The average age of women to have their menopause is 51 years of age, in the developed world but can occur at any time after a woman turns 40. Early menopause or premature menopause is that which occurs at any age before 40 and for some women this may be their mid 30’s and in cases even as early as their 20’s.
Early menopause signs can manifest themselves as early as the 20’s which can be due to a number of reasons.
Early menopause signs may be experienced due to medical conditions such as Premature Ovarian Failure wherein the process of ovulation stops and the monthly menstruation becomes irregular or stops.
Certain surgeries or cancer treatments can also cause them to appear since can affect the woman’s reproductive system.
Chemotherapy and radiation can produce early menopause signs because they cause hormonal imbalance and interfere with the functions of the ovaries.
Early menopause signs can be experienced many years before the actual onset of menopause and this is often referred to as Perimenopause. During the period of Perimenopause, a women may continue to ovulate, but may still experience many of the symptoms and early menopause signs such as –
- The first among the early menopause signs would have to be changes in the monthly cycle. There could be a lengthening, shortening, unpredictability or irregularity of the cycle.Poor diet and nutrition as a cause of this irregularity should be ruled out. Some women may also find that their PMS symptoms are more acute or worse during this time.
- Mood swings and depression are also among the signs which again are caused by the fluctuating levels of hormones in the body. Women may find that they feel anxious, stressed and irritated when there may not be adequate cause for this. women may find that they become more aggressive, as well.
- If there is one thing that is almost synonymous with menopause, it would have to be hot flashes, where a sudden sharp spike in the body temperature can cause a woman to feel uncomfortably hot, resulting in flushing, excessive sweating and so on.These early menopause signs can make a woman uncomfortable and may be embarrassing as well. The same thing happening at night (usually referred to as night sweats) may cause sleep disturbances and cause the woman to get insufficient rest leading to day time tiredness.
- Unexplained aches and pains, chronic fatigue and lower energy levels are also signs. These can also result from nutritional insufficiency that can occur due to women restricting calories to prevent weight gain.
- Hair may suddenly appear on parts of the body where earlier there was none. Additionally the texture of the hair can change, making it feel coarser and rougher. Even skin changes, where the skin becomes drier and more prone to problems are also part of the early menopause signs.
- If women find that sex is no longer as enjoyable, or that it is more painful due to vaginal dryness, these are also early menopause signs.