All about each symptom of menopause
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Treatments for Early Menopause

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Women who experience the symptoms of menopause before the age forty are likely experiencing early menopause. Menopause occurs when the body begins to slow production of essential hormones like progesterone and estrogen, which regulate female reproductive functions including menstruation, fertility, and libido.

Although menopause is a natural life transition, its early occurrence can raise concerns. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the duration and frequency of many early menopause symptoms. Learn more about treatments for early menopause.

Risks Associated with Early Menopause

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During menopause, the production of estrogen and progesterone decreases. These hormone fluctuations can trigger many symptoms, from hot flashes and night sweats to vaginal dryness and depression. While women going through early menopause experience these symptoms, they may also be at increased risk for the additional health issues, including:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Gum disease

Early Menopause Treatments

Because of the aforementioned health risks associated with early menopause, women experiencing it should seek treatment. Menopause symptoms can be treated in a variety of ways, ranging from lifestyle changes to pharmaceutical options. Some popular treatments include:

Diet

To help prevent osteoporosis, it is recommended that women who are experiencing early menopause consume foods and drinks rich in calcium or take calcium supplements. They should also eat a diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids to promote general well-being.

Exercise

Maintaining a regular exercise routine is recommended for early menopause, in order to increase blood circulation and endorphin production. Exercise also helps combat menopausal weight gain. Resistance-based training (e.g. weight lifting) helps strengthen muscles and prevent bone loss.

Herbs

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Many herbs contain phytoestrogens, plant-based compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. These phytoestrogens help restore hormone balance and promote good health. Common herbs that provide relief are black cohosh, dong quai, red clover, and ginseng.

HRT

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) replenishes essential hormones that the ovaries have stopped producing. The most common combination is estrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone). While HRT is effective in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, the long term use of HRT can trigger side effects, such as the onset of other menopause symptoms and increased risk of certain cancers.

Recommendation

Women who think they may be going through early menopause should consult their doctor. Click on the articles below to learn more about treatments for early menopause.

How to Feel Young during Early Menopause

Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing eggs, and the menstrual cycle ends. The onset of menopause is usually accompanied by unpleasant symptoms.

5 Ways to Cope with Early Menopause

Women may experience menopause before their 40s. This can be a difficult experience, but you are not alone. Find tips on how to deal with this.

Stress Relief Exercises for Early Menopause

Stress can exasperate these symptoms, since hormones released when stressed can further destabilize already imbalanced estrogen levels. 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.