Premature Menopause Symptoms
The signs of early menopause can be devastating to women who have not yet reached the normal age range associated with perimenopause. Perimenopause, a condition that indicates a woman's body is beginning to go through a process generally called the "change of life", is most commonly displayed in women ages 50 to 60. The most common changes are demonstrated in the monthly cycle, when a woman may skip her period for several months, or have significant change within the cycle. Women who are under that age of 50 and are experiencing these changes can be either in the stages of premature menopause or early menopause, depending up on the age. Early menopause conditions are exhibited in women under the age of 50, but over 40. Premature menopause symptoms are symptoms that occur in women under the age of 40. Both age ranges can struggle with the fact that their bodies are making life changes and that there may no longer be the ability to reproduce.
When the body is exhibiting signs that can be associated with the change of life, there are a couple of factors that should be considered. Many different symptoms can be associated with the signs of early menopause, but may also be significant of other conditions, as well. Irregular periods, or the skipping of periods is not necessarily an indicator that the change of life is occurring. Often, stress, certain medications, or extreme diets can lead to hormonal changes in the body that can cause a woman's monthly cycle to change or stop completely. There are cases where female athletes stop having their periods on a regular basis, as well. Women under the age of 50 who are having disrupted monthly cycles will want to evaluate their eating habits, stress levels, and over-all health before coming to the conclusion that their bodies are no longer able to become pregnant. Also, speaking with a doctor will help in determining what exactly is happening within the reproductive systems.
When a woman's body is truly in the stages of menopause, her body is beginning to slow the process responding to the hormonal signals to ovulate. Even though there are several reasons that a monthly cycle may be disrupted, the slowing or stopping of periods is one of the predominant signs of early menopause. There are other premature menopause symptoms as well. Women who are experiencing significant hormonal changes will often deal with hot flashes, night sweats, and leg cramps. And, there are the emotional imbalances that can accompany the perimenopausal states, or early stages of the change of life. Moods can swing within hours, or non-clinical depression can be evident. Many women find themselves irritable without explanation when going through the changes that are associated with perimenopausal conditions or premature menopause symptoms.
The conditions that accompany normal perimenopause are also premature menopause symptoms, as well. The female body's age is not a factor in how it will respond to the hormonal changes happening. However, every person is unique and can have other symptoms that may accompany the changes. Emotional issues surrounding the change of life, especially in younger women, may compound an already volatile emotional state, making the physical change within the body even harder to deal with. It is recommended that women not only seek the help of a doctor in having her physical needs met, but also seek professional support in counseling during this time.
The very nature of a woman is created so that she has a desire to nurture, or play the role of a mother. Permanent changes within the body that leave the female unable to reproduce can be psychologically troubling. But, the God of all comfort knows what each woman who has premature menopause symptoms is going through, and He is aware of her needs, physically and emotionally. He is, after all, the One who designed her in the first place. The changes in life are opportunities to lean heavily on God's grace and abounding love, trusting Him in all of His plans for mankind, womankind, and all of the earth. "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved." (Psalm 62:1-2)
When experiencing the signs of early menopause, it is advised that a complete physical evaluation take place. Getting the facts about what the body is going through will help women better understand, and therefore, cope with the situation. Ask doctors to run tests on hormone levels to get an accurate evaluation on the reproductive system and also ask about any prescribed medication that can help ease some of the symptoms or signs of early menopause. There is more information online about the changes that a woman's body goes through when experiencing the change of life. Gathering the facts can always help in making good sound medical decisions.
Early Menopause SignsEarly menopause signs and symptoms are both physical and emotional, and cover a broad spectrum of signals to let a woman know she has begun the menopause process earlier than she expected. Irregular periods are the most common of the earliest symptoms, where they are occurring more often than normal for her or skipping a month now and again. The flow will also be irregular, sometimes very heavy and sometimes very light and lasting longer. Eventually, the cycles stop altogether. These symptoms can be signs of serious problems as well, so it is wise for a woman to keep in touch with her physician when she notices any of these early symptoms occurring. A check-up will determine whether anything is wrong.
