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.
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.
What Is Menopause Again
Menopause is a normal part of aging, and its actually a point in time 12 months after a womans last period, according to the National Institute on Aging . During the years leading up to that point, a woman may have changes in her monthly cycle, hot flashes, and other symptoms. This is called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
During perimenopause, the number of eggs in a womans ovaries start to dwindle down to a precious few, says Jonathan Schaffir, M.D., an ob/gyn from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Since ovulation, or the release of the egg, triggers periods, once the eggs dwindle, menstruation spaces out and then stops completely.
During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone vary, the NIA explains. A womans bones become less dense, and her body starts using energy differently. Fat cells also change and women may find that they gain weight more easily than they did before.
While menopause typically happens naturally as a woman ages, it can also happen if a woman has her ovaries surgically removed, says Arianna Sholes-Douglas, M.D., author of The Menopause Myth: What Your Mother, Doctor, And Friends Havent Told You About Life After 35, and the founder of Tula Wellness Center in Tucson, Ariz. Symptoms can also occur even if a woman has her uterus removed but leaves her ovaries intact, she adds.
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The Ovaries Stop Working
Early menopause can happen naturally if a woman’s ovaries stop making normal levels of certain hormones, particularly the hormone oestrogen.
This is sometimes called premature ovarian failure, or primary ovarian insufficiency.
The cause of premature ovarian failure is often unknown, but in some women it may be caused by:
- chromosome abnormalities such as in women with Turner syndrome
- an autoimmune disease where the immune system starts attacking body tissues
- certain infections, such as tuberculosis, malaria and mumps but this is very rare
Premature ovarian failure can sometimes run in families. This might be the case if any of your relatives went through the menopause at a very young age .
How Long Does The Transition To Menopause Last
Perimenopause, the transition to menopause, can last between two and eight years before your periods stop permanently. For most women, this transition to menopause lasts about four years. You will know you have reached menopause only after it has been a full year since your last period. This means you have not had any bleeding, including spotting, for 12 months in a row.
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Factors That Influence Your Menopause Age
The average woman goes through menopause at about age 51, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. But menopause age is a range, and you could experience it as early as your 30s or late as your 60s, according to the North American Menopause Society.
It’s difficult to predict exactly when any woman will start menopause, but researchers believe a number of factors can affect the age of onset. Not all factors are believed to affect all women the same, and not all experts agree on all factors.
How Can I Treat The Symptoms
There are a bunch of ways.
Lifestyle changes. A healthy diet and regular exercise program will help manage your symptoms and boost your health. This is a great time to finally kick any old, unhealthy habits like smoking or drinking too much alcohol. To help with hot flashes, dress lightly and in layers. Avoid triggers like caffeine and spicy foods. And if you stay sexually active, that may help preserve your vaginal lining.
Prescription medication for hot flashes. If you still have your uterus, your doctor might prescribe treatment with estrogen and progesterone. This is called combination hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy . It helps with hot flashes and night sweats, and it may help prevent osteoporosis. If you donât have a uterus, you might get estrogen alone.
Hormone therapy isnât for everyone. Donât take it if you’ve ever had breast cancer, uterine or “endometrial” cancer, blood clots, liver disease, or a stroke. Also don’t take it if you might be pregnant or you have undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
If you can’t or don’t want to take hormones, other medications can ease symptoms. They include antidepressants, antiseizure drugs, or blood pressure medications to help with hot flashes and mood swings.
Prescription and OTC medication for vaginal dryness and sleep problems. You can try topical estrogen, lubricants, and non-estrogen prescriptions for dryness and painful sex. OTC or prescription sleep aids can help if you have trouble falling asleep.
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Related Questions Answered On Yanswers
- Does anyone know of a good support group for young women going through surgical menopause?
- Q: I am 29 and underwent a complete hysterectomy last december i have no ovaries or anything left. I am truly suffering with extreme severe hot flashes constantly and sweating alot as well. I would like to talk to others like myself who are young and experiencing severe menopause symptoms caused by surgical menopause.I live in a very small town. We have no groups like that here. I was wanting to meet other women online to discuss this problem. People who are going through this as well.
- A: I can relate to your situation. I had a complete hysterectomy also when I was 27 and also live in a small town.There is just no support groups out there for young women like us! I can give you some advice on certain things.First of all you need some Hormone Replacement Treatment for those Hot Flashes and Mood Swings,Second you need to give yourself time to heel,it takes usually around a year for your body to get back to normal,so dont rush things.One more thing Please feel free to contact me anytime!! I do know what you are going through.
- what is the youngest a woman can go through menopause?
- Q: im a little curious im getting older and just wondered
- A: Of course there are special exceptions to every rule, but the average age for menopause is 51. This can vary greatly from woman to woman.
Treatments For Early Menopause
A GP will probably recommend you take this treatment until at least the age of natural menopause , to give you some protection from osteoporosis and other conditions that can develop after the menopause.
If you have had certain types of cancer, such as certain types of breast cancer, you may not be able to have hormonal treatment.
The GP will talk to you about other treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to help protect your health.
If you’re still getting symptoms, the GP can refer you to a specialist menopause centre.
Going through the menopause early can be difficult and upsetting.
Permanent early menopause will affect your ability to have children naturally.
You may still be able to have children by using IVF and donated eggs from another woman, or using your own eggs if you had some stored. Surrogacy and adoption may also be options for you.
Counselling and support groups may be helpful.
