Early menopause describes menopause occurring in women aged 40 to 45 years and is experienced by approximately 5% of women”.1

Umbrella
What may the Early Menopause Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Early Menopause
  • Premature Menopause

Same or NotEarly MenopausePremature Menopause

Is early menopause the same as premature menopause?

No. The (United States) Hormone Health Network’s explain:

“In the United States, the average age for menopause is 51 for non-smokers and 49 for smokers, with a typical age range somewhere between 47 and 55 years. Some women experience menopause sooner — before age 45 is considered early menopause, and before age 40 is considered premature menopause”.2

Early Menopause

What is early menopause?

Depending on the Source (DotS) the definition of early menopause may vary. The (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health (JH) definition is:

Early Menopause

“‘Early menopause’ is when the final menstrual period occurs between 40 and 45 years”.3

Symptoms

Are the symptoms of early menopause basically the same as for menopause?

Yes and no. In Premature & Early Menopause: Symptoms of Premature & Early Menopause the JH explain:

“Symptoms of premature or early menopause are basically the same as for menopause at the expected age of 51-52; however, they are often more severe”.4

Cause

What causes early menopause?

In Early or Premature Menopause: What Causes Early or Premature Menopause? the Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov elaborate on:

“Early or premature menopause can happen on its own for no clear reason, or it can happen because of certain surgeries, medicines, or health conditions.

Reasons for early or premature menopause can include:

  • Family history…
  • Smoking…
  • Chemotherapy or pelvic radiation treatments for cancer…
  • Surgery to remove the ovaries…
  • Surgery to remove the uterus…
  • Certain health conditions…
    • Autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disease and rheumatoid arthritis…
    • HIV and AIDS…
    • Missing chromosomes…
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome…”.5

Common or Not

How common is early menopause?

On page two in The North American Menopause Society Recommendations for Clinical Care of Midlife Women the authors note:

Early menopause describes menopause occurring in women aged 40 to 45 years and is experienced by approximately 5% of women”.6

Heart Disease

Is there an association between heart disease and early menopause?

In Listen To Your Heart: Learn About Heart Disease – What Are Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease? Specific Risk factors Affecting Women the (United States) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute note:

“Women who go through early menopause, either naturally or because they had a hysterectomy, are twice as likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause. Another reason for the increasing risk is that middle age is a time when women tend to develop risk factors for heart disease”.7

Depression

Is there an association between depression and early menopause?

In Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause the JH elaborate on:

“Research suggests women who have a surgical menopause and/or an early menopause are more likely to experience a clinical depression than women who have menopause at the expected age. This seems to be influenced by the more sudden drop in hormones that comes with a surgical menopause, and it might also be related to the illness that caused the surgery in the first place, such as a cancer diagnosis”.8

The (Australian) Beyondblue explain:

“Women who experience surgical or early menopause can be at even greater risk of depression. It is important to speak to your doctor about your wellbeing as well as your physical health. Treatment and support is available.

Activities such as eating well and keeping active – and doing the things you enjoy – are key to improving your wellbeing during menopause”.9

Hormone Therapy

What is one of the points of consensus about menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) and early menopause?

One of the points of consensus in the Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy – endorsed by seven menopause-related organizations – published online 20 June 2016, is:

  • “Women experiencing a spontaneous or iatrogenic menopause before the age of 45 years and particularly before 40 years are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis and may be at increased risk of affective disorders and dementia. In such women, MHT reduces symptoms and preserves bone density. Observational studies that suggest MHT is associated with reduced risk of heart disease, longer lifespan, and reduced risk of dementia require confirmation in RCTs. MHT is advised at least until the average age of menopause”.10

What is iatrogenic menopause?

DotS the definition of iatrogenic menopause may vary. Iatrogenic menopause can be menopause caused by medical treatments such as chemotherapy or pelvic radiation treatments for cancer.

What is RCTs?

RCTs can be an abbreviation for Randomized Controlled Trials.

Hormone Therapy Alternatives

What if I am not able to have hormonal treatment?

