Treatment of Phobias | Understanding and Curing Phobic Disorders
How Does Hypnosis Work in the Brain?
Table of contents
- What is Menopause?
- Early and Premature Menopause
- What is the Earliest Age for Menopause?
- Natural Menopause vs Induced Menopause
- What is the Difference between Premature Menopause and Early Menopause?
- Other Causes of Premature and Early Menopause
- Symptoms of Early Menopause
- Consequences and Symptoms of Premature Menopause
- Treatment Options for Menopause
- Psychological and Emotional Impact of Early and Premature Menopause
- What is Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)
- How Do Doctors Test for Early Menopause?
- Adding Hypnotherapy to your Self-Care Kit
- Managing Early and Premature Menopause
Menopause affects every woman. Not only do women experience different symptoms with different intensities. But the age when each woman reaches menopause can profoundly affect her goals and dreams. This article will review what you need to know about early and premature menopause. What are the symptoms and risks associated with premature and early menopause? What are the treatments for menopause?
What is Menopause?
Menopause is a natural biological process that starts 12 months after the final period. The cessation of menstruation and the decrease in oestrogen and progesterone mark the end of a woman’s reproductive years. Menopause is a gradual process, usually happening between the ages of 45 and 55 – the average age being 51 – but can occur earlier or later.
At menopause, menstrual cycles become irregular and women may experience symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes and mood swings.
Early and Premature Menopause
Menopause typically happens when a woman is in her late forties or early fifties. But when menopause occurs before 45 years old, doctors usually refer to early or premature menopause.
The classification is again a matter of age. Early menopause occurs when a woman goes through menopause between 40 and 45 years old, while premature menopause is when menopause occurs before the age of 40.
The distinction between menopause and early or premature menopause is significant. We know that menopause happening around 50 years old can have a drastic impact on women’s lives. But early and premature menopause can have an even more significant influence, by increasing the risk of certain health conditions.
What is the Earliest Age for Menopause?
Unfortunately, there is no specific age for menopause, as it can sometimes occur earlier or later than the average range (between 45 and 55 years old). Premature menopause, which refers to menopause acquired before age 40, affects around 1% of women, while 5 to 10% of women may experience menopause symptoms before 45.
Having menopause in your 20s is rare. Only about 0.1% of females experience menopause before they reach 30.
A premature decline in ovarian function causes early menopause, significantly affecting health and fertility. As a result, women who experience early menopause should seek advice from their doctor about potential treatments or lifestyle changes to manage any associated symptoms.
Natural Menopause vs Induced Menopause
The stage that starts with a woman’s body naturally stopping producing eggs and menstruation gradually ending as she approaches the age of 51 is called menopause. Natural menopause happens as follicles do not release any more egg.
In contrast, induced menopause is the result of an intervention. For example, either a person has their ovaries surgically removed or they underwent aggressive medical treatments such as chemotherapy. The imbalance caused by these external interventions results in premature menopause.
Both natural and induced menopause can result in infertility. Still, women who experience natural menopause can use hormone therapy or lifestyle changes to manage their symptoms, whereas those with induced menopause may need more aggressive treatments.
In addition, women who experience natural menopause can preserve their fertility longer than those with induced menopause.
What is the Difference between Premature Menopause and Early Menopause?
We already established that premature menopause and early menopause refer to the patient’s age at the menopause onset. Premature menopause happens for younger patients than early menopause. Or said differently, early menopause occurs at a later age.
Nonetheless, the underlying conditions leading to the same menopausal symptoms can be drastically different.
For example, premature menopause is more commonly associated with medical conditions or treatments, such as premature ovarian insufficiency (POI).
Also, premature or early menopause is not typically reversible, but hormone therapy or other treatments may help to ease the symptoms. Premature ovarian insufficiency can be reversed in some cases.
Nonetheless, a 2018 peer-reviewed study suggests that a woman going through perimenopause can still release eggs and become pregnant with adequate treatment.
Menopause can be a blanket term, but depending on your age and its onset, you might need a different treatment. As always, speak with a qualified medical professional about your options to make a better decision.
