Premature menopause brings many changes on a physical and emotional level. It is very important to eat a healthy diet, exercise and avoid stress and bad habits.
Menopause, defined in this study by the National Library of Medicine of the United States as the time of a woman’s life in which she stops having periods. It usually occurs naturally, most often after age 45. Menopause occurs because a woman’s ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Many women fear reaching this stage because of all the changes it involves and because of the symptoms that are usually experienced regularly. However, it is a normal stage that can be overcome with a healthy lifestyle and some supplements to reduce your symptoms.
Now, having said that, we would like to address premature menopause a bit, does it really exist? Stay with us in this article and we will address this topic a bit.
What is premature menopause?
In this study conducted by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, it is defined as follows:
“Menopause that occurs before age 40 is called premature menopause. Menopause that occurs between the ages of 40 and 45 is called early menopause. About 5% of women naturally go through early menopause. Smoking and certain medications or treatments can cause menopause to start earlier than usual. ”
So, paraphrasing a bit, it can be said that we talk about premature menopause when a woman stops having her menstrual period before the age of 40, there is no more ovarian function and it is no longer possible to get pregnant. In some women it occurs naturally, either due to hormonal alterations or genetic factors. In others, this stage starts early due to medical factors, such as:
- Surgery to remove the ovaries.
- Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvic area, that damage the ovaries.
Research found that premature menopause can also be the consequence of smoking. Smoking and secondhand smoke can lead to this problem due to a chemical that releases cigarette smoke, which causes premature death of eggs.
In some cases, there are women in their 25s who believe they suffer from premature menopause, but in general it is not this condition, but premature ovarian failure. The symptoms are very similar but the difference is that ovarian function is fickle and unpredictable for years, so perhaps at some point you can ovulate and give yourself the opportunity to get pregnant.
Women who suffer from premature menopause are usually prone to suffer from different health problems, since many functions of the female body are without the strength of hormones very early, which can lead to, for example, vasomotor problems, hot flashes, tachycardia, osteoporosis, insomnia, headache and depression problems.
Often the biggest concern for women with premature menopause is not being able to conceive. In this case, the woman can speak with the doctor and consider other alternatives for having children, such as egg donation programs or adoption.
Physical and emotional symptoms of premature menopause
Premature menopause is a change that comes at a young age, and it can take up to 5 years to transition between reproductive and non-reproductive life, causing many changes on a physical and emotional level.
The decrease in estrogen in the ovaries triggers a series of symptoms until they become insufficient to maintain the woman’s own functions, such as menstruation and her ability to conceive.
One of the first signs of menopause is irregularities in menstrual periods, even taking months. In the end, the woman will stop producing estrogen, will not ovulate, and therefore will no longer be able to have children.
In these cases, women must start drug treatment because they are exposed to risks and disorders caused by low and irregular hormone production. This treatment for early menopause must have a medical control and must be complemented with a healthy lifestyle, since this is decisive to reduce its impact and prevent it from influencing the quality of life.
Treatment for premature menopause should include hormonal therapy, an extra supply of calcium and eventually other medications to reduce problems such as osteoporosis, insomnia, headaches, depression, anxiety and other symptoms of this stage.
Likewise, it is very important to eat a healthy diet, free of heavy foods for the body and rich in fruits and vegetables. You should also do more physical activity, avoid stressful situations and avoid bad habits such as excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
Are there natural treatments?
In addition to changing lifestyle habits and doing healthy practices, you can also take into account some natural supplements that can help you cope with the symptoms of menopause.
Soy: contains phytoestrogens, a plant substance similar to estrogens. The best sources of soy are:
- Soy milk.
- The soya nuts.
Other sources of phytoestrogens:
- Cimicifuga racemose.
- Wild yam.
- Dong quai(also known as Angelica Sinensis or Female Ginseng).
- Valerian root.
Both natural supplements should be taken only under medical supervision, as some vegetables may interact negatively with medications.
The same United States Department of Health and Human Services explains that women who experience menopause earlier may have symptoms or health problems similar to those of regular menopause.
But some women with early or premature menopause may also have:
- Higher risk of serious health problems, such as heart disease and osteoporosis, as women will live longer without the health benefits of high estrogen levels. Talk to your doctor or nurse about what steps to take to lower your risk of these health problems.
- More serious menopausal symptoms. Talk to your doctor or nurse about treatments that help with symptoms if they affect your daily life.
- Sadness or depression due to the loss of fertility or the change in your body. Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, including less energy or a lack of interest in things you used to enjoy that last more than a few weeks.
Your doctor or nurse can recommend specialists who can help you deal with your feelings. They can also talk with you about other options, like adoption or egg donation programs, if you want to have children.