- Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 45-55, but some women can experience early or premature menopause due to low levels of estrogen.
- Early menopause occurs between the age span of 40-45, and premature menopause usually occurs between the age range of 30-40.
- Premature menopause is often caused by genetic conditions, exposure to toxins, infections, or autoimmune disorders.
- Diagnosis of premature menopause involves physical exams, blood tests, DNA tests, and pregnancy tests.
- Hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment for managing early menopause.
- Menopause supplements can also reduce various symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, poor bone health, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness.
What Is Premature or Early Menopause?
Maintaining optimal menstrual health is a challenge for all women, considering how every lifestyle factor impacts our menstrual cycles. Similarly, early or premature menopause is one of the conditions that can affect your mental and physical health.
Menopause officially starts 12 months after a woman’s last period. While most women experience menopause between the ages of 45 to 55, some women may experience early or premature menopause.
Early menopause refers to the onset of menopause between the age span of 40 to 45. On the other hand, menopause before the age of 40 is called premature menopause.
What Causes Premature Menopause?
The female body reduces the production of estrogen and progesterone with age, eventually leading to menopause. In the cases of premature or early menopause, these hormone levels may drop sooner than usual due to various factors.
Some of the reasons for early menopause include infections, underlying autoimmune disorders, genetic predisposition, and exposure to toxins. These factors prevent the maturing or release of a new egg, leading to menopause.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Premature Menopause?
If you have missed your periods for more than 3 months and your age is between 35 and 45, you could be entering early or premature menopause. You may currently be in the stage of perimenopause, which is the transitional phase between menstruation and menopause. As you progress towards premature menopause, you may notice some common menopausal symptoms. These include the following:
- Vaginal Dryness
- Mood Swings
- Hot Flashes
- Decreased Libido
- Night Sweats
You can miss your periods due to stress, lifestyle or dietary changes, and pregnancy, but premature menopause could also be the reason. If you miss your periods for 3 months or more, do consult a doctor immediately. Timely clinical intervention can help you manage your health and fertility better in the case of early menopause.
9 Ways to Deal with Premature Menopause to Lead a Normal Life
- Hormone Replacement Therapy – According to studies, hormone replacement therapy is the most effective way to address the long-term estrogen deficiency that accompanies premature menopause.
In this treatment, the doctor shall prescribe you estrogen and progestin supplements until the age of 50, when natural menopause should occur. These supplements reduce the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause.
Moreover, they also reduce the risk of bone loss and heart disease caused by estrogen deficiency. If you’re considering ways to cope with premature menopause, it’s essential to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of hormone replacement therapy. Learn more about hormone replacement therapy pros and cons in this informative article from Better Body.
- Menopause Supplements – Menopause supplements are alternatives to hormone therapy that can be safer due to lesser side effects. Some of the top-rated menopause supplementscontain natural supplements that reduce menopausal symptoms.
These ingredients include phytoestrogens, plant compounds that mimic the behavior of estrogen. The supplements also contain ingredients like Black Cohosh, which reduce hot flashes, improve bone health, and reduce the discomfort associated with menopause.
- Fertility Treatments – Some women can get pregnant naturally even while undergoing premature menopause. However, others may need to look for alternatives, such as IVF, egg donors, or adoption.
If you want to have a baby and are dealing with premature menopause, consult a gynecologist at the earliest. They shall be able to recommend the best course forward in terms of fertility and pregnancy planning.
- Calcium and Vitamin Supplements – Early menopause means estrogen deficiency, which leads to bone loss. If neglected, poor bone health can lead to conditions such as osteoporosis.
Your doctor may prescribe calcium and vitamin supplements to improve your bone health. Most women are recommended to consume 1000 mg of Calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D daily to maintain their bone strength.
- Therapy and Support Groups – Premature menopause does not imply dealing with just physical changes, but it can have an emotional impact on you too. From difficulties in conceiving to feeling lonely due to a rare condition, you may be dealing with various emotions.
Joining support groups where you can engage with other women dealing with the same symptoms might help. You can also talk to a therapist who can help you navigate your feelings.
- Antidepressants – Studiesare exploring the use of antidepressants to manage hot flashes caused by menopause. While some antidepressants may help with hot flashes, they do have side effects during and after discontinuation of use. It is best to consult your doctor to know if these would be a viable option for you.
- Vaginal Creams – Vaginal dryness is a common symptom of perimenopauseand menopause. It can lead to pain and discomfort during sex and may decrease your sex drive.
Using a vaginal cream that acts as a moisturizer and lubricant can help with these symptoms. It will add back the moisture to the region and will minimize any discomfort during sex.
- A Balanced Diet – Consuming nutrient-rich food, along with the top-rated menopause supplements, can make premature menopause much easier. Vitamins and calcium can prevent various side effects of menopause, including poor bone health. Also, try to avoid fatty foods to reduce the risk of heart disease. Instead, eat more lean meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts for balanced nutrition.
- Genetic Counseling – Your chances of experiencing early or premature menopause are higher if your mother or sister has gone through the same. This is because certain genetic conditions can lead to early menopause.
Some of these genetic conditions include Galactosemia, Turner’s Syndrome, and Fragile X premutation. While supplements like Estroven can help you manage your menopausal symptoms, a genetic counselor can help you understand the implications of the underlying genetic condition.
Genetic counseling can offer you the emotional support you need during this difficult time. It can also help you prepare for the impact of the condition on you and your family. So, don’t hesitate to opt for genetic counseling if you have a history of early menopause in your family.
How Is Premature Menopause Diagnosed?
If you have missed your periods for more than 3 months, visit a doctor to find out the root cause. The following are the steps that your doctor will take to diagnose premature menopause.
- A physical examination of the pelvis
- A pregnancy test
- Collection of family history
- Blood test to check for hormone levels
- Genetic test to check for underlying genetic conditions
They will also ask you about exposure to toxins, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy, which may cause early menopause. As per your medical history and the test results, the doctor may diagnose premature menopause.
She may also recommend various steps to manage your symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy or natural menopause supplements like Estroven. The latter contains calcium, black cohosh, and other botanical ingredients to manage and reduce menopause symptoms. Also, it can be a safer alternative to menopause hormone therapy.
The Bottom Line – You Must Not Lose Hope After Premature Menopause!
Dealing with menopause way earlier than you expected can leave you angry and hopeless. It may disrupt your plans of having a baby, and the symptoms can hamper your personal and professional life.
However, all hope is not lost after early menopause! Thanks to modern medicine, you can still get pregnant and manage your symptoms with the appropriate medical interventions. By opting for methods to manage premature menopause, you can lead your regular life without any discomfort.
Various natural menopause supplements can also help you deal with symptoms of menopause. They can reduce vaginal dryness, mood swings, hot flashes, and decreased libido, often caused by early menopause.
So, don’t get disheartened if you are diagnosed with early or premature menopause. With the necessary treatment, your life can go on despite this unforeseen hurdle.