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Signs And Symptoms Of Early Menopause: Everything You Need To Know

Signs And Symptoms Of Early Menopause: Everything You Need To Know

While it is an inevitable transitional change the female body experiences, it is important to be aware of the symptoms so you're completely for what's ahead.

Menopause is a natural transition for women when they reach their 40s and 50s. The transitional period is accompanied by changes in the body which eventually leads to the decline of getting pregnant, severe cramps and painful periods. Menopause occurs when you haven't menstruated in 12 consecutive months, which is a sure sign of a change your body is experiencing. As daunting as menopause may seem, there are also women who experience an early onset of this transitional change, even as early as mid-30s in some cases.

Several factors can be associated with early menopause, none of which needs to cause concern for your well-being. However, it is also important to be aware of why it occurs and what are the signs and symptoms, so you're fully prepared for it.

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According to Healthline, symptoms of menopause develop and continue for four years before your last period. Only a fraction of women experience the symptoms for a decade before menopause. Genetics and the health of your ovaries are among the many factors that determine why you could experience an early onset if menopause. However, the average age in the United States for the onset of menopause takes places in their 50s according to National Institute on Aging.

The symptoms of Premature Menopause include

1. Heavy bleeding 

2. Periods that last for more than a week

3. Periods after the absence of bleeding for a year

4. Spotting

It's always recommended to check with your local doctor when you experience these symptoms to approach the situation better. You can rule out other causes that might show signs of premature menopause. Additionally, you can also watch out for the most commonly observed symptoms in women going through menopause, irrespective of the age.

Most common symptoms of Menopause

1. No control over bladder

2. Vaginal dryness

3. Disturbed sleep routines

4. Hot flashes

5. Night sweating

6. Recurring mood swings

7. Change in sex drive

It's important to keep track of the causes that determine premature menopause. When there's lack of medical reasoning to the onset of menopause then it's likely that your genetics come into play. The age at which you get menopause could be inherited, so knowing when your mother started menopause could provide knowledge as to when you'll receive it.

Consulting a qualified medical professional to guide you through the same would ensure there are no misplaced fears or dangers associated with an early onset of menopause.

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Lifestyle plays another role in determining when you experience symptoms of menopause. Smoking has been identified to contribute to early menopause as it has anti-estrogen effects. Cigarette smoke exposure in adulthood is an established risk factor for earlier age at natural menopause and may be related to age at menopausal transition according to research conducted published on NCBI. Data were collected from U.S. birth cohorts, where smoking was observed in different stages in life. 1,001 women aged 39 to 49 years experienced the onset of menopause earlier. 

Chromosomal defects were also found to be a defining factor observed in women who experienced the transitional change earlier than expected. Turner syndrome is where women completely or partially miss their X chromosome. Women with Turner syndrome have dysfunctional ovaries which pushes them to enter menopause earlier on. Pure gonadal dysgenesis is a variation of the Turners syndrome where the ovaries don't function at all. 

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Ways to diagnose early menopause

While you can observe the symptoms and choose to deduce the condition as an early onset of menopause, it is best to approach a doctor to be sure. A qualified medical professional can help you identify whether the symptoms are due to perimenopause or another condition. The most common checkups conducted are:

1. Checking levels of estrogen which will be decreased during menopause

2. Thyroid-stimulating hormone- An underactive thyroid that can lead to high levels of TSH

3. Follicle-stimulating hormone

Your hormones are always fluctuating and changing over time so hormone tests may not be completely helpful but being ahead always gives you an edge on what to do and what needs to be avoided. 

There are drawbacks to getting menopause earlier on as it affects the overall balance of the body. Infertility is the most common concern among women who have premature menopause. Estrogen levels are bound to decrease during menopause which opens the gate to other health concerns. It normally increases the count of good cholesterol in the body while decreasing the levels of bad cholesterol. Losing estrogen early on can increase the risk of:

1. Osteoporosis

2. Depression

3. Dementia

4. Premature death

5. Heart disease

6. Symptoms similar to Parkinson

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Is there a treatment?

The answer is No. Menopause is as natural to the female body is menstruation. However, there are ways to normalize the conditions you experience during the transitional phase. Your doctor or local OB-GYN can help you make changes to your lifestyle or your body, easing you into the inevitable change. Some of the more common treatments include:

1. Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT)- Progesterone and estrogen supplements can be taken to decrease the symptoms of menopause and bone loss. 

2. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)- Systemic hormone therapy can prevent common symptoms experienced during premature menopause. Premature menopause can't be reversed but these treatments can help reduce or delay the symptoms of menopause. 

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.