In Early Menopause: Early Menopause Treatments the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) elaborate on:

“If you have had certain types of cancer, such as certain types of breast cancer, you may not be able to have hormonal treatment.

Your GP will talk to you about other treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to help protect your health.

If you’re still getting symptoms, your GP can refer you to a specialist menopause centre”.11

Who is a GP?

DotS and/or DotC (Depending on the Country) a GP may be a qualified and registered general practitioner, a medical practitioner, a medical doctor or a doctor.

Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences

What is the (Australian) Healthtalk Australia’s Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences?

In Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences – Overview Healthtalk Australia elaborate on:

“On this unique site you can read, watch and listen to stories of 30 women aged between 28 and 51 years, from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds living in Victoria, Australia, who have shared what it is like to experience early menopause (EM).

Women talked about being diagnosed with spontaneous early menopause, premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), medically-induced early menopause, or menopausal symptoms as a result of cancer and/or other medical treatments.12

Health Care Provider

What if I think I have early menopause?

If you think you have early menopause, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. Together you can discuss your options and if required, agree on who may be the most appropriate health care provider to help you.

Health Topics A-Z

Where may I find Health Topics related to Early Menopause?

In Health Topics A-Z you may find:

Links

Where may I find Links related to Early Menopause?

Your Country may have Links similar to:

Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted above?

You may find the Sources at:

Sources

  1. Premature & Early Menopause: What Is Premature & Early Menopause? Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 17 September 2020
  2. Menopause: Who Experiences Menopause? Last Updated: September 2016. Hormone Health Network https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/womens-health/menopause Accessed: 17 September 2020
  3. Premature & Early Menopause: What Is Premature & Early Menopause? Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 17 September 2020
  4. Premature & Early Menopause: Symptoms of Premature & Early Menopause. Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 17 September 2020
  5. Early or Premature Menopause: What Causes Early or Premature Menopause? Medical Review 2017. Page Last Updated: 22 May 2018.  Office on Women’s Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services, Womenshealth.gov https://www.womenshealth.gov/menopause/early-or-premature-menopause Accessed: 17 September 2020
  6. Shifren, J. L. and Gass, M. L. S. for the NAMS Recommendations for Clinical Care of Midlife Women Working Group. The North American Menopause Society Recommendations of Clinical Care of Midlife Women. Chapter 1: Menopause – Overview of Menopause. Key Points: 5. Menopause, Vol 21 No 10, 2014:2. https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/2014/nams-recomm-for-clinical-care.pdf Accessed: 17 September 2020
  7. Listen To Your Heart: Learn About Heart Disease – What Are Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease? Specific Risk factors Affecting Women. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-truth/listen-to-your-heart Accessed: 17 September 2020
  8. Mental Health & Emotions: Depression, Anxiety & Menopause. Last Updated: 14 January 2020 | Last Reviewed: 17 December 2017. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/mental-health-emotions/ Accessed: 17 September 2020
  9. Factors Affecting Women: Menopause. Beyondblue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/women/factors-affecting-women Accessed: 17 September 2020
  10. De Villiers, T. J., Hall, J. E., Pinkerton, J. V., Pérez, S. C., Rees, M., Yang, C. and Pierroz, D. D. Revised Global Consensus Statement on Menopausal Hormone Therapy: Section A: Benefit/Risk Profile of MHT. Climacteric, 2016;19:4:314 https://www.imsociety.org/manage/images/pdf/ba6379e868044bec13015ac2b84f2753.pdf Accessed: 17 September 2020
  11. Early Menopause: Early Menopause Treatments. Page Last Reviewed: 08 December 2017. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/early-menopause/#treatments-for-early-menopause Accessed: 17 September 2020
  12. Early Menopause: Women’s Experiences – Overview. Healthtalk Australia https://healthtalkaustralia.org/early-menopause-experiences-and-perspectives-of-women-and-health-professionals/overview-womens-experiences/ Accessed: 17 September 2020

Topic Last Updated: 06 October 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 17 September 2020
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