Menopause is one of the few certainties in a woman’s life – what isn’t certain, however, is when it will occur. For some, it happens much earlier than expected, therefore it’s vitally important to spot the signs of early menopause and seek the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.
What classes as early menopause?
Typically, the menopause starts between the age of 45 and 55. Any menopausal symptoms experienced before this age are therefore deemed as ‘early’ and can be a bit of a surprise. Keep in mind, however, that approximately 1 in 100 women go through premature menopause – so if you’re in this camp, you’re not alone. In most cases, it happens naturally, as the ovaries start to produce less oestrogen.
5 Signs of Early Menopause
Common symptoms of early menopause include:
Missed or irregular periods
This is the biggest tell-tale sign of early menopause. Your periods may have become irregular, or perhaps lighter, or heavier, than usual. They may have stopped altogether. Unless there’s a viable explanation for the change (e.g. pregnancy), this is a textbook early menopause symptom.
It goes without saying; if your periods are irregular, it will be much more difficult for you to conceive. Infertility is often a sign of early menopause – and if you’re struggling to start a family, it’s certainly something that you should investigate, if only to eliminate the menopause as a possible cause.
Hot flushes are a common menopausal symptom. They’re described as a sudden, uncomfortable feeling of heat which spreads through the body and – typically experienced in the months leading up to a woman’s menopause – they often indicate that your menopause has started.
The hormones associated with ovulation are also responsible for releasing a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin regulates our mood and, as levels start to decline, you may start to feel anxious and irritable. Don’t simply put this down to having a bad day – it could be a sign of early menopause.
As oestrogen levels dip, moisture on the vaginal walls starts to decrease and they can become very thin and sensitive. If you’re experiencing vaginal dryness or you have started to feel discomfort or pain during sex, this could be an early menopause symptom and it’s important to get it checked out.
Seeking help for early menopause
If you’re experiencing signs of early menopause, be sure to get in touch with your GP. Using a variety of tests, they can check your hormone levels and confirm whether your suspicions are founded. If you have started premature menopause, you can then begin to get the help that you need.
Here at 23MD, we currently offer Bioidentical Hormonal Replacement Therapy (BHRT) for the treatment of early menopause. This aims to restore your hormone balance by using hormones that are biologically identical to the ones missing. It often works well in conjunction with other natural remedies and can help to manage many of the early menopause symptoms outlined above.
Our team of experts are always happy to help – so, if you’ve noticed signs of early menopause or you’d like to find out more about BHRT, please feel free to get in touch for a chat. Either give us a call on 020 707 80302 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.