Early Menopause and What Causes It
The point in which a woman’s menstrual cycle permanently ends is known as menopause. This also marks the end of a woman’s fertility. The average age for menopause in the US is around the age of 52, but it can vary greatly for each woman. However, if you are experiencing menopause and its symptoms before the age of 45, this is considered early menopause. Signs of early menopause are similar to menopause symptoms and include hot flashes, irregular periods, mood swings and irritability, problems sleeping, decreased sex drive, and vaginal dryness (consider using our moisturizing lubricant to help with that).
Some risk factors and early menopause causes include undergoing radiation/chemotherapy which causes ovarian damage, or removal of the ovaries. Early menopause can also occur due to genetic factors, hormonal disorders, autoimmune diseases and/or a history of smoking (which has anti-estrogen effects on the body). Eating disorders can also be a cause of early menopause since the body needs to have a certain amount of fat to ovulate and produce enough estrogen.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of menopause alongside irregular periods/bleeding it is time to head to your gynecologist’s office. There, your doc will run some hormone tests to determine if your symptoms are due to early menopause/perimenopause or something else. In the case that you are entering early menopause your doctor can help you determine the best treatment to manage your symptoms if you wish, with the most common early menopause treatment being hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
This is a big transition in each woman’s life, and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or sadden by it, as well as the loss of fertility. If you still want to have children, your doctor and a fertility specialist can help you look at alternative options. Scheduling a time to speak with a therapist, can help you cope with this change in your life as well.