Do you or someone you know suffer from early menopause symptoms? By the time menopause hits women in their 50’s, they have already raised their families and are looking forward to putting menstrual cycles and child birthing behind them.
Unfortunately, some women experience signs of menopause long before they should. Women as early as 40 years of age can go into menopause leaving them with hot flashes and an ongoing problem with mood swings. Early menopause symptoms can often be mistaken for a medical condition or a mental health issue. Thankfully, there is testing that can be done to verify your concerns and get you the help you need.
The Early Menopause Symptoms
As a woman ages, the ovaries produce less estrogen than before. The lack of this vital hormone can cause you to feel moody and grouchy, and you can even have hot flashes that can mimic panic attacks. You may experience a loss of periods too. A woman can continue to have cycles during the pre-menopause days, but they will often be heavy or light. In fact, some women choose to have ablation to stop their cycles when they are having excessive clotting and heavy bleeding.
Other problems during this time are even more troublesome. Vaginal dryness can make sexual activities complicated. Experts are not sure why women lose their sex drive, but a loss of libido can be caused from the dryness or the shift in hormones. Bladder control issues become commonplace too. Leaking urine when laughing, coughing, or sneezing is often a new problem that has devastating consequences. Because of all the changes in the body, depression and anxiety are not unusual. If you are experiencing all these different problems, then you may feel that they are falling apart and not as valuable as they once were.
Why Some Women Go into Menopause Early?
Everyone’s system is unique. While one woman may start through the change at 52, a woman who has compromised health may begin at 41 years of age. For instance, a woman that has been through chemotherapy will find their body has been compromised. Early menopause symptoms can start at any age, especially if there is an auto-immune condition underlying. Those with lupus, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and rheumatoid arthritis may experience menopause years before healthy individuals in their age bracket.
Diagnosing Premature Menopause
Most women visit the doctor when they experience early menopause symptoms, but many feel that they have an underlying health issue and are not going through “the change.” A doctor will evaluate your symptoms and run some tests. One of the most important tests to run is one that checks your estradiol levels. When the ovaries begin to fail, these levels will drop below 30.
The FSH level is another important indicator of whether a person is in menopause. The follicle stimulating hormone is what causes the ovaries to produce estrogen. If the level of FSH is above 40, then a person is in menopause. As the ovaries begin to shut down production, the FHS levels increase.
The lack of estrogen in the body can cause all sorts of problems. First, a woman may experience osteoporosis. The lack of this vital hormone also increases the chances of developing uterine or colon cancer. It can even affect things like the gums and teeth too. Menopause starts later in life for a reason. A woman who begins this journey, way too young, has a longer and harder time trying to make up for the loss of the vital hormones.
Treating Early Menopause
If you are experiencing early menopause symptoms, then it is important to be checked out by a doctor. There are many physical and emotional aspects that can be treated to prevent complications. Pre-mature menopause causes infertility to some women still within the child bearing years, but that does not mean that there are not other options.
Though early menopause is not reversible, there are therapeutic treatments that can help ease the lack of estrogen. Do your research and understand your options. Adding estrogen into the body has been linked with breast cancer and other problems. However, your doctor can show you things to do and offer medications that can help you feel whole again. Most importantly, know that you are not alone in this journey. Many women experience menopause long before they should.