Early menopause occurs between the ages of 20 to 40. There are four main causes for early menopause, which includes premature ovarian failure, Perimenopause, Surgical menopause and Chemotherapy or radiation, causes. Below each of these causes and early menopause signs will be discussed in greater detail.
Premature Ovarian Failure
The cause of POF can be brought on naturally or by injury or illness. Premature ovarian failure is a bodily occurrence in which the ovaries do not work correctly. The ovaries no longer function to produce the hormones needed, such as estrogen. If you show any of the signs of menopause prior to the age of 40 it is advised to have your hormone levels tested by your physician for a diagnosis.
Perimenopause is the natural occurrence that precedes menopause. Perimenopause occurs when the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen and hormone levels fluctuate causing menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and vaginal dryness.
Surgical menopause occurs when the ovaries are surgically removed. Many of us are under the misconception that with a hysterectomy we are thrown into menopause. This is not the case unless blood flow to the ovaries was cut off and the ovaries were damaged during the hysterectomy leading to their removal. If a woman has an Oophorectomy, which is a surgery that removes the ovaries then menopause is set in effect immediately.
Chemotherapy or Radiation
When a woman has to undergo chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancers, especially cancers of the vagina, uterus or ovaries, the early occurrence of menopause can be an unfortunate side effect of the treatment.
Perimenopause can occur 10 to 15 years prior to menopause. This occurs in the ages of 30 through 40. When menopause occurs naturally the average age is 51. With the symptoms that occur with each of these there are treatments available to ease the discomfort of these symptoms. You can choose to make lifestyle changes such as lowering your consumption of caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods. Exercise and perform activities that lower your stress levels. These changes can help to lessen the unwanted effects of menopause. Other choices would be herbal therapy and Estrogen therapy. Each of these has been proven effective for many women. Each carries its own risks and side effects and should not be started without first consulting your physician.
In order to choose which treatments may best be suitable for you it is advised that you take the time to study and learn about each of the above choices. Discuss the treatments that interest you the most to see if in fact they are a proper fit. Once you have consulted you physician and have a plan set in motion you are well on your way to less hot flashes and night sweats and a more enjoyable menopause. Menopause is not to be feared or despised. We need to talk the time to fill ourselves with knowledge and proper understanding of our bodies and the treatments that can make our lives that much easier.