Menopause symptoms are the direct result of a decrease in the reproductive hormone estrogen. When estrogen levels are low, the body believes it does not need to reproduce anymore, and responds accordingly with early menopause symptoms.
Early menopause symptoms
1. Symptoms that are a part of a woman’s body transitioning and preparing itself for the time after her child producing years (menopause). This is a natural and gradual occurrence called perimenopause. The ovaries decrease the release of ova (eggs) which are responsible for estrogen production.
2. An abnormal occurrence of perimenopause prematurely (usually in the early to mid thirties) due to heredity or other conditions that affect the body.
Regardless of which category the early menopause symptoms fall into, they are generally described the same and are caused by estrogen levels sporadically decreasing.
Description of Early Menopause Symptoms
- Irregular periods-Menstrual periods may become unpredictable. Duration of periods may become longer, periods may come at irregular intervals, spotting between periods may occur; along with heavier bleeding.
- Hot Flashes-Due to fluctuating hormones the adrenal glands may misfire causing a burst of energy to occur when you don’t need it (like while you are sleeping).
- Inability to regulate body temperature-You may feel hot or cold when the room temperature does not indicate a reason for your body to experience the sensation of extreme temperature change.
- Decreased sexual desire-A drop in hormone levels (estrogen) may cause a lack of sexual interest.
- Vaginal dryness may cause a need for a personal lubricant during sexual intercourse.
- Variations in mood stability-Depression, anxiety, irritability and frequent mood swings can occur.
- Urinary incontinence-Urine may leak out on exertion such as sneezing, exercise, laughing or coughing. A sense of needing to urgently urinate can occur.
- Hair and skin may become very dry.
Premature Early Menopause Symptoms
When early menopause symptoms occur before they are normally anticipated they are often caused by a disorder. Some common disorders that will cause premature symptoms are:
Hypothyroidism – The thyroid produces several hormones that have an effect on the reproductive organs. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid does not produce enough hormones and can induce early menopause symptoms.
Diabetes – Insulin is a hormone that regulates the sugar in the bloodstream. When a person has diabetes, insulin is produced very little or not at all. This can affect the overall health of an individual and premature menopause may appear.
Chemotherapy – The body’s systems are compromised by chemotherapy and may not be able to produce proper amounts of estrogen.
Hysterectomy – A hysterectomy is the surgical removal of some or all of the female reproductive organs. If only the uterus is removed, a patient generally will not have any early menopause symptoms. However if the ovaries are removed; the patient will be thrown in to menopause and experience early menopause symptoms.
Ovarian Cyst or Cancer
Heredity – Typically a woman who has a mother or sister who experienced premature early menopause symptoms could quite possibly experience it herself.
Treatment of early menopause symptoms depends upon the individual, the age at onset of symptoms and what specific symptoms they are having. When deemed appropriate, a physician may prescribe hormone replacement to alleviate symptoms and protect the body from adverse effects of estrogen loss. Some of these adverse effects include, bone loss and heart disease. If you believe you are experiencing early menopause symptoms, you should see your health care professional for further evaluation.