A decrease in estrogen hormones leads to menopause. While the normal age for reaching menopause is around 50 years, some women may reach menopause much earlier, sometimes between 40 to 45 years. When this happens, the condition is called “early menopause” and can be quite distressing for the woman both physically and psychologically.
Causes Of Early Menopause
Although the exact causative reason for early menopause is not clearly known, women who have had their uterus or one ovary removed could be easily susceptible to this condition. Radiation therapies for treating different types of cancers can also lead to early menopause.
Genetics plays a crucial role too. Therefore, if any of your family members has developed or experienced early menopause, you might fall prey to this condition. Since menopause indicates the end stage of a woman’s ability to reproduce, reaching this condition much earlier than the normal age is quite distressing for women, especially those who are still willing to conceive.
Listed Below Are Seven Common Signs Of Early Menopause
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A malfunctioning ovary immediately reflects itself in your period cycles. When the functioning of your ovaries begins to decline, there is an automatic imbalance in your estrogen hormone levels. This in turn leads to irregular periods.
Therefore, if your periods are irregular all of a sudden when you have had no previous problems with your periods date, it could be a sign of menopause. If you already have irregular periods, then excess bleeding or very light periods could indicate onset of early menopause.
If you experience constant headache attacks, it could signal the onset of menopause. A fall in estrogen hormones automatically triggers a headache and is most commonly observed in women who are nearing their menopausal stage.
A decrease in estrogen level leads to an automatic decrease in collagen levels. Collagen is required for maintaining the much-needed suppleness in your skin cells, making them look firm and young. When these levels drop, your skin loses its elasticity and becomes wrinkled. Lack of moisture is also noticeable. This makes your skin rough, dry, wrinkled and scaly.
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This is another by-product of estrogen imbalance. Sleepless nights, hot flashes and night sweats are important indictors of early menopause.
Weight Gain And Fatigue
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If you notice a sudden weight gain or are constantly tired, worn out and lethargic even if you do not perform any major work, your body could be sending signals that your estrogen levels are dipping slowly.
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A fall in estrogen levels leads to vaginal dryness along with loss in elasticity. Vaginal itching is also observed.
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Extreme irritability for no apparent reason, feeling absolutely low and helpless coupled with depression are important signs of menopause. Therefore, if your family member recognizes a sudden change in your personality and behavior, do not turn a deaf ear to the condition.
Instead, pay a visit to the doctor and get the condition diagnosed. Other symptoms include palpitations, increased urination, forgetfulness and anxiety.
How To Detect Early Menopause
A blood test measuring the levels of Follicle Stimulating Hormone or FSH will easily indicate the occurrence of early menopause. If the FSH levels increase beyond the normal level, it automatically indicates that your ovaries’ functioning is declining, signifying an onset of menopause.
Estradiol levels are also a useful indicator. If there is a drastic decrease in the estradiol production, it automatically implies that your ovaries are not functioning normally. Estradiol levels below 36 will show that you are nearing menopause.