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How Early Can Premature Menopause Start

What Is Premature & Early Menopause

Menopause – When Does It Start, How Long Does It Last?

‘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.

What Is An Early Or Premature Menopause

People who experience the menopause usually reach it between the ages of 45 and 55. But if your periods stop before you turn 45, its known as early menopause. If they stop before you turn 40, this is known as premature menopause . It might happen naturally or because of medical or surgical treatments.

An early or premature menopause can be upsetting, especially if its sudden, so its important to get the help you need. Here Ill talk about what can cause an early or premature menopause, how to spot the signs and the treatment available.

Did You Know That The Hormone Levels In The Body Can Impact Weight Gain And Fat Distribution During Menopause

Recent research suggest that it heavily depends on the levels of:

Progesterone- Testosterone- Estrogen

Too little or too much of any one of these can result in different body types and weight accumulation in different areas of the body.

In fact there are THREE main hormone balance types that ALL women fall under.

Take this quick 60-second quiz to find out:

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Ulrika Jonsson Mistook Her Menopause Symptoms For Dementia: ‘i Feel Ashamed That I Knew So Little’your Browser Indicates If You’ve Visited This Link

Ulrika Jonsson has revealed she thought she had early-onset dementia when she struggled with her memory during the menopause as she didn’t know it was one of the symptoms. The 54-year-old said she now felt ‘ashamed’ for knowing ‘so little’ about the menopause when she became perimenopausal and her body started transitioning into the menopause eight years ago.


How Is Premature Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Treated

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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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How Do You Know If Youre Going Through Early Or Premature Menopause

The menopause affects everyone differently, and many people experience an early or premature menopause without realising at first. You may only discover this when your periods get less regular or stop altogether. Some people also experience other common symptoms of the menopause, like hot flushes and night sweats.

Heart & Cardiovascular Health

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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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.

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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.

Certain medical conditions such as autoimmune problems, thyroid issues, and lupus can make a woman go through menopause earlier, adds Streicher.

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What Kinds Of Treatments Are There For Early Menopause


There are a variety of ways to treat early menopause, include eating a balanced diet, limiting intake of caffeine and alcohol, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing smoking. Doing these can help reduce symptoms of menopause. There are also a variety of stronger treatments, if your symptoms are severe, such as hormone replacement therapy . If you have early menopause, talk to your doctor about what the best course of action is.

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Diagnosis Of Early Or Premature Menopause

If you think youre experiencing an early or premature menopause, its important to see your GP.

Your GP should be able to diagnose an early or premature menopause from your symptoms, family history and medical history. But you may also need to have some blood tests to check your levels of a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone . Youll need to have two blood tests, four to six weeks apart. If your FSH levels are high, this means your ovaries arent working properly.

You may also have other tests to check your:

  • chromosomes
  • bone density
  • thyroid hormones
  • blood sugar

If your GP isnt completely sure the menopause is causing your symptoms, they may refer you to a specialist doctor or menopause clinic.

How You Will Feel

It√Ęs normal to feel unwell and a little uncomfortable if you have had a general anaesthetic, and you may have to rest for a few days.

Depending on your general health and job, you can normally return to work 5 days after tubal occlusion, but avoid heavy lifting for about a week.

You may have some slight vaginal bleeding. Use a sanitary towel, rather than a tampon, until this has stopped.

You may also feel some pain, like period pain. You can take painkillers for this.

If the pain or bleeding gets worse, try contacting the specialist who treated you, your GP or NHS 111.

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Premature Vs Early Menopause

Premature menopause affects 1% of women under the age of 40. The only difference between premature menopause and early menopause is the timing.

Premature menopause occurs before age 40 and early menopause happens after age 40 but before age 45. Many of the same causes of premature menopause also cause early menopause. Both conditions cause similar symptoms.

Treatment For Early Or Premature Menopause

5 Signs of Early Menopause (Perimenopause)

There is no treatment available to make the ovaries start working again.

Rarely, the ovaries may spontaneously start working again, for reasons unknown. According to some studies, about one in 10 women who are diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency get pregnant, for reasons that are not yet clear.

Women with early menopause have a long period of postmenopausal life, which means they are at increased risk of health problems such as early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease. For this reason, it is recommended that they take some form of hormone therapy until they reach the typical age of menopause . This may be the combined oestrogen and progestogen oral contraceptive pill, or menopausal hormone therapy .

Either option treats menopausal symptoms and reduces the risk of early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.

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Does A Tubal Ligation Cause Premature Menopause Symptom

Does tubal ligation cause premature menopause? Tubal ligation procedure can cause excessive abnormal bleeding. Cramps and disruption of the normal blood between the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus can also occur.

Women who undergo tubal sterilization have an increased risk of hysterectomy or ectopic pregnancy. These are some of the known side effects of a tubal sterilization.

Does a tubal ligation cause premature menopause? According to Dr. Christiane Northrup, MD, after a tubal ligation, women will produce lower progesterone levels after this procedure which is her answer to the question does tubal ligation cause premature menopause.

