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Q&A: Early Menopause

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If you're in your 30s, chances are you have a heightened awareness of your “biological clock”. You may begin to worry about early menopause and the signs that accompany it.

Unfortunately, you have little control over when menopause will occur. This process is subject to your genetic predispositions and will change very little, even with significant lifestyle changes on your part. However, if you experience early menopause, there are steps you can take to make your transition as seamless as possible. Keep reading to learn more about early menopause and what you can do to ease into it.

What Is Early Menopause?

Early menopause, or menopause before the age of 40, is more common than you might think, affecting just over 8% of all women. The symptoms of early menopause are identical to those experienced by older women: hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, loss of libido, and so on. The only difference is that you are younger while facing them and your postmenopausal period will last longer as a result.

How Can I Ease My Early Menopause Symptoms?

Menopause can be a trying time, especially when you are facing the symptoms coupled with the emotional pain of going through this life change unexpectedly early. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to find relief, including:

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  • Lifestyle changes. Running, biking, gardening, walking, eating right - these tried-and-tested methods will not only have you feeling better, they will also help relieve your menopausal symptoms. Most symptoms of early menopause are caused by hormonal imbalances. A healthy body is a body with healthy hormonal balance, so eating right and exercise are crucial for menopausal relief.

  • Herbal supplements. Herbs containing phytoestrogens, or plant compounds thought to mimic estrogen in the body, are believed by many to relieve early menopausal symptoms, but they do come with side effects. However, hormone-regulating herbal supplements are largely considered to be side effect-free, and can help boost your hormonal production naturally.

  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT). If natural methods don't relieve your early menopause symptoms, HRT may be an option. However, studies have linked this treatment to higher rates of breast cancer, so it is important to talk to your doctor about other options before beginning treatment.

If you're unsure whether the symptoms you are experiencing are signs of early menopause, you may want to speak with a medical professional. Diagnosing menopause is not always easy, but it may put your mind at ease if you get a professional medical opinion.

Click on the following link to learn more about treatments for early menopause.

PMS and Early Menopause

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is the physical and emotional symptoms that lead up to a woman's period. It can be confused with symptoms of early menopause.

Be Prepared for Early Menopause

Early menopause occurs in women under age 40, and symptoms may sometimes be difficult to interpret.

Treatments for Early Menopause

Women who experience the symptoms of menopause before age 40 are thought to be experiencing early menopause. Menopause occurs when the body begins to...

Sources:
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
  • Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.