Menopause Symptoms At Age 40
For the majority of women, menopause symptoms dont start this early. If menopause happens before age 40, its called premature menopause. If it happens between ages 40-45, its known as early menopause. Fewer than 10% of women experience premature or early menopause.
But if youre in your early 40s and are regularly experiencing symptoms such as changes to your periods timing or flow, hot flashes, mood changes or sleep problems, dont ignore them. Talk with a womens health specialist.
A specialist like an OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife can work with you to determine whether your symptoms are related to menopause, or another reason such as hormonal disorders or other health conditions.
I Am 49 Years Old And My Period Stopped 3 Months Ago
Patient: I am 49 years old and my period stopped 3 months ago. I have been experiencing a burning pain on the left side. It also feels like it is itching and I have pain along my low back. What could this be?
Optional InformationAge: 49Already Tried: Pelvic exam one in July. It was normal.
Doctor: Please let me know if this is deep pelvic discomfort or superficialas if your skin is burning or itching. Any history of heavy periods or this type of pain in the past? Any history of cancer in you or your family?
Patient: The discomfort is deep and sharp and the burning and itching sensation is coming from within. I have never had heavy periods. The last period I had was in August. I have not had cancer. My mom had breast cancer. Ive had 3 separate experiences with cysts but the last time was in the mid-90s.
Doctor: This certainly is concerning for an ovarian cyst. However, pelvic discomfort is sometimes related to your bowel function. If you have not had diarrhea or constipation, I recommend visiting your ob/gyn. Your mother having breast cancer may put you at higher risk for developing ovarian cancer if related to a genetic disorder , however, this is usually more certain if youve had at least two close relatives with cancer or if your mother was tested for BRCA and was positive. After discussing your symptoms with your doctor, pelvic discomfort/low back pain, immediately an ultrasound should be ordered to rule out any ovarian masses. Best wishes!
Can I Get Pregnant If I Have Gone Through Menopause
No, you cant get pregnant after menopause because ovulation is no longer occurring. Once you have gone 12 months without a period, you are considered to have reached menopause.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Menopause is a natural and normal part of the aging process. Once you are in menopause, you have gone 12 months without a menstrual period. It is common to experience symptoms like vaginal dryness and hot flashes. Be open with your healthcare provider about the symptoms youre experiencing and how they impact your quality of life. They can recommend treatments to manage your symptoms and make you more comfortable.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 10/05/2021.
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Do Men Go Through Menopause
Andropause, or male menopause, is a term given to describe decreasing testosterone levels in men. Testosterone production in men declines much more gradually than estrogen production in women at about 1% per year. Healthcare providers often debate calling this slow decline in testosterone menopause since its not as drastic of a hormone shift and doesn’t carry the same intensity of side effects as menopause in women. Some men will not even notice the change because it happens over many years or decades. Other names for the male version of menopause are age-related low testosterone, male hypogonadism or androgen deficiency.
Can I Get Pregnant If I Am In Perimenopause
Yes, you can still become pregnant. You may be less likely to get pregnant during perimenopause, but it’s still possible. As long as you have a period, you can still get pregnant. If you want to expand your family during this time, speak with your healthcare provider about your health, fertility and possible fertility treatment options.
When your periods are irregular, you may be more likely to get pregnant unexpectedly. If you dont want to expand your family at this age, continue using birth control until your healthcare provider tells you its safe to stop. Continue to practice safe sex to prevent sexually transmitted diseases throughout your life.
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Diagnosing Perimenopause And Menopause
You can ask your doctor to check if you are perimenopausal or have reached menopause. If you are at the expected age, have experienced some symptoms and have irregular periods, its likely you are perimenopausal. If you havent had a period for 12 months, you have probably reached menopause.
The best way to predict menopause is to keep track of your symptoms. If your periods are irregular and your symptoms are getting worse, its likely you are approaching menopause.
Will Hormone Therapy Help Prevent Long
The benefits and risks of hormone therapy vary depending on a womans age and her individual history. In general, younger people in their 50s tend to get more benefits from hormone therapy as compared to those who are postmenopausal in their 60s. People who undergo premature menopause are often treated with hormone therapy until age 50 to avoid the increased risk that comes from the extra years of estrogen loss.
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What Are The Stages
The process happens slowly over three stages:
Perimenopause. Your cycles will become irregular, but they havenât stopped. Most women hit this stage around age 47. Even though you might notice symptoms like hot flashes, you can still get pregnant.
