One of the most amazing things about women’s health is how completely unique each woman’s experience is with her body. From menstruation, ovulation, pregnancy, and menopause, there are no guarantees or set rules to how some women’s body chemistry and hormones may impact their life. This can make diagnosing and treating women’s health issues a little tricky, too, including early menopause.
If you suspect that you may be experiencing early menopause, then keep reading to learn more about what early menopause is, why it happens, and how we treat it at Women’s Health Specialists in Germantown. Our doctors treat many women throughout the MidSouth and are experts at diagnosing and helping you manage your health concerns.
What is Early Menopause?
Early menopause is a condition where a woman’s period stops before she is 45. Typically, menstruation ends between 45-55 for most women. But if you are younger than 45 and have noticed your period becoming infrequent or stopping altogether, it’s probably time to give your gynecologist a call to set up an appointment to evaluate what is going on and what your treatment options might be.
What Causes Early Menopause?
There are several causes of early menopause, though typically it involves the function of the ovaries and the hormones they release. When ovaries stop producing the hormones needed to encourage menstruation, early menopause can happen as a result. This can be called premature ovarian failure and can be a result of chromosome abnormalities, autoimmune diseases, and very rarely certain infections like tuberculosis.
Sometimes early menopause runs in families, where women of each generation may begin menopause in their 20s or 30s. Other causes might be cancer treatments like radiation or chemo depending on which part of your body you received the treatment. Finally, if the ovaries need to be removed, this can also sometimes trigger early menopause.
Be sure to share your full health history with your doctor when you come to Women’s Health Specialists so we can factor history and genetics into your diagnosis!
Signs to Look Out for If You Suspect Early Menopause
Early menopause often has similar symptoms as normal menopause, including mild to severe hot flashes and night sweats, vaginal dryness, difficulty sleeping, low mood or anxiety, reduced sex drive, and brain fog. Depending on the individual case, some people may have every symptom, and others may have fewer less severe symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you are struggling with symptoms and need support or medical intervention.
Note that some women who experience early menopause may be at greater risk for osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease due to the lowered hormones in their bodies.
The first step to getting diagnosed with early menopause is by scheduling an appointment with one of our doctors at Women’s Health Specialists. We have a number of doctors and practitioners on our staff who can help diagnose and care for early menopause, or discover what else may be going on. You really don’t want to ignore symptoms of early menopause since it may have fairly large impacts on your body overall.
When you come in for an appointment, one of our doctors will assess your symptoms and history and will give you a diagnosis based on those factors. It can also sometimes include blood testing to check your hormone levels. If you are diagnosed with early menopause, there are a few treatment options available.
The primary treatment for early menopause is a regimen of birth control that will help regulate your hormone levels. Either birth control or hormone replacement therapy (HRT) will be important as a hormonal intervention to reduce your chances of other negative impacts like the osteoporosis or cardiovascular diseases that we mentioned earlier. Often doctors will continue this hormonal treatment until the time of natural menopause, around the age of 45.
Of course, your treatment will be unique to you, so be sure to discuss their recommendations and options when you come in for your visit. Though not immediately life-threatening, it is important to get early menopause diagnosed and treated early to prevent other complications later. Plus, you’ll feel so much better once your body and hormones are more regulated!
Get the Support You Need at Women’s Health Specialists
You don’t need to muddle through the challenges of women’s health all on your own. If you or someone you know is dealing with possible early menopause, or some other women’s health challenge, send them straight to our office where they can get the best possible treatment! We are based in Germantown, and are happy to see patients from all over the MidSouth! Call us today to set up your appointment!