Do you have a sneaking suspicion you might be going through early menopause? Perhaps you’re in your early forties and already your cycle is scant, irregular, or even non-existent. When this happens, it’s possible that menopause is near.
Menopause can happen anytime between the ages of 40 and 58. It’s a wide swath of time, but that’s the average range. And for the tiny minority, it may even hit at the end of your 30s. This is known as premature menopause. For women between the ages of 40 and 45, it’s called early menopause.
How are you to know if you’re entering the “transition?” These 6 signs should give you a good clue:
1. Your sleep is irregular
If you’re having endless nights of rough sleep or insomnia, this is a good sign you’re beginning to go through the change.
2. Your moods are like a roller coaster
Mood swings are also indicators of menopause. If your moods are regularly irregular, this is another indicator menopause is approaching.
3. You’re experiencing hot flashes
If you’ve started to have hot flashes in your early 40s, chances are, you’ve entered menopause.
4. The nights sweats have begun
Like hot flashes, night sweats will feel really uncomfortable. If you wake up in the middle of the night with your sheets soaked in sweat, you’re likely menopausal.
5. You’re noticing vaginal dryness
Not all, but most of the time, regular vaginal dryness is a telltale sign of menopause.
6. You’re experiencing bone loss
Bone loss is yet another sign of menopause. Make sure you do weight-bearing exercises and eat a whole-foods diet full of organic leafy greens to make up for bone deterioration.
Why early menopause?
If all this sounds familiar, you may be asking why? The causes of premature and early menopause often lie within your gene pool. If your mom went through early menopause, your chances of following suit are good. The other primary cause of early menopause is something known as fragile X syndrome. This has to do with early ovarian failure, when your hormones stop making estrogen.
Recognizing early menopause can be a tricky thing. To really know for sure, several rounds of hormonal testing may be necessary. The key is to pay attention to your body. Keep a journal and track your symptoms. If, over a period of time, you’re convinced you’re going through early menopause, it’s not a bad idea to see your doctor or OBGYN.
Early menopause is often worse than its “normal” counterpart. As such, you’ll want to learn how to give yourself all the self-care and extra dietary, herbal, and supplementary support necessary. You may even go the route of hormone replacement therapy. This is a choice to determine with a professional, as it has its pros and cons. Listen to your body and intuition. In the end, this is a journey that’s all about you. So, treat yourself like the queen that you are as you move through this womanly time of transition.
Concerned about early menopause? Hormone replacement therapy is a viable option for many women. Contact OB/GYN Associates of Alabama to schedule an appointment and learn more about your treatment options for menopause.