Other Causes of Premature and Early Menopause
In addition to medical conditions or treatments, there are other potential causes of premature and early menopause. For example, smoking can cause a woman to enter menopause prematurely.
Other factors that may increase risk include:
- genetic predisposition,
- removal of ovaries
- removal of the uterus (hysterectomy)
- Family history of early menopause
- chromosome abnormalities
- radiation therapy (after breast cancer, for example),
- certain medications,
- stress and
Additionally, it is possible for women who have been pregnant to experience early menopause due to a rapid decline in hormone levels.
Symptoms of Early Menopause
This article is meant to help you by summarizing the key points about menopause. As a result, these symptoms may not be present in all patients and may vary in intensity.
The early menopause symptoms can include:
- hot flashes,
- night sweats,
- irregular periods,
- decreased libido,
- fatigue and
- mood swings.
Other potential symptoms may include:
- vaginal dryness,
- bone loss and,
- weight gain.
Consequences and Symptoms of Premature Menopause
Women with premature menopause experience the same menopausal symptoms as women in their 40s or 50s. But younger women experience other symptoms related to health conditions triggered by the hormonal decrease. As a result, premature menopause can have serious consequences.
The health risks associated with premature menopause are broad and include an increased risk for certain types of cancers, heart disease and osteoporosis.
What Are the Risks of Premature or Early Menopause?
Osteoporosis describes the condition when bones become weak and fragile due to the loss of minerals. Women who experience premature or early menopause are at a greater risk of osteoporosis because they may have had less time to establish bone density before the onset of menopause.
Cardiovascular disease is a broad term comprising heart attack and stroke. A decrease in estrogen levels due to early or premature menopause can cause changes to cholesterol levels, blood pressure and other factors and negatively impact cardiovascular health.
Cognitive decline is linked to a decrease in hormone levels which can make the memory less reliable and concentration more diffused.
Sexual dysfunction is another potential risk associated with premature or early menopause. Decreased estrogen levels can trigger reduced libido and vaginal dryness which are detrimental to sexual health.
Decreased protective hormone levels can make the body more vulnerable to certain cancers, such as ovarian and breast cancer.
Management of Premature Menopause
If you have been diagnosed with premature menopause, taking steps to manage your symptoms and long-term health risks is essential. These steps may include the following:
- Consult your doctor to determine your risk factors
- Eating a well-balanced diet that includes foods high in calcium, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids
- Engaging in regular physical activity
- Manage stress levels
- Conduct regular checkups to monitor your health.
- Talking to a hypnotherapist or counselor about any emotional issues stemming from symptoms.
- Stay informed by reading up on the latest research and developments related to premature.
Treatment Options for Menopause
Treatment options for menopause can vary depending on the individual and their specific needs.
Hormone replacement therapy (i.e. HRT) is the most common form of treatment, which involves using synthetic hormones to replace those lost during menopause. Doctors may also prescribe other medications to reduce the risk of long-term health complications. At this stage, treatments like menopausal hormone therapy do not reverse early menopause but help you manage symptoms.
Other possible treatments include hypnotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). These behavioral approaches allow you to alter erroneous beliefs, adopt better behaviours and release stress.
Hypnotherapy and hypnosis have many more benefits. For example, they can facilitate lifestyle changes such as exercise and diet. And you can stop smoking with hypnosis. In addition, studies showed that hypnotherapy could reduce hot flashes and night sweats intensity and frequency.
Psychological and Emotional Impact of Early and Premature Menopause
The psychological and emotional impact of premature or early menopause can be profound. This diagnosis typically happens when a woman might still want to conceive. For a woman who had put off building a family, premature menopause might bring many of her personal projects to a standstill. As a result, many women feel a sense of loss, sadness, anger, and anxiety as they struggle to accept the changes in their bodies and live their consequences.
Menopause is a transition that women can manage. Seeking support from family, friends, and mental health specialists can help you cope with the diagnosis, deal with the physical and emotional symptoms and find extra support resources.
