Menopause is a natural transition every woman will eventually experience. For most women, menopause typically occurs in their 40s or 50s. For some women, however, this change can occur much earlier. Because this transition happens much sooner than many anticipate, early menopause can be difficult. Fortunately, there are resources to help women better cope with the changes they are experiencing.
Unfortunately, many young women have to deal with the onset of early menopause, its symptoms, and the physiological and emotional consequences.
Learn more about early onset menopause, its causes, its symptoms, and the different treatment options available for decreasing symptom severity.
Early menopause is the unexpected beginning of menopause at a young age, specifically before women reach 40 years old.
While the terms early menopause and premature menopause are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between the two. Affecting up to 4% of American women, early menopause is diagnosed when the menopause transition takes place before a woman is 45 years old. However, when the onset of menopause happens before their 40s, it is considered premature menopause. Premature menopause can even happen when women are in their teens or 20's.
Even though early menopause is sometimes confused with premenopause, the latter is completely different. Premenopause refers to a woman's fertile years, from her first period until she starts experiencing perimenopause symptoms.
If the signs of early menopause have been detected, there are some common tests that can be performed; these include a pregnancy test, thyroid disease test, estradiol level test, and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) test.
Click the following link to learn more about early menopause, or keep reading for more details about the symptoms and causes of early menopause.
Women with early menopause will generally suffer from the same menopause symptoms as women who experience it later in life. Breast pain during early menopause is a common symptom, but the good news is, it does not have to be inevitable.
Early menopause is not uncommon, and can be caused by a variety of factors. It can be natural, or induced by certain types of surgeries, chemotherapy, or medicine. It can also be brought on by unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as being severely underweight or smoking heavily.
Early Menopause Causes
While pinpointing its exact causes are complex, there are some natural and medical factors that trigger the onset of early menopause.
Natural causes of early menopause
Premature ovarian failure (POF). Also known as premature menopause, POF is diagnosed when a woman body's stops releasing eggs and ceases hormone production in the ovaries. It can be the result of many factors, from genetic predisposition to autoimmune disorders.
Medical causes of early menopause
Infection. Certain diseases, such as tuberculosis or mumps, can negatively affect the functionality of ovaries, leading to premature menopause.
Hysterectomy. The removal of the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries causes early menopause due to the interruption of hormone production.
Tubal ligation. Women who have undergone a tubal ligation procedure may experience some menopause-like symptoms.
Other causes of early menopause
Stress. While stress itself cannot cause early menopause, it can exasperate the severity of menopause symptoms.
Even though the triggers mentioned above are the most common, other contributing factors should be taken into consideration when trying to pinpoint the causes of early menopause in your case.
Click on the following to read more information about early menopause causes, or continue reading to learn about early menopause signs and symptoms.
Early menopause has a variety of known causes, but because it is so rare, these causes are not widely known by the general public. This article lists some of the possible and hidden reasons for early menopause, some of which might seem strange and unexpected.
It is not uncommon for women to experience early menopause, especially if they are predisposed to it because of genetics, have undergone a surgery that removes the ovaries, or have received medical treatment that damages the ovaries. Click here to read more about the causes of early menopause.
Early Menopause Symptoms
Women before 40 usually take some time to identify their symptoms as menopausal, since they appear at such an early age. Early menopause symptoms, like typical menopause symptoms, are due to hormone fluctuations. However, these symptoms can also be related to other health conditions. The following list mentions the most common symptoms of early menopause:
Common Signs and Symptoms of Early Menopause
Dry skin, eyes, or mouth
Identifying the symptoms is essential, since they could also be indicative of serious diseases or health conditions.
Early menopause can come as a shock to many women, and can present some concerns to women about what they will experience in the upcoming years. Many women begin to experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness. Click here to learn more about menopause symptoms in early menopause.
Menopause has a variety of symptoms, some of which manifest earlier than others. Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, fatigue, and vaginal dryness. Click on the following link to learn more about the various early symptoms of the menopause transition.
Early Menopause Treatments
When women are diagnosed with premature or early menopause, they have to deal with both physical and emotional changes. Fortunately, there are many ways to decrease the duration and severity of early menopause symptoms.
These early or premature menopause treatments are: including lifestyle changes, alternative medicine, and prescribed medications. Learn more about the different benefits and risks of each treatment option.
Early Menopause Tips
Eat a balanced diet
Get sufficient sleep
Out of the three approaches, lifestyle changes carry the least risk. However, they entail major commitment and discipline. Techniques such as massage, yoga, or meditation are known to help women regain control of their bodies and minds. Despite such benefits, bear in mind that those techniques do not address the problem at its source.
The second approach, alternative medicine, entails the use of certain herbs to alleviate symptoms. Natural and alternative remedies have been widely recognized to relieve early menopause symptoms. This approach can be very effective for many women. For some women, however, they may need more powerful treatments to alleviate their symptoms. If this happens, medications will likely be their best option.
The third approach refers to the use of prescribed medications. Among the possibilities, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most popular one. Unfortunately, HRT has been linked to serious health conditions, such as an increased risk of developing different types of cancer and heart disease.
Women who are experiencing the early onset of menopause may feel frustrated and confused, or fail to understand the changes in their bodies.Learning about early menopause is the first step to accepting the physical and physiological changes you will be undergoing during this process.
Menopause can be a difficult life transition, even when a woman is prepared for the changes. But when a woman goes through menopause years before she expected to--or even before she could have children of her own--it can be difficult to bear. Find out how to identify signs of early menopause.
Love, S. (2003). Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press.
Office on Women's Health. (2010). Early menopause (premature menopause). Retrieved April 4, 2016, from http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/early-premature-menopause/
Visvanathan, N. & Wyshak, G. (2000). Tubal ligation, menstrual changes, and menopausal symptoms. Journal of Women's Health & Gender-based Medicine, 9(5), 521-527. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10883944
Updated on Oct 15, 2014 Am I Too Young to Be Experiencing Menopause Symptoms? Around 5% of women experience menopause early, which is defined as menopause before the age of 45. Early menopause can increase the risk of getting certain medical conditions, so it is important for a woman to know if she is experiencing early menopause. Click here to read about the symptoms of early menopause.
Updated on Dec 04, 2013 What Are the Common Symptoms of Early Menopause? Menopause is defined as the time when a women has not had her period for 12 months and has entered into infertility. For some women, this time can come prematurely. Early menopause can also can bring uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and irregular periods.
Updated on Nov 22, 2013 Dealing with Early Menopause in Your Daily Life Early menopause can happen unexpectedly and can be upsetting for young women. It's important for women to understand the reason for menopausal symptoms and how to treat them, in order to improve the quality of their daily lives. Healthy lifestyle, open communication, and emotional well-being are key aspects of managing early menopause.
Updated on Nov 22, 2013 How to Help Your Daughter Through Early Menopause Early menopause can be a highly distressing time for young women, both physically and emotionally. If your daughter is experiencing early menopause, it's likely she will need your support and advice. You can help by listening to her, sharing your personal experiences, and going with her to the doctor.
Updated on Oct 28, 2013 Understanding Early Menopause Early menopause can be brought on by a variety of different causes, including genetics, lifestyle choices, or medical procedures. However, while it can't be reversed, there are ways to treat the symptoms. Learn more about the causes and treatments for early menopause.