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How To Tell If You Have Early Menopause

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I found some or other life hack for every symptom. And while I wasnt sad I had made my peace with shutting fertility down when my husband got a vasectomy shortly after our second child was born I struggled with the incongruity of it happening so soon to me.

According to WomensHealth.gov, natural early menopause affects about 5 percent of women. I would never have bet on myself to be in this 5 percent because Ive always been a late bloomer. I didnt start my period until the end of my first year in high school, when I was 14. I didnt date until I was about 20, get married until I was 33, have kids until I was 34.

As a writer who specializes in writing about honesty, this experience offers a chance to speak with candor about a thing so many people dont want to talk about.

Ive mostly had a sense that I belong at the tail end. Not only did a September birthday mean I was usually the youngest person in my class, Im also the youngest of seven children. My brothers and sisters were getting married and tending to teething babies when I was still losing baby teeth. My parents were older, my siblings were older and I was the young one meandering along the scenic route, a little out of step, though not unhappy to do things on my own schedule.

All during my year of calendar-watching, menopause still felt implausible, and even as I was very happy not to have to deal with periods, I found myself whispering to my ovaries, “I think you have the wrong 5 percent.”

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.

Symptoms Of Premature And Early Menopause

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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    What Are The Effects Of Early Or Premature Menopause

    Women who go through menopause early may have or similar to those of regular menopause.

    But some women with early or premature menopause may also have:

    • Higher risk of serious health problems, such as and , 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 to help with symptoms if they affect your daily life.
    • Sadness or 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.

    How Is Premature Menopause Diagnosed

    How to Tell if You Have Early Menopause

    To diagnose premature menopause, your doctor will most likely perform a physical exam and draw blood to rule out other conditions, such as pregnancy and thyroid disease. They may also order a test to measure your estradiol levels. Low levels of estradiol, a form of estrogen, can indicate that your ovaries are starting to fail. When estradiol levels are below 30, it may signal that you are in menopause.

    However, the most important test used to diagnose premature menopause is a blood test that measures follicle stimulating hormone . FSH causes your ovaries to produce estrogen. When your ovaries slow down their production of estrogen, your levels of FSH increase. When your FSH levels rise above 40 mIU/mL, it usually indicates that you are in menopause.

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    Menopause And Hypothyroidism Share Many Symptoms

    Even if youve had hypothyroidism for a while, when you reach menopausal age, the lines between hypothyroidism and menopause can start to blur. Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be confused with symptoms due to the menopause transition, says Ekta Kapoor, MBBS, an endocrinologist in the Menopause and Women’s Sexual Health Clinic at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

    These same symptoms can include:

    • Altered menstrual cycle length
    • Change in amount of bleeding
    • Sleep disruption
    • Dry skin
    • Hair loss

    Rosenfeld cautions against using synthetic thyroid hormone medication to alleviate menopause symptoms in women with normal thyroid function. “While there is a great deal of overlap in the symptoms, if the thyroid blood tests are normal, it would be wrong to treat a person without thyroid disease with thyroid hormone or to increase thyroid hormone in a person with hypothyroidism to alleviate symptoms of menopause,” she says. “Thyroid hormone is not a cure-all for symptoms it is a treatment for hypothyroidism.”

    Predicting Natural Menopause: Why Does Age Matter

    If theres not a lot that women can do to change when theyll experience menopause, why does predicting it even matter?

    It would be helpful for every woman to know exactly when menopause will arrive. Beyond recognizing and addressing issues such as increased cardiovascular disease risk and risks related to bone health, if a woman knows her age of menopause and how long the perimenopause transition will last, it could help her make important health decisions, says Faubion.

    If youre bleeding like crazy it would be helpful to know, she says.

    As of now, research hasnt uncovered a way to determine when a women will go into menopause, but having that information could be useful in making decisions such as whether to have a hysterectomy or other invasive procedures, says Faubion. If menopause is going to be a few months or a year from now, you may choose to wait it out if it’s going to be five years from now, you might want to go ahead and have an invasive procedure, she says.

    The ability to predict when menopause will occur could also help with managing menopause symptoms or deciding which type of birth control to use, adds Faubion.

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    Protecting Your Bones And Heart

    Since early menopause can affect your bone and heart health, it’s important to take steps to keep them healthy. Here is how:

    • Eat healthy foods. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy products.
    • Get enough calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients help build bones. Foods rich in calcium include fat-free yogurt and milk, spinach, and white beans. Your body makes most of its vitamin D from the sun, but you can also get it from salmon, eggs, and milk that has vitamin D added. Ask your provider if you need to take supplements.
    • Get exercise. The best kinds of exercise for your bones are weight-bearing exercises that work your body against gravity. Some ideas include walking, yoga, hiking, dancing, lifting weights, gardening, and tennis.
    • DO NOT smoke. Smoking raises your risk for both osteoporosis and heart disease. If you need help quitting, ask your provider.
    • Ask about a bone density test. This is a test that checks for osteoporosis. This is a recommended test for all women at age 65, but you may need one earlier if you have early menopause.
    • Keep track of your numbers. Make sure your provider checks your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels regularly. These simple tests can help tell you if you are at risk for heart disease or stroke.

