early menopause


What You Should Know About Early Menopause

Early menopause, also known as premature menopause or in some circles, primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) is becoming an increasingly more common issue for women of all ages. Awareness of the issue, signs and symptoms, and treatments for early menopause is something that is important to spread information about.

What is Early Menopause

Generally, menopause is defined as occurring between the ages of 45 and 55. Premature or early menopause can be defined as menopause that occurs before the age of 40 and is usually accompanied by a noticeable drop in levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

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Causes of Early Menopause

The primary cause of early menopause can often be linked to either a medical procedure or a medical condition. Common medical procedures that can cause early menopause include surgery that removes part or all of the ovaries, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Other medical conditions that can lead to early menopause are thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases, and genetic conditions.

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Signs and Symptoms of Early Menopause

Signs and symptoms of early menopause can vary from woman to woman, however, the most commonly reported symptoms of early menopause include:

  • Hot flashes
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Irregular menstrual periods
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss in fertility
  • Low sex drive

Early Menopause Treatment

Because the primary cause of early menopause can be a medical condition or procedure, it is important to talk with a healthcare provider about any possible treatments appropriate for your condition. Common treatments for early menopause can include hormone therapy to help manage symptoms and prevent bone loss, lifestyle changes, such as exercise and stress reduction strategies, and vitamins and supplements.

Key takeaways: Early menopause, also known as premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency, is becoming an increasingly more common issue for women of all ages. The most common causes of early menopause are linked to either a medical procedure or a medical condition. Symptoms associated with early menopause can include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irregular menstrual periods, and others. Treatment options vary depending on the individual, however, may include hormone therapy, lifestyle changes, and vitamins and supplements.

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