This time leading up to actual menopause is called perimenopause and is started by fluctuating hormone levels. Typically perimenopause can start in the late 30’s or early 40’s. Often when people talk about menopause, they’re actually talking about perimenopause since this is the time they first begin noticing early menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, sweats, irregular periods, and mood swings.
The actual definition of full menopause is total cessation of periods and an FSH hormone level in an elevated range. The average age for women to have completed menopause is age 51 which means, that if it starts or ends sooner, early menopause has been encountered.
Conditions contributing to early menopause symptoms
Anything that causes premature ovarian failure is a major contributor to early menopause symptoms. The two major factors are autoimmune disorder and chromosomal irregularity. In the case of autoimmune disorder, the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks itself which, if involve the ovaries, leads to missed periods and early menopause symptoms. Chromosomal irregularities are of a hereditary nature and caused by defects on the X chromosome.
Surgery also leads to early menopause symptoms
Typically, a total hysterectomy drives lower estrogen and progesterone levels and immediate menopause is the result. Removal of either or both ovaries due to cancer, cysts, or tubal ligation also radically alters hormone levels which can lead to early menopause symptoms.
Other factors leading to early menopause symptoms
Family history is a leading factor as women tend to go through menopause at about the same time as their mothers and sisters. Viral infections in the womb can cause the child to be born with a lower number of eggs, which causes symptoms of early menopause later in life.
Diseases leading to early menopause symptoms
Thyroid disease is a major disease leading to early menopause as well as pituitary and/or hypothamic disorders.
Historically, physicians prescribed hormone replacement therapy to offset the unpleasant side effects of menopause. However, results from a National Institute of Health study published on July 9, 2002 showed marked increases in breast cancer, heart attacks, stroke, and blood clots in the test group. The study, which made headlines around the world, lead medical organizations and the food and drug administration to revise their policies for hormone replacement therapy.
Currently, the rage is the use of all-natural progesterone creams, which provide the same symptomatic relief, but with all-natural ingredients and without the side effects of hormone replacement therapy.
By: John Russell
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