Here are some you may want to try:
Page last reviewed: 02 February 2021 Next review due: 02 February 2024
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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.
Can I Still Get Pregnant After Being Diagnosed With Premature Menopause Early Menopause Or Primary/premature Ovarian Insufficiency
Unless the ovaries have been surgically removed, it can be difficult to diagnose a woman younger than age 45 with menopause as opposed to primary ovarian insufficiency . Women with POI can have intermittent ovulation, which may or may not be accompanied by a menstrual bleed. Other women may be able to get pregnant through in vitro fertilization with egg donation. It is important to work with a fertility specialist to explore options.
Options available to you will vary depending on whether you have interest in having children in the future. In some cases, fertility may be restored and pregnancy could be possible. Assisted reproductive technology , including in vitro fertilization might be considered.
If you do not want to get pregnant while on hormone-replacement therapy, your doctor will talk to you about contraceptive options.
Talk to your healthcare provider about possible causes of premature or early menopause and your questions regarding fertility.
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What Are The Effects Of Early Or Premature Menopause
But some women with early or premature menopause may also have:
- Higher risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, since women will live longer without the health benefits of higher estrogen levels. Talk to your doctor or nurse about steps to lower your risk for these health problems.
- More severe menopause symptoms. Talk to your doctor or nurse about treatments to help with symptoms if they affect your daily life.
- Sadness or depression over the early loss of fertility or the change in their bodies. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, including less energy or a lack of interest in things you once enjoyed that lasts longer than a few weeks. Your doctor or nurse can recommend specialists who can help you deal with your feelings. Your doctor or nurse can also discuss options, such as adoption or donor egg programs, if you want to have children.
Hey Mom When Did You Go Through Menopause
To kick off Mothers Day, were geeking out over what our biological mothers can tell us about our own fertility. After all, you may have gotten your brown eye color, knack for numbers, and extroverted nature from your mom , so its natural to wonder if things like fertility might be passed on to you, too. Turns out, youre totally right. Getting the answer to the question, Hey mom, when did you go through menopause? can reveal a lot about your own fertility status. Skeptical? To be honest, so were weuntil we dug into the research.
The Mayo Clinic defines menopause as the time that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. Menopause diagnosed after you’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. The average age in the United States is 51, though this can vary based on a number of factors like ethnicity, smoking and alcohol consumption, body mass index, and even socioeconomic status. Menopause symptoms, like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, can start up to 10 years before you have gone a full year without a period. This potentially wide timespan can impact your fertility window if youre waiting to start a family later in life.
Next time you have an opportunity to catch up with mom, see if shes open to chatting about fertility and menopause. Heres what her answer to the aforementioned question can tell you:
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How To Know When Menopause Starts
Its hard to predict when anyone will go through menopause. So how do you know if its happening to you? Here are some signs, according to the North American Menopause Society:
- Your periods become irregular. They may stop and start.
- You experience hot flashes and night sweats.
- You have trouble sleeping, which is when your hot flashes and night sweats are likely to occur.
- You experience thinning and drying of your vaginal tissue, which can make having sex less enjoyable.
- You find your moods swing you cry unexpectedly and more often.
- You have trouble maintaining your weight. Your metabolism seems to slow, and you have to be more careful about what you eat and how much you move.
Vaginal Lubricants For Menopause Symptoms
In women for whom oral or vaginal estrogens are deemed inappropriate, such as breast cancer survivors, or women who do not wish to take oral or vaginal estrogen, there are varieties of over-the-counter vaginal lubricants. However, they are probably not as effective in relieving vaginal symptoms as replacing the estrogen deficiency with oral or local estrogen.
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How Young Can A Woman Be To Go Through Menopause
How young can a woman be to go through menopause
- What is the youngest a woman can go through menopause?
- This usually takes place between 44-51. However due to the increased levels of chemicals added to foods and hormones pumped into chickens and beef to plump them up and create large quantities of milk, woman do get menopause a little early,
Are There Any Other Emotional Changes That Can Happen During Menopause
Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including:
- A loss of energy and insomnia.
- A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
- Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
- Aggressiveness and irritability.
All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause. You have probably experienced some of them throughout your life. Managing emotional changes during menopause can be difficult, but it is possible. Your healthcare provider may be able to prescribe a medication to help you . It may also help to just know that there is a name to the feelings you are experiencing. Support groups and counseling are useful tools when dealing with these emotional changes during menopause.
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Understanding The Menopausal Transition
Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly.
The menopausal transition affects each woman uniquely and in various ways. The body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily. You may experience changes in your bone or heart health, your body shape and composition, or your physical function.
Can Menopause Cause Depression
Your body goes through a lot of changes during menopause. There are extreme shifts in your hormone levels, you may not sleep well because of hot flashes and you may experience mood swings. Anxiety and fear could also be at play during this time. All of these factors can lead to depression.
If you experience any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your healthcare provider. During your conversation, your provider will tell you about different types of treatment and check to make sure there isnt another medical condition causing your depression. Thyroid problems can sometimes be the cause of depression.
Emotional Impact Of Early Or Premature Menopause
Premature menopause can be emotionally devastating. Some of the common issues women may face include:
- grief at the prospect of not having children
- fear of ‘growing old before their time’
- concern that their partner wont find them sexually attractive anymore
- self-esteem problems.
Psychological counselling and support groups may help women come to terms with their experience of early or premature menopause.