Typically, most women will begin to experience pre-menopause symptoms in their 40s and 50s and complete menopause in the same timeframe. Sometimes, these symptoms can begin even earlier than age 40 due to premature menopause.
Premature menopause, linked to premature ovarian failure (POF), means that these women no longer release an egg each month during ovulation. Because of this, premature menopause can impact future family planning goals.
The symptoms of premature menopause are the same as pre-menopause and menopause. They include:
- Mood swings
- Hot flashes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Irregular menstruation
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Breast tenderness
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness and/or loss of libido
- Loss of fertility
There are ways to know if you are at an increased risk for premature menopause. Women should speak with their PGOMG provider as early as possible if they:
- Have a mother or sister who has experienced premature menopause
- Have been unable to conceive after trying for a year (younger than age 35) or six months (age 35 and older)
- Have undergone cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation
- Have or had a family member with an autoimmune disease such as lupus or hypothyroidism
Your PGOMG provider can offer options in regard to future family planning goals if you are at an increased risk for premature menopause. He or she can also recommend a test to screen your current estrogen levels to assess the health of your ovaries.
Treatment for premature menopause can be the same as regular menopause management, which includes holistic treatment plans such as nutritional consultation and symptom relief through hormone replacement therapy. Bio-identical hormones may also be used to treat individual hormone needs. Contact PGOMG to discuss menopause management.
Premature menopause only affects around 1 percent of women, but for those at a higher risk, it’s very important to contact your provider so you can determine if any symptoms you are experiencing are related to premature menopause or an undiagnosed, underlying health condition.