- You are said to be in menopause if you have gone a full 12 months with no menstrual period.
- That’s when your ovaries stop making the female hormones progesterone and estrogen, which are necessary to maintain fertility and the menstrual cycle.
- For most women, menopause occurs naturally at about age 51.
- As life expectancy increases today, many women will spend around 40% of their lives in the postmenopausal stage.
- For early menopause or perimenopause, there are ways to treat it with advice from your doctor.
What Is Considered As Early Menopause?
Did you know that there is a difference between premature menopause and early menopause? The difference is the time frame. If it’s perimenopause, it will occur before a woman turns 40, and if it’s early menopause, it will occur before a woman turns 45. Both these stages of menopause share much of the same symptoms. In this article, we are going to talk about early menopause, which occurs in a woman before she turns 45.
9 Reasons Why a Woman Experiences Early Menopause
Most women, when they are young, anticipate going through menopause in their late forties or early fifties. However, some women around 45 will start experiencing early menopausal symptoms; night sweats, hot flashes, periods stop, etc.
Let’s look at 9 reasons why this can happen:
- Genetic disorders – A genetic disease occurs when there is an abnormality in the genetic makeup of someone. This can be small or major, often inherited from the parents. Sometimes acquired changes or mutations that occur in pre-existing genes can cause other genetic diseases. Genetic mutations can occur randomly or from environmental exposure.
- Autoimmune disorders – When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system, which is responsible for fighting off diseases, attacks healthy parts of the body instead. Rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disease are two diseases that can affect the ovaries.
- Family history – Perhaps your mother experienced POI (Primary Ovarian Insufficiency), which seems to be genetic. It tends to run in families. A study from 2011 reveals that in 20% of cases, usually, a woman has a family history of this condition.
- Smoking or other toxin exposure – “Some toxins can bring on premature ovarian failure,” Dr. Tassone says. “Things like smoking and pesticides.” Tobacco toxins seem to lower the age of natural menopause because it appears as if they reduce the circulation of estrogen.
- Pelvic radiation treatments or chemotherapy – Chemotherapy or pelvic radiation treatments can damage the ovaries. You might notice the effects of this straight away. It might be a few months before you start seeing changes. However, the younger you are, the less likely it will be that you will experience menopause from these treatments.
- Surgery to remove the ovaries/uterus – If your ovaries are removed (what’s called a bilateral oophorectomy), your periods will stop. Your hormones will drop. You might experience menopausal symptoms, like loss of sexual desire and hot flashes. Often, women who have a hysterectomy and keep their ovaries don’t experience menopause immediately; the ovaries continue to produce hormones. However, the surgery can disrupt the blood supply to the ovaries, which might result in hot flashes.
- Chromosome defects – When a chromosome is missing at birth, a woman grows up with Turner’s syndrome. In which case, early menopause can happen. Usually, the ovaries don’t form normally.
- Being overweight or obese – A study has found that being overweight can affect the age at which you can experience menopause. Another study of over 17,000 women found that those who had lost around 10 pounds of weight were more likely to get rid of night sweats and hot flashes.
- Lack of exercise – There isn’t sufficient evidence to confirm whether exercise is effective in treating night sweats and hot flashes. There is evidence to support other benefits that come from doing regular exercise. For instance, improved metabolism and energy, healthier bones and joints, better sleep, and decreased stress.
Regular exercise can help alleviate menopause symptoms such as poor sleep, anxiety, low mood, and fatigue. It can also help to ease menopausal symptoms and protect you against weight gain and other diseases and conditions.
How Do You Treat Early Menopause Symptoms?
Your doctor will recommend a treatment based on your individual needs. Here are some common treatments:
Hormone-replacement therapy – When you take a supplement that adds estrogen and progestin to your body, the reproductive hormones are being replaced – this is because your body no longer can make them on its own. You will probably take HRT until you are about 50 to manage the uncomfortable symptoms you experience in early menopause. Heart health is improved and bone loss is prevented. You need to get advice from your doctor about taking HRT.
Supplemental calcium and vitamin D – Supplementing your diet with calcium and vitamin D can help to prevent osteoporosis. If you are aged 19-50, you will need at least 1000 milligrams of calcium every day. Women above 51 should get around 1200 milligrams each day. The top-rated menopause supplements on the market contain enough calcium and vitamin D to support your health.
Talk therapy – Lots of women find this helps. Talking to a therapist about the stress of early menopause.
Other things to do:
- Eat lots of fruit and veggies
- Avoid trigger foods
- Eat the foods that are higher in phytoestrogens
- Drink plenty of water
- Reduce the intake of processed foods and sugar
- Don’t skip meals
- Eat foods rich in protein
- Take top-rated menopause supplements
The Bottom Line
All women need to know that when they reach menopause, they are not becoming ill – it is a natural part of life! Sure, it can be difficult to deal with because the symptoms aren’t pleasant, like hot flashes that leave you embarrassed and dripping sweat when you least expect it. But these symptoms can be managed!
It can also be overwhelming if you are in your early 40s and you have already started noticing early signs of menopause. If you discuss it with your doctor, your specialist will advise you about the best route for your particular health situation.
You can start making your changes with diet, exercise, and by taking natural supplements like Estroven. This supplement is natural and relieves the symptoms of early menopause.
You could also consider joining a local support group. When you learn more about your condition, you are armed with the knowledge to make more informed decisions about the treatment you choose to go forward.