If you have been diagnosed with early or premature menopause, seek help immediately.
What is Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)
Premature ovarian insufficiency (also called primary ovarian insufficiency or premature ovarian failure (POF)) describes the condition in which a woman’s ovaries cease to function normally before she reaches the age of 40. First, you must remember that POI and premature menopause are two different conditions. Many factors can cause POI:
- genetic abnormality,
- specific medical treatments such as surgery and cancer treatment (chemotherapy or radiation therapy), and
- autoimmune disease (the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells; an example of autoimmune disease is rheumatoid arthritis).
Symptoms of POI are similar to menopausal symptoms. A person who received a premature ovarian failure diagnosis can experience the same symptoms:
- irregular menstrual cycles,
- hot flashes,
- night sweats,
- fatigue and
- difficulty getting pregnant.
Treatment for POI involves hormone replacement therapy to help manage symptoms and fertility treatments if a woman wishes to become pregnant.
One of these fertility treatments and diagnostic tools is follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). FSH tests are often used to measure levels of ovarian hormones in the blood and can be used as an indicator of a woman’s fertility potential.
How Do Doctors Test for Early Menopause?
To diagnose early menopause, doctors typically perform a physical exam and order some blood tests to confirm hormone levels. In addition to hormone tests, your doctor may order imaging tests such as MRI scans or ultrasound to rule out other conditions that could cause similar symptoms.
What is the Difference between Premature Menopause and Premature Ovarian Failure?
We have already established that premature menopause and primary ovarian insufficiency are different conditions. In both situations, women might have similar premature menopause symptoms. But a woman going through premature menopause may still be able to conceive, while a woman with premature ovarian insufficiency cannot. Therefore, the treatment options and management strategies for each condition are different.
Adding Hypnotherapy to your Self-Care Kit
Hypnotherapy will not cure or reverse menopause. But it can help you manage the stress and anger that comes with such a diagnosis. As a result, your sleep might improve, which enables you to enter a virtuous cycle of healing and growth. Hypnotherapy can also help you make lifestyle changes, make better food choices, and stop smoking. These solutions are available through digital hypnotherapy, i.e. self-hypnosis.
For more information on self-hypnosis, contact us today. UpNow has compiled many self-hypnosis programs to help you feel up now.
Managing Early and Premature Menopause
Going through premature menopause can seem daunting, but with the right team, you can weather the storm and make welcome changes in your lifestyle. Experiencing menopause at an earlier age requires different treatments.
Self-hypnosis can help deal with the implications of this condition. You can also find relief from menopause symptoms such as night sweats and hot flashes with hypnosis. You don’t have to suffer alone. Contact UpNow Health today for more information on hypnosis for women’s health.
UpNow Health only uses high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed articles, to support the facts within our articles. Experts review all our articles to ensure that our content is accurate, helpful, and trustworthy.
1. Elkins, G. R., Fisher, W. I., Johnson, A. K., Carpenter, J. S., & Keith, T. Z. (2013). Clinical hypnosis in the treatment of postmenopausal hot flashes: a randomized controlled trial. Menopause (New York, N.Y.), 20(3), 291–298. https://doi.org/10.1097/gme.0b013e31826ce3ed
2. Brian W Whitcomb, Alexandra C Purdue-Smithe, Kathleen L Szegda, Maegan E Boutot, Susan E Hankinson, JoAnn E Manson, Bernard Rosner, Walter C Willett, A Heather Eliassen, Elizabeth R Bertone-Johnson, Cigarette Smoking and Risk of Early Natural Menopause, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 187, Issue 4, April 2018, Pages 696–704, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx292
3. Cramer, H., Lauche, R., Langhorst, J., & Dobos, G. (2012). Effectiveness of yoga for menopausal symptoms: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2012, 863905. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/863905
4. Keefer, L., & Blanchard, E. B. (2005). A behavioral group treatment program for menopausal hot flashes: results of a pilot study. Applied psychophysiology and biofeedback, 30(1), 21–30. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10484-005-2171-1