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.
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.
Signs Of Early Menopause At 30
Menopause at 30 is definitely not welcome in any circumstance. However, there are women who face this issue. Mentioned below are some common signs of early menopause at 30
- Hot Flashes
- Night Sweats
- Changes in sexual desires and feelings
These signs and symptoms might be indications of other health issues as well. It is recommended to get a checkup done by a gynecologist and understand if the problem is related to early menopause only.
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Reasons Why Some Women Go Through Early Menopause
One in 100 women will start to experience the frustrating symptoms of early menopause before they turn 40.
Maybe you wake up at night drenched in sweat. Or youre struggling to concentrate, and oh yeah, your period has been MIA. These symptoms are enough to freak any woman out, even when she’s at the right age for menopause, the natural transition to infertility that most women experience around 50. But when these symptoms begin in your 30s, they can be downright scary.
For some women, early menopause is brought on by surgery that removes the ovaries. A woman who carries a BRCA gene mutation, for example, may opt to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes taken out in a preventative salpingo-oopherectomy. The result? Levels of estrogen and other female hormones drop dramatically, which may lead to hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other telltale signs of menopause.
But one in 100 women will experience these symptoms for other reasonswhich are often hard to pin down. In fact, for about 90 percent of cases a woman never learns the reason why. The technical term for this medical condition is primary ovarian insufficiency . Basically the ovaries poop out early, explains Shawn Tassone, MD, an ob-gyn who specializes in integrative medicine at Austin Area Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Fertility.
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Womens Wellness: 5 Things To Know About Early Menopause
So you missed a period. Or two. You think to yourself, Im too young for menopause. Right?
Not necessarily. Early menopause, between the ages of 40 and 45, affects about 5 percent of women. Premature menopause, before age 40, affects about 1 percent of women.
You are said to be in menopause if you have gone a full 12 months with no menstrual period. Thats when your ovaries stop making estrogen and progesterone, the female hormones necessary to maintain your menstrual cycles and fertility. For most women, menopause occurs naturally at about age 51. With increasing life expectancy, many women will spend up to 40 percent of their lives in the postmenopausal stage.
For some women, menopause is induced early because of treatments needed to save their lives, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. For others, its genetic conditions, autoimmune disorders or even unknown reasons that bring about this change.
So, without a big neon billboard saying, Welcome to Menopause, what should you do? Here are 5 Things You Need to Know about Early Menopause:
3. Your family plans may change. If you wish to have a family, you may need to consider options such as freezing embryos or eggs. If you had planned to have children, you may need to allow yourself to envision a new dream, such as building your family through in vitro fertilization with donor eggs, adoption or surrogacy.
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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.
How Is Early Menopause Treated
Hormones are key to treating early menopause. Unless youre at high risk for certain cancers like ovarian or breast cancer, hormone therapy or hormone replacement therapy is the general recommendation, according to our experts. With the help of this treatment, a woman is able to replace the hormones her body stopped making during menopause.
Dr. Faubion says this type of therapy which comes in pill, cream, or even ring form is crucial because most women need to have estrogen and ovarian hormones until at least age 50 or they will likely face serious health risks, such as bone loss or cardiovascular disease.
Were not giving you anything extra that you wouldnt have had in other words, were just giving you back what you would have made naturally, she explains. In addition to cancer, this type of therapy also comes with its own set of risks, including blood clots and heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. But its better to talk with your doctor to assess your own, individualized health risks and responses.
There are also some over-the-counter products to treat the symptoms. Dr. Minkin recommends that you invest in some good products, many of which she says dont even require a prescription.
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
How Do I Know If I Am In Menopause
Menopause is defined as 12 consecutive months without having a menstrual cycle. If you are currently not having periods, but it has not yet been 12 full months, you might be in menopause, but you cannot be sure until you have gone a full year without having a period.
Some cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation can also lead to medical menopause, which can be temporary or permanent.
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Diagnosis Of Premature Or Early Menopause
Premature and early menopause is diagnosed using a number of tests including:
- medical history, family history and medical examination
- investigations to rule out other causes of amenorrhoea , such as pregnancy, extreme weight loss, other hormone disturbances and some diseases of the reproductive system
- investigations into other conditions associated with premature or early menopause, such as autoimmune diseases
- genetic tests to check for the presence of genetic conditions associated with premature or early menopause
- blood tests to check hormone levels.
