By Juliet Cohen
Menopause is not a disease or an illness. Menopause is simply the name given to the last menstrual period. Menopause before the age of 40 is termed ‘early menopause. Early menopause affects 15% before the age of 45 affects 15% of the population. Menopause is the natural and normal body process of a woman, which may result in the changing or halting of her monthly menstrual cycles. Menopausal women can experience emotional ups and downs, including anxiety, depression, cravings, and forgetfulness.
Early menopause, premature menopause and/or premature ovarian failure are terms that are often used to describe the same condition, whatever the cause. Estrogen crash can cause extreme hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and depression in some women.
Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries run out of functioning eggs. Symptoms of early menopause are basically the same as for natural menopause. There is a rapid decline in the amount of estrogen (known as “estrogen crash”) in your body. This causes you to enter menopause more quickly than other women.
Estrogen crash can cause extreme hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, and depression in some women. The most common is the hot flush however, women may sometimes experience several of the symptoms hot flushes and night sweats, aches and pains, crawling or itching sensations under the skin, headaches, vaginal dryness, reduced sex drive, urinary frequency, tiredness, irritability, depression, sleeping difficulty, lack of self esteem and forgetfulness.
Emotional problems related to the menopause – many women find the symptoms of the menopause. In a survey of early menopausal women, 100% of women who experienced surgical menopause experienced a number of menopause symptoms in quick succession. Pelvic surgeries, such as hysterectomy, also causes early menopause.
Vague symptoms you may not have connected may become significant when viewed as part of perimenopause. Dryness of the vagina – this is a common symptom of pre-menopause and unfortunately it can cause a woman to feel uncomfortable during sexual intercourse. It can help in some cases to talk to a counselor so that any depressive emotions can be worked through outside of the home.
Menopause Treatment Tips
- Hormone therapy relieving menopausal hot flashes.
- Gabapentin (Neurontin) is approved to treat seizures, but it also has been shown to significantly reduce hot flashes.
- Cyclical therapy: Estrogen taken daily via a pill or via a patch.
- Clonidine (Catapres, others). Clonidine, a pill or patch typically used to treat high blood pressure.
- Estrogen can be administered locally using a vaginal tablet, ring or cream.
- Gabapentin (Neurontin) is approved to treat seizures.
The information in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice.