about some of the common and uncommon signs and symptoms of early onset menopause.

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    Risk Factors For Early Menopause

    Premature ovarian failure affects about 1 out of every 1000 women from ages 15 to 29 and about 1 out of every 100 women aged 30 to 39. It can be related to genetic factors, to illnesses like autoimmune diseases, thyroid disease, viral infection, hormonal disorders, and eating disorders. The risk of premature ovarian failure risk increases in women who have relatives with the condition.

    Women at risk for surgical or treatment-induced menopause are those who are undergoing treatment for cancer or other conditions that require surgical removal of the female organs.

    Are You Headed For Menopause

    You may start to notice changes months or years before you are in menopause. You may have hot flashes and irregular periods. This time is called perimenopause.

    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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    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.


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