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.
“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.
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On Average Menopause Begins Around Age 52
Kathi Valeii is a freelance writer covering the intersections of health, parenting, and social justice.
Menopause occurs after a person stops having their period for 12 consecutive months. It naturally happens for many people when they are between the ages of 40 and 58. In the United States, the average age for menopause to start is 52 years.
Certain factors, like never having children and smoking, can make it more likely that menopause will occur earlier.
Before menopause, declining estrogen levels can cause people who menstruate to experience premenopausal symptoms. Menstrual changes, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms are the result of hormonal shifts that are taking place during this time, which is called perimenopause.
Perimenopause can last from two to eight years. On average, people experience perimenopause for four years before menopause begins.
While many people go through menopause in their early fifties, there are a number of unique factors that determine at what age a person will start menopause, as well as what their experience will be like.
Hormone Treatment And Therapy
Estrogen and progesterone therapy
Hormone therapy , or menopausal hormone therapy , consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone . This was formerly referred to as hormone replacement therapy . Hormone therapy controls the symptoms of menopause-related to declining estrogen levels , and HT is still the most effective way to treat these symptoms. But long-term studies of women receiving combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone were halted when it was discovered that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. These risks were most pronounced in women over 60 taking hormone therapy. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke, but not for heart attack or breast cancer. Estrogen therapy alone, however, is associated with an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer in postmenopausal women who have not had their uterus surgically removed.
Hormone therapy is available in oral , transdermal forms . Transdermal hormone products are already in their active form without the need for “first pass” metabolism in the liver to be converted to an active form. Since transdermal hormone products do not have effects on the liver, this route of administration has become the preferred form for most women.
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What Age Will I Start Menopause
What most women are probably asking when they ask this question is, At what age will I start perimenopause? since thats actually when noticeable symptoms arise for most of us.
Its pretty much impossible to tell a woman when her menopause will occur unless menopause is the result of a medical intervention such as breast cancer treatment or hysterectomy.
However, there are factors that may help her understand her body better. According to an article in the National Center for Biotechnology Information , the following may have some impact on when a woman begins her menopause transition.
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.
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What Are Premature Menopause Early Menopause And Primary Ovarian Insufficiency
Premature menopause and early menopause are conditions where a woman goes through menopause at an earlier age than is typically expected. Both conditions can result in women being unable to become pregnant. If there is no obvious medical or surgical cause for the premature menopause, this is called primary ovarian insufficiency . Primary ovarian insufficiency is also referred to as premature ovarian insufficiency.
The name premature ovarian failure is no longer used because women who are told they have early menopause can have intermittent ovulation, menstrual bleeding or even pregnancy after being told they have ovarian failure.
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.
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Antidepressants And Other Medications
Antidepressant medications: The class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and related medications has been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of hot flashes in up to 60% of women. Specifically, venlafaxine , a drug-related to the SSRIs, and the paroxetine , desvenlafaxine , citalopram , and escitalopram have all been shown to decrease the severity of hot flashes in some women. However, antidepressant medications may be associated with side effects, including or sexual dysfunction.
Other medications: Other prescription medications have been shown to provide some relief for hot flashes, although their specific purpose is not the treatment of hot flashes. All of these may have side effects, and their use should be discussed with and monitored by a doctor. Some of these medications that have been shown to help relieve hot flashes include the antiseizure drug gabapentin and clonidine , a drug used to treat high blood pressure.
Symptoms Of Early Menopause
The main symptom of early menopause is periods becoming infrequent or stopping altogether without any other reason .
Some women may also get other typical menopausal symptoms, including:
Read more about the symptoms of the menopause.
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Causes Of Early Menopause
Most women are aware of the general milestones in their lives when it comes to their reproductive or fertile period. We know about puberty signaling the beginning of the fertile years, the decades of dealing with a menstrual cycle, and the onset of menopause, which signals the end of the reproductive years.
We associate menopause with our grandmothers and later our mothers. We try to cast it out of our minds when we are younger because it is something that happens to old women. However, menopause can start earlier than some might think, even when it happens within the average timeline.