“Symptoms of premature and early menopause are like those you would experience if you reached menopause at the expected age of 51–52 years, but symptoms can…”.1

Umbrella
What may the Early Menopause Umbrella include?

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

  • Early Menopause
  • Premature Menopause

Early Menopause and Premature Menopause

Is early menopause the same as premature menopause?Premature MenopauseEarly Menopause

In Later Years (Around 50 Years and Over): Menopause and Post Menopause Health – Early and Premature Menopause the (Scottish) NHS Inform explain:

“Menopause before the age of 45 is called early menopause. Menopause before the age of 40 is called 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 your final period happens between the ages of 40 and 45”.3

Symptoms

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

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

“Symptoms of premature and early menopause are like those you would experience if you reached menopause at the expected age of 51–52 years, but symptoms can often be more severe due to the sudden change in hormone levels”.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?

In Premature and Early Menopause the JH note:

“Up to 8% of women have had their final period by the time they are 45. This percentage is likely to be higher if we include menopause caused by surgery and cancer treatment”.6

Heart Disease

Is there an association between heart disease and early menopause?

In Listen To Your Heart: Learn About Heart Disease – Menopause and Heart Disease? the (United States) National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute note:

“Women who go through early menopause, especially if they had a hysterectomy, are more likely to develop heart disease as women of the same age who have not yet gone through menopause. Treatment with menopausal hormone therapy immediately after menopause may reduce risk of heart disease but not of stroke, but treatment later in life increases the risk of both heart disease and stroke”.7

Depression

Is there an association between depression and early menopause?

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”.8

In Premature and Early Menopause: Emotional Wellbeing the JH elaborate on:

“It’s important to talk to someone if you feel very emotional, anxious or depressed after your diagnosis. Your doctor can help with symptom relief and refer you to a psychologist if needed”.9

Hormone Therapy

What is one of the highlights about early menopause included in the 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of the North American Menopause Society?

On page one in The North American Menopause Society Releases Its 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement, published 07 July 2022, one of the highlights is:

  • “Women with primary ovarian insufficiency and premature or early menopause have higher risks of bone loss, heart disease, and cognitive or affective disorders associated with estrogen deficiency. It is recommended that hormone therapy can be used until at least the mean age of menopause unless there is a contraindication to its use”.10

Hormone Therapy and Breast Cancer Risk

What is one of the recommendations included in the Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause?

On page two in the Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause, first published 10 June 2022, one of the recommendations is:

  • “Women with POI and early menopause (40–45 years old) should be advised that HRT is unlikely to increase risk of breast cancer in younger menopausal women under the age of 50”.11

What is POI?

POI in this context is an abbreviation for Premature Ovarian Insufficiency.

Hormone Therapy Alternatives

What if I am not able to have hormonal treatment?

In Early Menopause: Treatments for Early Menopause the (United Kingdom) NHS 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.

The 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, the GP can refer you to a specialist menopause centre”.12

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.

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.

In Premature and Early Menopause the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) note:

“Premature ovarian insufficiency or early menopause, if untreated, increases the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, dementia and Parkinsonism, and reduces life expectancy”.13

The EMAS also note:

“Referral to specialist menopause, fertility and assisted reproduction professionals should be discussed with the patient”.14

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 and Early Menopause: What Is Premature & Early Menopause? Last Updated: 08 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 14 November 2022
  2. Later Years (Around 50 Years and Over): Menopause and Post Menopause Health – Early and Premature Menopause. Last Updated: 20 October 2022. NHS Inform https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/womens-health/later-years-around-50-years-and-over/menopause-and-post-menopause-health/early-and-premature-menopause/ Accessed: 14 November 2022
  3. Premature and Early Menopause. Last Updated: 08 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 14 November 2022
  4. Premature and Early Menopause: Symptoms of Premature & Early Menopause. Last Updated: 08 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 14 November 2022
  5. Early or Premature Menopause: What Causes Early or Premature Menopause? Page Last Updated: 22 February 2021.  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: 14 November 2022
  6. Premature and Early Menopause. Last Updated: 08 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 14 November 2022
  7. Listen To Your Heart: Learn About Heart Disease – Menopause and Heart Disease. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/education-and-awareness/heart-truth/listen-to-your-heart Accessed: 14 November 2022
  8. Factors Affecting Women: Menopause. Beyondblue https://www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/women/factors-affecting-women Accessed: 14 November 2022
  9. Premature and Early Menopause: Emotional Wellbeing. Last Updated: 08 September 2022 | Last Reviewed: 19 August 2022. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/menopause/premature-early-menopause/ Accessed: 14 November 2022
  10. The North American Menopause Society Releases Its 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement. 07 July 2022:1. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/ht-position-statement-release.pdf Accessed: 14 November 2022
  11. Hamoda et al. Joint Position Statement By the British Menopause Society, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Society for Endocrinology on Best Practice Recommendations for the Care of Women Experiencing the Menopause. First Published 10 June 2022:2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20533691221104879 Accessed: 14 November 2022
  12. Early Menopause: Treatments for Early Menopause. Page Last Reviewed: 02 February 2021. NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/early-menopause/#treatments-for-early-menopause Accessed: 14 November 2022
  13. Premature and Early Menopause. 2022. European Menopause and Andropause Society https://emas-online.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Premature-and-early-menopause.pdf Accessed: 14 November 2022
  14. Premature and Early Menopause. 2022. European Menopause and Andropause Society https://emas-online.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Premature-and-early-menopause.pdf Accessed: 14 November 2022
Topic Last Updated: 14 November 2022 – Topic Last Reviewed: 14 November 2022

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