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HRT and Early Menopause

HRT and Early Menopause1

Women who are experiencing the early onset of menopause may feel frustrated and confused, or fail to understand the changes in their bodies. They may wonder why these changes are happening to them and how they can treat early menopause symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is just one of many options available to treat the symptoms of early menopause. Keep reading below to learn more about early menopause and HRT.

What Is 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 slow production of essential hormones like progesterone and estrogen, which regulate female reproductive functions like menstruation, fertility, and libido. For this reason, one of the earliest signs of menopause is irregular periods.

Early menopause may be caused by several factors: genetics, medical procedures, hysterectomy, and certain medications. The symptoms coincide with the traditional menopause symptoms, including:

HRT and Early Menopause2
  • Irregular periods
  • Decreased libido
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeplessness

Because most women are not expecting to go through early menopause, they may confuse the symptoms with pregnancy, PMS, or possible side effects of medication use. Women who think they are experiencing early menopause should consult with a doctor.

How Is Early Menopause Diagnosed?

HRT and Early Menopause3

Medical professionals diagnose early menopause with a blood test that measures follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). When the body stops secreting high amounts of estrogen, levels of FSH increase. In addition, it is not uncommon for doctors to perform a test for estradiol (i,e., a form of estrogen) levels, as this test may provide indication that the ovaries are starting to fail.

How Can HRT Treat Early Menopause?

Early menopausal women are likely to experience osteoporosis, breast cancer, and coronary heart disease during postmenopause due to long time of low estrogen levels.

Using a combination of estrogens and progestin (synthetic progesterone), that replaces the hormones that the ovaries have stopped producing. It is touted by menopausal women for relieving the symptoms of menopause by restoring hormone balance. It relieves discomforts such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, and mood swings.

Recommendation

Learning about early menopause is the first step to accepting the physical and physiological changes you will be undergoing during this process. While menopause can be a trying transition, it doesn't have to get the best of you. Explore the links below for more information about early menopause treatments.

Menopause Too Young: What you Need to Know

When a woman experiences menopause too young, she is said to be experiencing early or premature menopause. Find basic information about this condition.

Early Menopause Symptoms Entering Menopause

An irregular or missed period often signals the start of menopause, but that is not the only symptom that can impact a woman as she begins menopause.

Understanding Early Menopause

By definition, early menopause occurs when menopause starts before the age of 40. This can have many causes and treatments. Click here to learn more.

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.