Cessation of menses for twelve months before the age of 45 is called early menopause. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of female menopause.
When does menopause start?
The start of menopause is dated retrospectively, because it is established 12 months after the last menstrual period. Peri-menopause is the transition stage which may start early and last for five to ten years. Menopause age is typically around the age of 45 onwards. Early menopause However, when it occurs before, this it is referred to as early menopause. In women who experience cessation of menses before the age of 40, the condition is regarded as premature menopause. The causes of early and premature menopause include ovarian failure leading to estrogen deficiency, surgery involving the removal of the ovaries, and effects of radiation treatment or chemotherapy.
Symptoms of early menopause
Early signs of menopause start as perimenopausal symptoms like:
- Irregular menses, prolonged or shortened periods, heavy flow or spotting or absent periods
- Menstrual cramping and breast tenderness accompanied by intense premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
- Sudden increase in body temperature which peaks very rapidly and very slowly returns to normal, more commonly referred to as hot flashes. The woman may suddenly break out into sweat and feel very weak. These may be experienced even if the room temperature is cool, and may be triggered by drinking hot fluids or eating hot, spicy foods.
- Disturbed sleep or insomnia, usually because of night sweats, light sleep, poor quality sleep
- Mood swings, irritability, depression
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Memory problems, decreased attention span or lack of concentration
- Decreased libido, painful sexual intercourse, problems in experiencing orgasm
- Vaginal dryness, itchiness, crawling or tingling sensation, urgency of urination
- Muscle aches, joint pains, back pains
- Frequent headaches, migraines
- Palpitations or rapid heartbeats
- Water retention and weight gain
- Unwanted hair growth or hair loss
The start of menopause is established 12 months after the last menstrual period. After this period, the woman is said to be post-menopausal. This covers all the remaining period of her life. At this stage, many bodily and psychological changes may occur and it is important to make adequate medical consultations to distinguish between the normal perimenopausal changes and other disease entities. She may need more menopause information and seek for remedies to alleviate these symptoms. Family and community support are also vital in this process because a woman may have difficulty coping with the changes that can affect her for many years. References: - Webmd.com - Womens-health-questions.com