Question

Early Menopause

What are the signs of early menopause in women?

A Answers (3)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    The signs of early menopause, which usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 45, are essentially the same as those experienced by women who experience it during the typical age range of 47 through 55 (the average age is 51). The symptoms women experience are related to the amount of estrogen made by the ovaries. Women in early menopause can have fluctuating estrogen levels, or the ovaries can stop producing estrogen abruptly, which occurs when the ovaries are removed or are damaged by cancer therapies. If it occurs early naturally or because of diseases such as premature ovarian failure (POF), estrogen levels can rise and fall unpredictably. So you may skip a period or have changes in normal blood flow (heavier or lighter) for months, or your period stops completely and suddenly. Women with early menopause also get hot flashes , vaginal dryness, experience lack of sexual desire, mental confusion and changes in mood (including anxiety and depression). Talk with your doctor about how best to treat the symptoms you are experiencing.
  • ABoston Women's Health Book Collective, Administration, answered

    Women who enter menopause naturally, whether at the average age or earlier, experience certain physical changes gradually. These changes can include irregular menstrual periods, heavier or lighter menstrual flow than is normal for , hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.

    Women going through the menopause transition also sometimes report urinary problems (including frequency of urination, urinary stress incontinence, and pain on urination), abrupt mood swings, problem in concentrating or remembering things, and loss of sexual desire or response. But, the connection between such changes and menopause is not clear; aging or other life stresses may be the cause. The additional changes that some women note at the time of menopause include migraine headaches or head pressure, dryer and thinner skin, thinner and more brittle hair, weight gain, breast swelling, and tenderness. Any of these changes can indicate other conditions as well, and not all women going through the menopause transition experience all of these.

    Many young women mistake the early signs of menopause for premenstrual syndrome PMS . If you have several signs of menopause that occur throughout the month (instead of beginning prior to menstruation and ending shortly after menstruation begins), they may indicate menopause rather than PMS.

    Some women never experience any hot flash; they just stop menstruating. Others experience minimal hot flashes or other minor symptoms for a short time, stop menstruating, and never again have any symptoms. However, if you are younger than the typical age for menopause, it is likely that you will experience more severe problems than other women.

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    Our Bodies, Ourselves: Menopause
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  • One sign of early menopause is irregular or skipped menstrual cycles, and trouble getting pregnant. Other signs of early menopause, which occurs before the age of 40, are the same as natural menopause, which occurs around the age of 51. These symptoms include hot flashes, vaginal dryness and thinning, and mood swings. 
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If my periods stop, do I have early menopause?