What can be one of the most upsetting early menopause symptoms is the inability to conceive. Women often don't know they are in early menopause (also called perimenopause) until they visit a reproductive endocrinologist to find out why they aren't able to get pregnant. During the testing to determine fertility problems, it will become apparent that menopause is the culprit. Common among women experiencing these early menopause signs and symptoms is the occurrence of hot flashes. Some studies have indicated that of a woman enters menopause before age 52, her chances for having hot flashes are increased. About 80 to 90% of the women who have had their ovaries surgically removed have hot flashes as well. The good news about hot flashes is that they can be controlled. There are several options for treating these uncomfortable effects of early menopause, and some things a person can do to reduce their frequency, such as reducing stress, wear loose-fitting clothing, exercise, and cut back on caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods. One of the easiest things a woman can do for herself is to splash cold water on her face and wrists when she begins to feel the heat of a hot flash.
One of the effects of estrogen levels dropping is vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy. This tissue that is usually elastic, and easily stretched for sex and childbirth, loses its elasticity. It's a very unpleasant part of pre-menopause, and often very upsetting to a woman in her 20s or 30s. The good news is, these early menopause signs and symptoms are usually completely reversible. Estrogen replacement therapy through pills or vaginal cream will help with dryness and atrophy. Women should avoid anything that will dry the vagina such as perfumed bubble bath or perfumed toilet papers, and avoid antihistamines and certain decongestants.
The depleted estrogen levels that trigger the onset of perimenopause symptoms can cause bladder control problems for women too. Increased frequency of urination can occur, and stress incontinence, (small leaks when exerting ones self) can occur. This is usually more annoying than serious. Should this problem become severe, however, a doctor should be consulted to determine another cause. Again, there are things a woman can do for herself, and they are (1) Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles around the vagina and bladder opening, and (2) cut back on caffeine and alcohol, since both make you urinate more frequently.
Insomnia is another sign of perimenopause and is very annoying. Relief might be obtained through drinking herbal tea before going to bed. Other herbs, such as valerian, are natural sedatives that may help. Avoiding stimulants like caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, or strenuous exercise close to bedtime can help. Keeping your bedroom cool is an important sleep aid as well. Other rather frightening early menopause symptoms are palpitations, weight gain, and wrinkling and loss of muscle tone in your skin. For the palpitations, try to minimize stress. Deep breathing may help this problem, along with not smoking, and keeping alcohol and caffeine consumption as low as possible. The weight gain occurs because the metabolism slows down with loss of hormones, and it all seems to go to the middle of the body so the waistline disappears. Not what a woman wants to have happen, but it is another one of the unpleasant early menopause symptoms. Changes in diet and exercise will speed up the rate of metabolism. Lower estrogen levels slow down the production of collagen in the body, which keeps the skin toned, fresh-looking and resilient. So with the onset of perimenopause symptoms such as drier, flakier, less youthful-looking skin will be one of them. Moisturizing creams may help temporarily, but you will notice a definite, more permanent difference with hormone therapy.
Yet another one of the early menopause signs and symptoms associated with hormone loss is frequent and severe headaches. Since many women experience headaches just before their periods or at ovulation, they have a good chance of experiencing more of them, and they may be more severe as the hormone levels drop. Try standard over-the-counter remedies like aspirin, or certain herbs such as feverfew. If the headaches become severe, consult your doctor for a prescription medication. Some more early menopause signs and symptoms may include breast tenderness, gastrointestinal distress and nausea, tingling or itchy skin, "buzzing" in your head, bloatedness, dizziness/lightheadednes, sore joints and/or muscles, hair loss or thinning, increase in facial hair, and changes in body odor. In conclusion, early menopause is not something any woman wants, but it's helpful to know that the unpleasant symptoms are temporary, and relief is available. Scripture reminds us to do our best to take care of our bodies because they are gifts from God, as in "But he spake of the temple of his body." (John 2:21)