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Menopause generally occurs between the ages of 45 to 51. It is called an early menopause when a woman stops experiencing her monthly periods earlier than age 45. There are numerous signs of early menopause, which are quite similar to the signs and symptoms seen in women who underwent menopause at the right age. They include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, difficulty sleeping at night, irritability, and headache.
Menopause denotes the permanent cessation of a woman's menstrual cycle due to the failure of the ovaries to continue producing follicles. It is usually the end of the reproductive period for all women, which means that they are not capable of getting pregnant after menopause. This implication will not pose any problems to women who are 45 years old and above. In a 40-year-old woman who experiences early menopause, however, this could prove to be devastating, especially if she wants to still get pregnant.
Signs of early occurrence of menopause are usually not obvious at first. Most women who experience menopause earlier start to experience irregular monthly periods, alternating between heavy flow periods and periods with lesser blood loss. These are often accompanied by early symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats, hot flashes, dryness of the vaginal area, and headaches. The hot flashes can sometimes begin as early as two years before the actual cessation of the menstrual periods. Then for unknown reasons, their menstrual periods stop permanently before they reach 45 years old.
Another cause of an early menopause in women is oophorectomy, which is a surgical procedure performed by specialists to remove the ovaries of a woman due to some medical reasons. After the ovaries are removed, symptoms of menopause are then experienced by women, usually within the week after the surgery. Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can sometimes result in early menopause in female patients. Women who smoke are also said to experience menopause earlier by two years as compared to women who never smoke.
Early menopause often causes women to develop numerous conditions associated with the decrease of estrogen levels in the blood. Osteoporosis, as well as cardiovascular diseases including stroke and high blood pressure, are problems seen in many women after menopause. In cases of an early menopause, women are exposed to the risks posed by these conditions earlier than most women. With the help of their gynecologist, women with early menopause often manage their conditions and are able to continue to lead normal lives.
My breasts are heavy and sore, but I have not had a proper period since 2010 due to anorexia. I am 44 and am definitely not pregnant.
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