Signs of Early Menopause
As women age, their bodies go through a number of changes. One of these is menopause. Although most women begin to feel the effects of this change in their late forties and early fifties, early menopause is something which is also a possibility. Here is a look at the signs and symptoms of early menopause as well as some reasons why it can occur.
There is very little difference between early menopause and menopause which occurs at a more normal age. By definition, anyone who is younger than forty-five years of age and who has begun to experience the symptoms is defined as experiencing early menopause. Before the age of forty, the same symptoms are defined as being premature. There is very little difference between premature, early and natural menopause in terms of the actual signs and symptoms.
At its most basic, this period marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle. She stops producing eggs and will, at the end, cease having a monthly period. For some women, this is a hard thing to deal with. They may mourn the loss of their ability to have children and may be devastated when this begins to happen at an early age. Other women welcome the changes and freedom from a monthly menstrual cycle.
With some women, the symptoms may begin gradually and build until they are bothersome. Other women may get hit hard and fast and be struggling to cope with the physical and mental changes that this condition will bring. The symptoms can generally be divided into categories including physical changes, mental changes and emotional changes. A woman may experience some or all of these symptoms to varying degrees.
Some of the physical symptoms are very well known. They include hot flashes and night sweats. Women may worry that if they sweat a little during the night that they are experiencing this symptom but they are likely not. With night sweats, the bed will be drenched and may require you to strip the sheets and change the clothing you are wearing. There are also other symptoms such as headaches and more generalized body and joint pains as well. Sometimes a woman will also experience insomnia as well. There can be side effects such as vaginal dryness that can affect a woman’s sexual appetite and comfort. Osteoporosis, or brittle bones, can also occur because a decrease in estrogen may mean that they begin to lose calcium from their bones.
Mental and emotional changes can also impact quality of life as well. Women may become forgetful, experience severe mood swings and need to cope with depression and anxiety. Many of these are similar to premenstrual symptoms that may have been present when women are menstruating. These problems can be worse if women feel that they are going through the process at a much earlier age than they want to.
If you are young and you are going through this process it is important to speak with a medical professional that you trust. They can test your blood for hormonal levels and determine whether you are menopausal. There can be other medical conditions that may have similar symptoms so you need to get checked out. They may also be able to find the cause for this and even halt the process in very young individuals so that more reproductive time may be available. This is not a guarantee however and may not be possible.
A medical professional will also be able to help prescribe treatments that can address the symptoms you are having. You may want to consider hormone replacement therapy or Amberen and may want to take medications that will preserve the strength and integrity of your bones. You should always research any treatment in order to make sure it is right for you and that you are aware of any potentially harmful side effects. With the proper care you may find that getting through this period can be less traumatic than you might think.