    I Got My First Period Early Does That Mean Ill Go Through Menopause Early

    How to KNOW if you are having Menopause (or predict when you will have it)

    I have many patients tell me, I know Im going to go through menopause earlier because I started my period really early, says Streicher. The reason women think that is because they think menopause occurs when you run out of eggs. This isnt going to happen were born with millions of eggs and many of those are never used. When you go through menopause is really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly, she says.

    The average age of menarche in the United States has gotten younger for a variety of reasons, but that hasnt made women go through menopause earlier, she points out.

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    When Does Menopause Occur

    Although the average age of menopause is 51, menopause can actually happen any time from the 30s to the mid-50s or later. Women who smoke and are underweight tend to have an earlier menopause, while women who are overweight often have a later menopause. Generally, a woman tends to have menopause at about the same age as her mother did.

    Menopause can also happen for reasons other than natural reasons. These include:

    • Premature menopause. Premature menopause may happen when there is ovarian failure before the age of 40. It may be associated with smoking, radiation exposure, chemotherapeutic drugs, or surgery that impairs the ovarian blood supply. Premature ovarian failure is also called primary ovarian insufficiency.

    • Surgical menopause. Surgical menopause may follow the removal of one or both ovaries, or radiation of the pelvis, including the ovaries, in premenopausal women. This results in an abrupt menopause. These women often have more severe menopausal symptoms than if they were to have menopause naturally.

    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.

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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 .

    Menopause Vs Pregnancy Symptoms

    How to Tell if You Have Early Menopause

    There are many symptoms that may accompany pregnancy and menopause. Symptoms in one pregnancy may differ from another pregnancy, even in the same woman. Likewise, menopause symptoms differ from person to person, and they also can change over time. The following are some general symptoms that you may have in perimenopause and pregnancy.

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    How Is Premature Menopause Treated

    The symptoms and health risks of premature menopause, as well as the emotional issues that may result from it, can be managed with the methods similar to those used for natural menopause. Women dealing with infertility that is brought on by premature menopause may want to discuss their options with their doctor or with a reproductive specialist.

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    For people who cannot take estrogen therapy, or choose not to, Stuenkel says some drugs in the antidepressant family, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, can help with hot flashes. Stuenkel says, “While they’re not perfect, they can take the edge off and help enough so that women can get a better night’s sleep.”

    There are an abundance of nonhormonal, nondrug treatment options for managing symptoms, some of which have significantly more evidence backing them than others. In 2015, a North American Menopause Society panel found that cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis were significantly effective in treating hot flashes. The same panel also found that popular herbal remedies are “unlikely to help,” although some NPR listeners who wrote in said they got relief from some of those treatments.

    For depressive and anxiety symptoms, women may want to seek out professional counseling or a psychiatrist.

    When do I need to see a doctor?

    You might not need to at all. Some people sail right through menopause with little trouble. But if you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your life, it’s worth making an appointment. Some of these symptoms could indicate other problems that need treatment, such as fibroids or even cancer.

    Ways to cope with symptoms

    For people approaching this stage of life or who are already going through it, here are four steps for making this transition more manageable.

    1. Get educated

    2. Monitor your health

    3. Practice smart self-care

    4. Cultivate community

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    How Is Early Menopause Treated Or Managed

    Early menopause generally doesnt require treatment. However, there are treatment options available to help manage the symptoms of menopause or conditions related to it. They can help you deal with changes in your body or lifestyle more easily.

    Premature menopause, however, is often treated since it occurs at such an early age. This helps support your body with the hormones that would normally be made until you reach the age of natural menopause.

    The most common treatment includes hormone replacement therapy . Systemic hormone therapy can prevent many common menopausal symptoms. Or you may take vaginal hormone products, usually in low doses, to help with vaginal symptoms.

    HRT does have risks though. It can increase your chances of heart disease, stroke, or breast cancer.

    Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits to your individual care before starting HRT. Lower doses of hormones may decrease your risk.

    Menopause And Mental Health

    How to know if it’s perimenopause. Perimenopause symptoms. (Women in midlife)

    Many women experience symptoms of anxiety, loss of confidence, brain fog and other symptoms relating to their mental health during menopause.

    These psychological symptoms are a result of the changes happening to your body and can have a big impact on your life.

    Sometimes these symptoms are not recognised as menopause symptoms, but if you know what to expect, it can help you decide on what to do to manage the symptoms and feelings you are experiencing.

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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.

    You Notice Other Changes In Your Body

    Along with the above signs and symptoms, women in perimenopause and menopause may notice other changes in their bodies. This is because the hormonal shift that happens during menopause can affect multiple parts of the body. Some women may experience:

    • Loss of fullness in breasts
    • Vaginal dryness or itching
    • Hair loss
    • Hair growth on body and face
    • Skin that feels or looks dry and wrinkled
    • Thinning skin

    While it seems like a lot will change during menopause, try not to be too anxious about it. Your OB/GYN can tell you about treatments that can help you manage symptoms so you can get through it as easily as possible. At Green Valley OB/GYN, we are committed to providing comprehensive care to women in all stages of life. From the first gynecological exam through menopause management, our team will be with you every step of the way. If you are having signs of menopause, call our Greensboro office at 378-1110 to make an appointment.

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