Does a tubal ligation cause premature menopause?For premature menopause symptoms and premature menopause weight gain, take a high-quality daily nutritional supplement and use natural progesterone supplementation to correct hormone imbalance and treat premenopause and menopause premature symptoms.

If women stay hormone balanced by resolving premature menopause symptoms and take care of themselves by having a balanced diet and exercise, their aging process will happen later in life and will be more gradual and less debilitating.

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What Are The Stages Of Perimenopause

The process happens slowly over three stages: Perimenopause. Your cycles will become irregular, but they havent stopped. Most women hit this stage around age 47. Menopause. This is when youll have your final menstrual period. Postmenopause. This begins when you hit the year mark from your final period.

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Can I Decrease My Cancer Risk After Menopause

Late-onset menopause usually occurs because of a genetic predisposition. If your mother went through menopause late, chances are you may also. However, every womans experience with menopause is different. A study found that late menopause is not uncommon among obese women because fat tissue produces estrogen. If you are worried about your age and menopause exercise, eat a healthy diet, dont smoke, and maintain a healthy body weight which can have a plethora of health benefits. Regular mammograms and cervical cancer screening are also important for women experiencing late-onset menopause.

What Other Factors Influence When Perimenopause Starts Or When A Woman Reaches Menopause

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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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Can Premature Menopause Be Reversed

There is currently no way to reverse premature or early menopause. However, treatment can help treat the symptoms or delay the progression.

A small 2016 study, in which 30 menopausal women received an injection of platelet-rich plasma into their ovaries, had promising findings.

The PRP seemed to rejuvenate the ovaries, leading to the restoration of menstruation and egg fertilization. The treatment appeared to work in about two-thirds of the participants.

However, additional research is necessary to prove that this method is effective.

Removal Of The Ovaries

If you have surgery to remove your ovaries , you will experience menopause immediately because the organs that produce hormones and release eggs are no longer present.

Menopause that occurs from the absence of ovaries is known as surgical menopause.

Conditions like endometriosis, tumors, and cancer may require a person to have their ovaries removed.

People who have an oophorectomy will experience typical menopause symptoms however, rather than having them come on gradually as they would with natural menopause, they will experience them all at once, which can be intense.

Hormone replacement therapies can be used to treat menopause symptoms. However, hormone therapy is not recommended for people being treated for breast cancer, as it may increase the risk of recurrence.

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Oral Contraceptives And Vaginal Treatments

Oral contraceptive pills

Oral contraceptive pills are another form of hormone therapy often prescribed for women in perimenopause to treat irregular vaginal bleeding. Women in the menopausal transition tend to have considerable breakthrough bleeding when given estrogen therapy. Therefore, oral contraceptives are often given to women in the menopause transition to regulate menstrual periods, relieve hot flashes, as well as to provide contraception. They are not recommended for women who have already reached menopause, because the dose of estrogen is higher than that needed to control hot flashes and other symptoms. The contraindications for oral contraceptives in women going through the menopause transition are the same as those for premenopausal women.

Local hormone and non-hormone treatments

There are also local hormonal treatments for the symptoms of vaginal estrogen deficiency. Local treatments include the vaginal estrogen ring , vaginal estrogen cream, or vaginal estrogen tablets. Local and oral estrogen treatments are sometimes combined for this purpose.

Vaginal moisturizing agents such as creams or lotions as well as the use of lubricants during intercourse are non-hormonal options for managing the discomfort of vaginal dryness.

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“Technically, menopause is only one day in a woman’s life, which is exactly when she has not had a period for 12 months,” she says. “It’s the period of time leading up to menopause that causes all the trouble.”

And it can start earlier than you might think. Many listeners wrote to us in response to our call-out for individual experiences with menopause to say that they struggled to get medical support for perimenopause in their mid-30s and early 40s.

When Edrie went back to her OB/GYN with the fertility clinic’s conclusion, she says the doctor shrugged again and told her that menopause is a normal part of life. She wasn’t satisfied with that answer. “Yeah, it’s a normal part of life, but it would be great if we could talk about it and figure out strategies.”

With that spirit in mind, we reached out to endocrinologists, gynecologists and psychiatrists for advice about navigating this major life transition.

How early can perimenopause start?

It’s quite possible for women to start to notice things changing in their mid-30s. Most women arrive at menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but perimenopause can start as much as a decade beforehand. And about 1% of women in the U.S. reach menopause at age 40 or younger.

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Increased Risk Of Some Health Conditions

After menopause, the risk of certain health issues appears to increase. Menopause does not cause these conditions, but the hormonal changes involved may play some role.

Osteoporosis: This is a long-term condition in which bone strength and density decrease. A doctor may recommend taking vitamin D supplements and eating more calcium-rich foods to maintain bone strength.

Cardiovascular disease: The American Heart Association note that, while a decline in estrogen due to menopause may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, taking hormone therapy will not reduce this risk.

Breast cancer: Some types of breast cancer are more likely to develop after menopause. Menopause breast cancer, but hormonal changes involved appear to increase the risk.

Skin changes can also occur around the time of menopause. Find out more.

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