All women go through a normal change in their body called “menopause.” This refers to the end of the shedding of the lining of their uterus through menstruation each month. Usually, menopause doesn’t occur before the age of 51, which gives a woman many years of fertility for bearing children. However, there are some cases of menopause happening earlier than this. And since early menopause can have an impact on a woman both emotionally and physically, it is important to know what the symptoms and causes of this condition are.
The Symptoms of Early Menopause
Since the term “menopause” refers to the cessation of a woman’s menstruation cycle, the symptoms that occur prior to this are referred to as “perimenopause.” The symptoms begin a few years before the end, and they are uncomfortable, to say the least. Hot flashes, mood-swings, weight gain and trouble sleeping are just a few of them. They are caused by the sudden decrease in the production of progesterone and estrogen in the body, which are the most predominant amount of hormones that a woman has. The more that the hormone levels drop, the worse that the symptoms get. Then, her sex drive will diminish and she will experience uncomfortable vaginal dryness. These symptoms are the most uncomfortable for younger women who want to be able to continue their sexual relationship with their partner. Over time, a woman’s bone mass also decreases, which increases the chances of her getting osteoporosis or fractures.
The Causes of This Condition
There are several medical factors that can contribute to the early onset of menopause. The first of which is the treatment process for cancer. Both chemotherapy and radiation can damage the body’s ability to produce hormones. Surgery is another factor. Women who have either a partial or full hysterectomy done that removes their ovaries will be thrown into menopause quite quickly. Endocrine or thyroid disorders can have an impact, too. Women who have either hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism often go into menopause years earlier than those who don’t. And genetics and diet can also play a role. Those who have a mother, sister or another close relative who experienced this condition are much more likely to go through it, too.
Prevention and Treatment
Unfortunately, there is little that a woman can do to prevent the early onset of menopause from happening since the causes of this condition are uncontrollable. However, increasing the amount of estrogen and progesterone in the body can naturally lessen the symptoms. One of the simplest ways to do this is to consume more soy products. Soy milk and tofu both help raise estrogen levels without any dangerous side effects. An herbal remedy called black cohosh is helpful, too. And what is best about it is that it relieves a lot of the uncomfortable symptoms of this condition.
In conclusion, going through menopause too soon can be caused by surgery, cancer treatment procedures and genetics, so there is little that a woman can do to prevent it from occurring. Since all of the symptoms of this condition are so uncomfortable, it is recommended that women eat more soy products or take black cohosh to alleviate them. Those who are unsure whether or not they have this condition should be sure to have their doctor test their hormone levels.