Premature Menopause

Premature menopause is commonly confused with premature ovarian failure. This is stop in the normal functioning of the ovaries in a woman younger than age 40. Some people describe this condition as primary ovarian insufficiency, and also known as hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. 

Premature ovarian failure is different from pre mature menopause in that when a woman enters menopause, she won't experience another menstrual period again. Women with premature ovarian failure are much more likely to get periods and have a much less chance of getting pregnant. A woman in menopause has virtually no chance of getting pregnant. 

Entering menopause early isn't that uncommon. A woman's hormone balance can begin shifting anywhere between mid 30's to late 40's. It depends on a variety factors such as heredity, environment, how early or late she began menstruating, and whether or not she's had kids. Also, what age she was when she had kids along with how many kids she has had. Lifestyle is also a big factor when it comes to transitioning into menopause. 

Premature Menopause

Is it normal to start menopause before the age of 40?

Lifestyle Effects on Premenopause

Lifestyle influences the time you will enter menopause and what symptoms you will encounter. 

Did you experience a lot of stress juggling work and raising a family? 

Did you spend a great deal of time eating junk food, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol? Or did you eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables? 

Have you taken vitamins? Did you live in the city or in the country? Were you exposed to toxins in the workplace? 

Hormone balance is intimately connected to stress levels, nutrition, and the environmental toxins encountered daily. 

Anovulatory Cycles and Premature Menopause

Premenopause is when a woman experiences menopause symptoms before entering menopause. 

A decade before actual menopause, the ability of the follicles to mature an egg and release it may begin "sputtering". This creates menstrual cycles in which a woman doesn't ovulate. These are called anovulatory cycles. 

If she isn't ovulating, she isn't producing progesterone from the ovaries and she may begin experiencing menopausal symptoms such as weight gain, water retention, and mood swings. 

Menstrual cycles can continue without progesterone. Many women don't know that what's causing the premature symptoms is the lack of progesterone. 

Entering Menopause Before 40

If you start going through menopause in your thirties, this is generally referred to as premature menopause. Just as you can start your period early (anytime after the age of nine), and still be normal, it could also be normal to stop menstruating early. However, this leaves you at a greater risk for bone loss and higher cholesterol levels. Women that go through early menopause commonly take hormones until they reach 50 years old, the average age of menopause. 

They then gradually taper off, mimicking natural menopause. 

What Are the Symptoms of Premature Menopause?

Early menopause symptoms are often the same as those experienced by women undergoing natural menopause. 

Symptoms include...

  • Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual

  • Irregular or missed periods

  • Hot flashes or night sweats

These early signs of menopause are symptoms caused be ovaries producing less hormones (estrogen or progesterone). 

Along with the above symptoms, women going through premature menopause may also experience...

  • Vaginal dryness (the vagina may also become thinner and less flexible)

  • Dryness of the skin, eyes or mouth

  • Bladder incontinence, irritability and losing control of your bladder

  • Sleeplessness

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Emotional problems like irritability, depression, and changes in mood

› Premature Menopause

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