Menopause-Why Too Soon?

February 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Menopause

Statistics shows that natural menopause comes, on the average, at the age of 50. However, statistics has also shown a gradual change in figures that is largely attributed to several factors like genes and science. Premature menopause, as it is commonly known, now happens to a lot of women who are not even in their 40′s yet. Thus, many women in their mid-30′s nowadays deal with problems on how to cope with menopause symptoms like hot flashes and mood swings, not to mention dealing with several other emotional stresses and physical concerns. Particularly, a woman who marries in her 30′s and starts to plan on having a baby at such age would likely to find an early menopause a big problem.

The Symptoms

Basically, the symptoms of menopause can be explained by the gradually lessening of the production of estrogen in the ovaries. Early menopause, as in natural menopause, is characterized by irregular or unusually missing periods, heavier or unusually lighter periods, and the dreaded hot flashes that spreads to the upper part of the body and gives that sudden warm feeling.

Other menopause symptoms that women should also watch out for are vaginal dryness, bladder irritability or incontinence, sudden mood swings, and a drastic decreased appetite for sex.

The above symptoms of menopause, when experienced by women under 40, who also have had certain conditions or who have undergone some medical treatment, should prompt them to see their physician. This advice goes for those whose family has a history of premature menopause, those who have had chemotherapy, those who have tried but failed to become pregnant at least a year, or those who has a disorder like lupus.

The Diagnosis

A physical examination to determine the occurrence of menopause usually starts by ruling out other likely conditions like pregnancy or a thyroid problem. Subsequently, an estradiol test is made to figure whether or not the woman’s estradoil level falls under 36 which signals that one is already in the menopause period. Ultimately, a blood test is conducted to diagnose an increase in a woman’s follicle stimulating hormones. A woman is in menopause when the follicle stimulating hormones reaches more than 30 or 40 mIU/mL because it indicates that the ovaries have slowed down in its production of estrogen.

Other Health Issues Related to Premature Menopause

Women who experience premature menopause are likely to incur higher risk of other health conditions such as osteoporosis, colon and ovarian cancers, cataract problems, tooth loss, and gum diseases (periodontal). These conditions are largely caused by the decreased production of estrogen hormones by the ovaries. Thus, women who experience premature menopause are at a higher risk of contracting these menopause-related health issues since they do not enjoy the protection and benefits of their ovary-secreted estrogens.

Treatment of Premature Menopause

Basically, an early menopause condition is addressed the very same way that natural menopause is treated, considering that the symptoms and risks are perfectly the same. Women who have tried but failed to get pregnant for a over a year should discuss with a doctor the options or measures to take, especially in the advent of an early menopause. One should bear in mind that time is of the essence in cases of infertility since premature menopause is an irreversible process.