Menopause is the time in a woman's life when her fertile years have ended. usually in the late 40s or early 50s. However, women can go through menopause as soon as their 30s.
If you notice symptoms such as irregular periods, hot flashes, or mood swings in your late 30s, you may be in premature menopause, which can happen for various reasons.
Dr. Inga Zilberstein and her team provide treatments such as bioidentical hormone therapy and medications to relieve uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. She can evaluate your symptoms to find the possible causes of premature menopause and help you through this time.
Signs and symptoms of menopause
Menopause, when your periods end, is a life event that every woman goes through. The symptoms of menopause typically start in the late 40s or early 50s, but timing is different for everyone. Estrogen is the main culprit behind menopausal symptoms because it fluctuates so much during this time.
Menopause typically causes various uncomfortable symptoms, no matter what age you are when it happens. Some telltale signs of perimenopause include:
- Irregular periods
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
- Change in libido
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Weight gain
- Thinning hair
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle or joint pain
- Trouble concentrating
Perimenopause is the time before menopause, which you’ve reached when you’ve missed your period for a year. During perimenopause, symptoms usually fluctuate dramatically, sometimes disrupting your normal activities.
The symptoms of perimenopause can be mild, moderate, or severe and may last for several years before you enter menopause.
Is premature menopause possible?
Although most women don't begin to experience the symptoms of menopause until their late 40s or early 50s, some may notice body changes related to menopause as early as their 30s.
Early menopause and premature menopause are both possible, and the only difference is when they occur. Early menopause happens when you begin to have symptoms before age 45, while premature menopause occurs before age 40.
Some women may even experience premature menopause in their early to mid-30s. However, it's uncommon to start perimenopause under age 30.
How do you know if you're beginning early or premature menopause? A significant change you can expect is missed periods, irregular bleeding, or spotting between periods.
Significant changes in your menstrual cycle before age 40 could be a sign of premature menopause, and you must get it checked out for a definitive diagnosis.
What causes early menopause?
Various culprits lead to changes in your estrogen levels and ovarian damage, causing premature or early menopause. Health conditions, surgical procedures, and some medications may lead to changes in your menstrual cycle. Some of the leading causes of early or premature menopause include:
- Early menstruation (before age 11)
- Smoking cigarettes
- Autoimmune disorders
- Some chromosomal abnormalities
- Family history of early menopause
Any surgery you have that involves the removal of the uterus or ovaries also sends you into premature menopause.
Help for menopausal symptoms
Dr. Zilberstein often recommends hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help with the symptoms of premature menopause. You may need to take HRT until you would typically reach menopause, around age 51.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Zilberstein for premature menopause, call or text our office at 830-254-5941. You can also request a consultation online.