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What Age Can You Go Through Early Menopause

Trouble Focusing And Learning

Average age for Menopause and signs you are going through it – Dr. Sukirti Jain

In the lead-up to menopause two-thirds of women may have difficulty with concentration and memory.

Keeping physically and mentally active, following a healthful diet, and maintaining an active social life can help with these issues. For example, some people benefit from finding a new hobby or joining a club or a local activity.

Here’s What Women Need To Know About Early Menopause Which Occurs Between Ages 40 And 45 And Premature Menopause Which Occurs Before Age 40

For Leslie Mac, it started with irregular menstrual periods. Mac, a digital strategist and organizer, didn’t think much of it, but once she started going months without menstruating, she decided to see her doctor. “Something must be wrong,” she remembered thinking.

She was not expecting to hear that, at 28, she had already entered perimenopause, the transition to menopause.

“I didn’t even know it was possible to start the process so early,” Mac explained. By 34, she received a diagnosis of menopause, which is officially diagnosed when a woman goes a year without a menstrual period.

Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s life and signals the end of the reproductive years. In the U.S., this typically occurs around age 51, but 5% of women have early menopause, which occurs between ages 40 and 45, and 1% experience premature menopause, which occurs before age 40.

While age of diagnosis may differ, premature and early menopause follow the same process as usual menopause. As women age, the levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone in their body begin to decline. In premenopausal women, the ovaries produce these hormones in a regular cycle, and they’re important for both reproductive and overall health.

“You have estrogen receptors everywhere in your body,” explained Dr. Barb DePree, director of the Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, founder of MiddlesexMD and a member of HealthyWomen’s Women’s Health Advisory Council.

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.

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Are There Any Tests For Menopause

The most accurate way to tell if it’s happening to you is to watch your menstrual cycles for 12 months in a row. It helps to keep track of your periods and chart them as they become irregular. Menopause has happened when you have not had any period for an entire 12 months.

Your doctor can check your blood for follicle stimulating hormone . The levels will jump as your ovaries begin to shut down. As your estrogen levels fall, youâll notice hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and less lubrication during sex.

The tissue in and around your vagina will thin as estrogen drops, too. The only way to check for this is through a Pap-like smear, but itâs rarely done. As this happens, you might have urinary incontinence, painful sex, a low sex drive, and vaginal itching.

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There are risks associated with early menopause:

  • Loss of fertility at a younger age.
  • An increased risk of osteoporosis and fracture in women who do not take menopausal hormone therapy .

Early menopause is particularly difficult for women who have not yet started or completed their families.

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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 .

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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Vaginal Dryness And Discomfort

Vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort may start during perimenopause and continue into menopause. A person with any of these symptoms may experience chafing and discomfort during vaginal sex. Also, if the skin breaks, this can increase the risk of infection.

Atrophic vaginitis, which involves thinning, drying, and inflammation of the vaginal wall, can sometimes occur during menopause.

Various moisturizers, lubricants, and medications can relieve vaginal dryness and associated issues.

Learn more about atrophic vaginitis here.

Can I Still Get Pregnant After Being Diagnosed With Premature Menopause Early Menopause Or Primary/premature Ovarian Insufficiency

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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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Researchers also found that in the women who got their first period at age 11 or younger, those who hadn’t had children were almost twice as likely to experience premature menopause than those who had one, two or more children. This could be because women remained childless due to ovarian problems that then lead to early menopause, but it’s not clear from this study.

“Women should be informed of their elevated risk of premature menopause if they began menstruating at a young age,” Mishra says, “especially those with fertility problems, so that they can make informed decisions.”

How Is Premature Menopause Early Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Diagnosed

If you begin to have symptoms of menopause before the age of 40, your healthcare provider will do several tests and ask questions to help diagnose premature or early menopause. These tests can include:

  • Asking about the regularity of your menstrual periods.
  • Discussing your family history of menopause at an early age.
  • Testing your hormone levels .
  • Looking for other medical conditions that may be contributing to your symptoms.

Women who have not had a menstrual period for 12 straight months, and are not on any medication that could stop menstruation, may have gone through menopause.

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Your Mom Went Through Early Menopause

Or your sister, or your grandmother. POI seems to be genetic: “You tend to see it run in families,” Dr. Tassone says. “It can come from either side.” A 2011 review of studies found that in up to 20 percent of cases, the woman has a family history of the condition.

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Ive always been more focussed on my Hodgkins actually so its probably only really since my friends have started having kids and things that Ive started thinking about it. In what way?It probably seems more relevant now. I mean before I was just glad and I mean my main thing is not to have had the Hodgkins back really. So thats the key. And if a side effect of that is to have premature menopause and then so be it. So I mean I havent dwelt too much on it because theres no point really.You mentioned earlier egg donation. Some of things youve talked about in the menopause support group. How do you feel about that?I feel really hopeful about that. Yeah. I mean I kind of knew there was probably some kind of IVF and the gynaecologist I saw when I was about 30 did say there were treatment programmes but having gone to the premature menopause group and talked to and the people there, the fact that I could get down on a list and be a good candidate for it and the fact that I still have periods and so things are kind of working, it does make me feel hopeful about that. And Ive also thought about adoption and fostering and other options like that so there are options.

