What Can Cause Early Menopause in Women

Every female goes through menopause, which is the stage where they can no longer get pregnant. The average female experiences menopause in their early 50s, but some women can experience menopause even earlier, such as before they hit their 40s. 

Due to the early onset of menopause, many women remain unaware of their condition, which is why it is important to know the factors that can impact menopause in women. For instance, a common contributing factor can be stress, and if you are stressed often, you might want to find out more about whether can stress cause early menopause and how you can control stress to prevent early menopause. 

Before we go through the list of factors that could lead to early menopause, we have to understand the difference between early menopause and premature menopause. 

Early vs. Premature Menopause

On the surface, both conditions might appear similar, but the difference lies in when menopause occurs. Menopause is the point in a female’s life where their menstruation ends. That said, early menopause typically occurs before a woman turns 45. And if a female experiences menopause before the age of 40, it is categorized as premature menopause. 

Some people also use the terms premature menopause and premature ovarian failure interchangeably. With premature ovarian failure, there is always a chance to get your periods back. However, with premature menopause, the ability to get pregnant is lost. 

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Potential Causes for Early Menopause

Many causes that might lead to premature menopause could also be contributing factors to early menopause. Some of the factors can include specific health conditions, cancer treatments, and surgery. However, sometimes the cause is unknown.

Mostly, the ovaries have sustained some damage, which can cause early menopause because the damaged ovaries can prevent the body from producing estrogen. The symptoms of early and premature menopause are similar to menopause in general. 

Some of the contributing factors to early menopause include the following:

  • Starting menstruating before the age of eleven.
  • Having a family history of early menopause. 
  • Hysterectomy – surgery that removes the uterus. 
  • Cancer treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. 
  • Surgical removal of ovaries. 
  • Smoking tobacco cigarettes. 
  • Having an autoimmune disease, such as thyroid disease and Crohn’s disease. 
  • Abnormalities in chromosomes, such as Turner’s syndrome.
  • Having chronic fatigue syndrome. 
  • Having AIDS/ HIV.
  • Having serious infections, such as mumps.

Signs of Early Menopause

Now that you know about some of the contributive factors of early menopause, you might want to look out for symptoms that could indicate that you are experiencing early menopause. The general sign is having irregular menstruation, including shorter and longer menstrual cycles. 

Chances in the vaginal bleeding could also be an indicator of early menopause. You might also experience the following:

  • Frequent UTIs.
  • Discomfort during intercourse due to vaginal dryness. 
  • Sudden hot flashes.
  • Frequent bathroom trips to empty your bladder. 
  • Insomnia. 
  • Emotional changes, such as mood swings, anxiety, and depression. 
  • Headaches. 
  • Dryness of skin, mouth, and eyes.
  • Tenderness in breast.
  • Heart palpitation. 

If you experience any of these symptoms, you might want to visit the doctor so you can get an early diagnosis and start your treatment soon. 

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Adrienne Webster
Freelance features writer

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