Menopause. This is when youâll have your final menstrual period. You wonât know for sure itâs happened until youâve gone a year without one. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, and other symptoms are common in this stage.
Postmenopause. This begins when you hit the year mark from your final period. Once that happens, youâll be referred to as postmenopausal for the rest of your life. Keep in mind that after more than 1 year of no menstrual periods due to menopause, vaginal bleeding isn’t normal, so tell your doctor if you have any ASAP.
How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About
Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause, but other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a healthcare provider to rule out other causes.
- Your periods are changing to become very heavy or accompanied by blood clots.
- Your periods last several days longer than usual.
- You spot or bleed after your period.
- You experience spotting after sex.
- Your periods occur closer together.
Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include perimenopausal hormonal imbalances, infection, pregnancy-related bleeding, fibroids, blood-clotting problems, endometrial polyps, miscarriage, taking blood thinners or cancer.
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How Period Frequency Flow And Pms Can Change As Hormones Shift
Perhaps from the very first day you got your period, you’ve been able to count on it coming back month after month for nearly four decades. You’ll probably be dealing with it until you reach menopause, which happens around age 52 on average, according to the Office on Women’s Health.
Despite its inevitability, you will experience changes in your menstrual cycle throughout the decades, especially since your period is directly tied to your hormones. And after you turn 40? That’s when your body starts to shake things up. Whether you’re approaching 40 or want to know what can happen to your flow after you do, here’s what ob-gyns said to expect.
I Got My First Period Early Does That Mean Ill Go Through Menopause Early
I have many patients tell me, I know Im going to go through menopause earlier because I started my period really early, says Streicher. The reason women think that is because they think menopause occurs when you run out of eggs. This isnt going to happen were born with millions of eggs and many of those are never used. When you go through menopause is really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly, she says.
The average age of menarche in the United States has gotten younger for a variety of reasons, but that hasnt made women go through menopause earlier, she points out.
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What Do You Need To Know About The Menopause
The menopause is the natural process women go through as they reach a certain age and signals the point when a womans monthly periods have come to an end.
Although reaching the menopause technically means you have had your last ever period, we often use this phrase to describe the lead up to your periods stopping. Periods rarely just stop suddenly, many women experience irregular periods for some time. This might include heavier, more painful periods or lighter, less frequent ones these patterns can go on for a number of years. Every woman is different but you are generally considered to be fully through the menopause after not having a period for at least two years.
Alongside the often irregular periods, many women often experience a whole number of symptoms in the lead up to the menopause as oestrogen begins to drop, this can be anything from hot flushes to joint pain.
On this page I give a quick overview of what the menopause involves and specifically the effects it can have on the menstrual cycle. Visit A.Vogel Talks Menopause for more in-depth information and video blogs from our menopause expert Eileen.
How Will Menopause Affect Me
Symptoms of menopause may begin suddenly and be very noticeable, or they may be very mild at first. Symptoms may happen most of the time once they begin, or they may happen only once in a while. Some women notice changes in many areas. Some menopausal symptoms, such as moodiness, are similar to symptoms of premenstrual syndrome . Others may be new to you. For example:
- Your menstrual periods may not come as regularly as before. They also might last longer or be shorter. You might skip some months. Periods might stop for a few months and then start up again.
- Your periods might be heavier or lighter than before.
- You might have hot flashes and problems sleeping.
- You might experience mood swings or be irritable.
- You might experience vaginal dryness. Sex may be uncomfortable or painful.
- You may have less interest in sex. It may take longer for you to get aroused.
Other possible changes are not as noticeable. For example, you might begin to lose bone density because you have less estrogen. This can lead to osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak and break easily. Changing estrogen levels can also raise cholesterol levels and increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Talk to your doctor about possible treatment for your menopause symptoms if they bother you.