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Treatment For Early Or Premature Menopause

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.

Management & Treatment Of Premature & Early Menopausal Symptoms

Seeking treatment and advice is recommended to reduce your risk of earlier onset of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, as well as to treat your symptoms.

Treatment with menopause hormonal therapy or the pill is recommended to reduce severe symptoms and to reduce the long-term health risks associated with early menopause, such as osteoporosis. However, other therapies may be recommended for moderate to severe symptoms, or if there are reasons, such as breast cancer, for not being able to take MHT or the pill.

Discuss these issues with your doctor so you can make the right decision for you.

It may be possible to reduce some symptoms of menopause with the following options:

  • healthy diet and eating
  • cognitive behavioural therapy or hypnotherapy for hot flushes.

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What To Expect After A Diagnosis

If possible, find a supportive and sympathetic doctor to help you adjust to the diagnosis of early menopause. Your doctor will help to counsel you, prescribe appropriate treatments and refer you to relevant specialists when necessary. This is a specialist area and usually, at least initially, an endocrinologist or gynaecologist with expertise in early or premature menopause should assess and advise you.

Your doctor should see you regularly over the years to reassess your health needs, including reviewing your medications and to test routinely for potential risks associated with POI. Often it is necessary to have a team of health professionals monitor you through the years after you have been diagnosed.

You may need to seek out a specialist early-menopause clinic or individual practitioners, such as infertility specialists, endocrinologists , psychologists or psychiatrists for support.

Hot Flashes During Perimenopause

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Most women don’t expect to have hot flashes until , so it can be a big surprise when they show up earlier, during perimenopause. Hot flashes sometimes called hot flushes and given the scientific name of vasomotor symptoms are the most commonly reported symptom of perimenopause. They’re also a regular feature of sudden menopause due to surgery or treatment with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.

Hot flashes tend to come on rapidly and can last from one to five minutes. They range in severity from a fleeting sense of warmth to a feeling of being consumed by fire “from the inside out.” A major hot flash can induce facial and upper-body flushing, sweating, chills, and sometimes confusion. Having one of these at an inconvenient time can be quite disconcerting. Hot flash frequency varies widely. Some women have a few over the course of a week others may experience 10 or more in the daytime, plus some at night.

Most American women have hot flashes around the time of menopause, but studies of other cultures suggest this experience is not universal. Far fewer Japanese, Korean, and Southeast Asian women report having hot flashes. In Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, women appear not to have any at all. These differences may reflect cultural variations in perceptions, semantics, and lifestyle factors, such as diet.

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How Is Poi Treated

Your GP should be able to make a diagnosis of early menopause based on your symptoms, your family history, and blood tests to check your hormone levels.

The main treatment for early menopause is either hormone replacement therapy or the combined contraceptive pill. HRT is used to relieve the symptoms by replacing the hormones that are at a lower level as you approach the menopause. It can also prevent osteoporosis – weakening of the bones – which is more common after the menopause.Your risk of osteoporosis is therefore much higher if you’ve gone through early menopause.

Most women take a combination of oestrogen and progestogen however, women who don’t have a womb can take oestrogen on its own. These hormones can be taken in different ways, including tablets, patches, gels, and vaginal creams, pessaries or rings.

HRT may not be suitable if you have a history of breast, ovarian or womb cancer, blood clots, high blood pressure or liver disease. It’s possible to get pregnant while on HRT, so you should use contraception until two years after your last period, or for one year after the age of 50.

Lifestyle changes – such as wearing light clothing, keeping your bedroom cool, avoiding caffeine, smoking or drinking alcohol, and getting exercise – can help relieve some symptoms. Relaxing activities and mindfulness can help with mood swings, low mood and anxiety, and medications or cognitive behavioural therapy may be advised by your GP.

Why Does Inducing Menopause Help With The Symptoms Of Endometriosis

Endometriosis means that deposits of endometrium exist outside of the womb cavity and they thicken and bleed with every cycle. Inducing menopause causes suppression of the menstrual cycle and activity of the ovaries meaning that the symptoms of endometriosis may resolve. The methods of inducing a menopause are:

  • Hormones by injection or nasal spray: These suppress your own hormones and stop your menstrual cycle. This means that your periods stop and you are likely to experience menopausal symptoms.
  • Surgery involving removal of both ovaries. This may be with or without a removal of your womb but will permanently induce a menopause. The loss of libido is often felt more with a surgically induced menopause.

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How Can I Predict My Menopause

There is no reliable lab test to predict when a woman will experience menopause. The age at which a woman starts having menstrual periods is not related to the age of menopause onset. Symptoms of menopause can include abnormal vaginal bleeding, hot flashes, vaginal and urinary symptoms, and mood changes.

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