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Navigating Menopause: What Are the Signs and Can It Start In Your 20s?

Navigating Menopause: What Are the Signs and Can It Start In Your 20s?

We all know that our periods are not the most comfortable to experience. Especially when you have heavy PMS or period cramps, it is certainly a tough time to go through. While we understand how our menstrual cycle works and how it impacts our mental health, do we know enough about what happens when the woman’s reproduction ends, aka menopause?

What is menopause and its symptoms?

Menopause is when a woman’s menstrual cycles end. It usually happens in your 40s or 50s as a biological ageing process. It’s diagnosed after 12 consecutive months without having periods. It occurs through the loss of ovarian follicular function and declined oestrogen levels.

The symptoms start when your body begins transitioning to menopause. 

The main symptoms are…

  • Irregular period
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep problems
  • Mood changes
  • Weight gain
  • Thinning hair and dry skin
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Loss of breast fullness
  • Vaginal dryness

How to navigate menopause?

Because of low hormone levels, mood change is one of the first signs you would notice. Anxiety, depression, and irritability are especially common. 

These mental health symptoms can induce other issues like sleep problems, weight gain, and skin ageing. It is suggested to exercise more to relieve stress and improve your mental well-being. 

Menopause is not just about the end of the menstrual cycles. There are silent signs that are hidden, such as bone loss, increased cholesterol and risk of diabetes. If necessary, do not hesitate to see a doctor to discuss their impact on your overall health. 

What is early menopause, and how does it happen?

While most women begin menopause in their 40s, early menopause refers to people who start their menopause before their 40s and can sometimes happen in their 20s. 

You can notice early menopause if your periods become irregular or notably shorter or longer than a typical cycle.

The symptoms of early menopause are…

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Spotting
  • Periods that last longer than a week

Early menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop working. The leading causes are genetics, lifestyle factors such as smoking, too high/low BMI level, lack of exercise or sun exposure.

Does it impact your ability to have children?

Early menopause will make your body struggle to release good-quality eggs due to a lack of production of oestrogen. While it does impact the ability to conceive children, it is not an impossibility. 

There are several fertility treatments for early menopause, such as ovarian stimulation treatment, egg donation and creating a healthier lifestyle by monitoring your nutrition and menstrual cycles. 

Early menopause is a result of how much you take care of yourself. If you are eating, smoking and drinking alcohol carelessly and not taking control over your stress management, this will result in hormonal imbalances, leading to inner health issues, including early menopause. Ensuring a balanced diet and creating downtime to unwind is vital. 

 

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