Signs of Early Menopause and What You Can Do
Early menopause is defined as a sudden stop in menses, and is often brought on by surgeries such as hysterectomies. Early menopause can affect women well before their 50s. Periods stop entirely, and symptoms similar to perimenopause occur.
First signs of early menopause can appear suddenly, leaving you perplexed about what is going on with your body. Changes such as weight gain, hot flashes, irritability, and irregular periods can be related to the early onset of menopause. If you know about the symptoms of menopause, you might think that you are entering perimenopause. However, if your periods stop completely, that means menopause is happening early for you.
When we talk about early menopause, it is an event when a woman has symptoms common for menopausal women for some time before her period stopping for a full year. Most of the time, it occurs in women between 40 and 45 years old, but it can also happen earlier based on several factors. In any instance, losing reproductive ability can be very hard for a woman to accept.
Know the Signs
The symptoms you may have are similar to those for women at an average age for menopause. They appear abruptly and are hard to deal with without the proper info. By learning to recognize them and knowing what you can do to heal, you can support your body and feel better.
Some of signs of early menopause include:
- Hot flashes and night sweats
- Tiredness and anger
- Mood swings
- Brain fog
- Lack of libido
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness
- Heart palpitations
- Frequent UTIs
- Thinning hair
If these symptoms occur early, you probably will not think of them as menopause. But you need to learn about this condition because visible signs are not the only thing affecting your body. While you deal with hot flashes and mood swings, inside your body might have already started the process of bone loss. It is a common event in menopause, but beginning to lose bone density early means you have to care more for your health down the road.
Difference Between Menopause and Perimenopause
Menopause and perimenopause have similar symptoms, but they are, in fact, different events for the woman’s body. So, what is the difference between them?
Menopause occurs when you have not had your periods for 12 months in a row. On average, a woman enters menopause when she is 52 years old, with symptoms from mild to severe going on indefinitely.
Perimenopause is the stage before menopause. It usually occurs in women in their 40s, but can also start as early as when you are 35. This period of time brings several symptoms which can be severe for some women.
Early menopause happens suddenly to women of any age, typically under 50 years of age. Periods stop entirely, and symptoms similar to perimenopause occur. Early menopause can also be categorized under premature menopause, depending on the circumstances.
There is also premature menopause that could happen before a woman turns 40 or around that age. It can occur abruptly or can be induced by certain surgeries or chemotherapy (1). Premature menopause is also known as premature ovarian failure, a condition in which ovaries seize to produce sex hormones and mature eggs. POF is the natural cause of premature menopause. Induced premature menopause is related to surgeries in the pelvic area or chemotherapy or radiation.
What Causes Early Menopause?
Since the average age of menopause is 52 years old, if your period stops before this age, that means that this transition has happened early. During your life, your hormones shift and change, but in the menopausal period, the body’s ability to produce them is reduced. As a result, the symptoms of hormonal shifts can be unpleasant and intense, whether you are at the average or early menopausal age.
How do you know if you are at risk of having menopause earlier than the average age? Several factors could help you learn about your chances.
- Family history plays a big role in predicting early menopause (2).
- Smoking speeds up the aging of your ovaries (3). Women who smoke have a 30% increase in the risk of early menopause.
- Your diet impacts your hormone shifts in many ways. Healthy eating helps your hormone levels to stay in balance, but an unhealthy diet can cause shifts and changes. Make sure to feed your body with a balance of lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
- Some chemicals can also poorly affect your hormones. You might be exposed to those in your environment or from the products you buy. For example, BPA in plastics is harmful to the body and disrupts hormonal balance.
Every woman has to go through menopause. The most important part is to be prepared and know how to deal with the symptoms that can come and go as hormones shift. Learn how to use natural remedies for relieving such symptoms as mood swings, hot flashes, tiredness, insomnia, thinning hair, and others.
Lifestyle Changes to Help You Heal
Hormonal imbalance is the leading cause of all the symptoms you experience. As a result, trying to balance out your hormones is the best way to get rid of the symptoms and feel better in your skin. Here are three things you can do to heal.
Eat Whole Foods
Your body needs to receive vitamins and minerals from your diet, so eat plenty of whole, nutritious foods. Also, supplement with vitamins and minerals when you feel like you do not get enough. Doing this will help maintain the balance of hormones in your body.
Adjust Your Lifestyle
Stress is a major trigger of hormonal imbalances, so try to avoid it as much as possible. Of course, it is hard in our busy world, but try to find the time to relax, enjoy a hobby, do yoga or meditate. Get enough sleep and exercise regularly, as these habits are all very powerful in balancing your hormones.
Use Herbal Remedies and Probiotics
Certain plants and herbs have been found to mimic your hormones and help increase their production. Probiotics and herbal supplements are natural remedies that can work as standalone or complementary therapies to help relieve the symptoms of menopause.
MenoLabs offers a wide range of probiotic supplements for women in perimenopause. Probiotics can support your overall health and help you get rid of unpleasant symptoms while balancing your hormones.
(1) TC Okeke, UB Anyaehie, and CC Ezenyeaku. “Premature Menopause.”
(2) DW Cramer, H Xu, and BL Harlow. “Family history as a predictor of early menopause.”
(3) Heba Tawfik, et al. “Life Course Exposure to Smoke and Early Menopause and Menopausal Transition.”