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Lifestyle Factors To Support You During The Menopause
There are a number of easy self-help tips that you can try at home to help keep the symptoms of menopause under control:
- Diet During the menopause even very small changes in lifestyle factors can make a big difference for better or for worse! Try to reduce refined carbohydrates and sugary sweet treats as you can risk throwing your hormones off further, exacerbating cravings and encouraging weight gain. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals, opt for whole grain sources of carbohydrates, up your intake of omega-3 with lots of oily fish and include a source of protein in every meal
- Think about drinks Its not just what you eat, but also what you drink that matters. Ensure you drink at least 1.5 litres of plain, still water a day to keep you hydrated and your bowels moving regularly. Also, try to avoid sugary drinks, alcohol and caffeine as much as possible as these can put a strain on the endocrine system and make you feel anxious or jittery
- Stress Stress can be exacerbated during the menopause so its important to not let it get on top of you. Practice breathing exercises, or try taking part in a yoga class after work, above all else make sure you take time out to do things you enjoy and take your mind off the stresses of modern life
- Exercise – Regular moderate exercise can help with many of the symptoms of menopause. It can help support your mood, sleep, body weight and often helps to keep pesky food cravings under control too!
Is It Safe To Try And Stop Your Period
Whether its for a week, a month or even long-term, its possible to stop your period.
Some people want to stop or delay their period because of special events like a wedding or honeymoon. For others, the desire to stop their period stems from a medical reason like:
- Heavy bleeding.
- Uterine fibroids.
While its safe to stop your period, remember that your body is normally on a cycle, which ranges from 21 to 35 days. And it all has to do with hormones.
Estrogen is the hormone that makes tissue build up in your uterus, which provides a nice cushiony lining for a pregnancy to implant, says Dr. Jhaveri. If you dont get pregnant, that tissue needs to shed, and thats your period. After you ovulate, another hormone, progesterone, is released and helps to keep you pregnant. But if you dont get pregnant that cycle, the progesterone goes away and thats when the period comes.
That decrease in progesterone causes your uterus sheds its lining, which results in a period.
If you can prolong the progesterone, thats the most effective way to stop your period, says Dr. Jhaveri. Youre faking your body into thinking youre pregnant.
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Are There Any Other Emotional Changes That Can Happen During Menopause
Menopause can cause a variety of emotional changes, including:
- A loss of energy and insomnia.
- A lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
- Anxiety, depression, mood changes and tension.
- Aggressiveness and irritability.
All of these emotional changes can happen outside of menopause. You have probably experienced some of them throughout your life. Managing emotional changes during menopause can be difficult, but it is possible. Your healthcare provider may be able to prescribe a medication to help you . It may also help to just know that there is a name to the feelings you are experiencing. Support groups and counseling are useful tools when dealing with these emotional changes during menopause.
What Are The Options For Using An Iud For Menstrual Suppression
The progestin-containing IUD is a common choice for menstrual suppression and there are two different options for how we can place it. The first and most common option is to insert it during a procedure in the office. For this type of insertion, your doctor would first perform a pelvic exam, then place the IUD inside the uterus. Before choosing to have an IUD placed in the clinic, we explain the IUD insertion procedure and let you decide whether youre comfortable doing it this way. Patients usually experience some cramping and moderate discomfort during the procedure, and cramps may continue for several hours to follow.
Another option for IUD placement is to have it done while you are asleep, under anesthesia, in our procedure or operating room. Placing an IUD under anesthesia greatly reduces and usually eliminates any pain or cramps typically associated with the procedure done in the office. When the patient wakes up after the procedure, they may have some moderate cramping or none at all. A procedure to insert an IUD under anesthesia is scheduled for a specific date and time by our surgery scheduling team. With advance notice, we are often able to coordinate with other services, such as dental cleaning or MRI tests.
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Menopause: The End Of Your Menstrual Cycle
Menopause refers to a specific point in time when your periods stop. Youre only in the menopause phase for one year, because when youve gone 12 consecutive months without a period, you enter post-menopause.
Reaching menopause means that youre no longer able to bear children . Every woman except for those whove had their ovaries removed before puberty will go through menopause.
At what age does menopause start?
The average age for menopause is around 51. But some women experience menopause in their 40s with a small percentage experiencing signs of menopause earlier. Some women may not reach menopause until their 60s.
Theres no way to know your exact menopause age until it happens, but genetics seems to play a strong role. You may get a general idea of when to expect menopause based on when your family members went through it, particularly your mother.
Genetics isnt the only thing that can impact when menopause starts. Medical factors can also influence menopause timing. For example, if someones ovaries are removed, symptoms will begin to show immediately.
Certain medical conditions like autoimmune diseases have also been associated with early menopause. Women whove undergone treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy are also more likely to show symptoms earlier.