Mrs. Madhuri, aged 32 was concerned over her irregular periods for the past couple of years. She is a working woman and a mother of a 3 year-old. She experienced mood swings, irregular periods (otherwise her regular menstrual cycle was 30 – 32 days), exhausted feeling, and disturbed sleep. After interacting with her for a while, she added she lost interest in sex and unlikely to seek for intimacy. She had a slight worry whether she already hit her menopause.
I recommended her to undergo a few tests to assess her health. And yes, she is in her menopause, early menopause. She was shell shocked as she is just in her early 30s and never had any major health problems in the past. I have seen many cases where 29 years old young woman experienced menopause! Usually, when women hit menopause below 40 years, it is termed as premature menopause.
Early menopause is a major concern for working women. Owing to raging hormones, menopause invites a lot of physical, psychological and emotional troubles in both working and non-working women.
Signs of premature and early menopause
Women in 40s are likely to be aware about the symptoms of menopause since they may expect it any time. While the signs of early menopause remain the same with menopausal symptoms, there are quite a few differences. There are some uncommon signs of menopause are triggered by drop and rise in the hormonal levels.
- Night sweats accompanied by inability to have sound sleep – triggered due to hormonal fluctuation.
- Erratic mood swings (like giant waves rising and falling) and shifts into different moods without any reason.
- Unpredictable menstrual cycle and menstrual flow. While you may have scanty discharge in a month, next month you are likely to have heavy menstrual flow.
- Low libido and uninterested in sexual activities. This might affect your sexual relationship.
- Vaginal dryness and thinner vaginal walls, which increases the risk of bacterial infection.
- Generalized joint pain, sore muscles, joints and achy body (it may or may not be constant).
- Soreness of breast and breast pain (don’t panic, when you have breast pain).
- Bloating, puffy face, weight gain and water retention.
- Depression and loss of interest in even hobbies or favorite activities.
- Brittle hair, dry skin, cracked and dry nails.
A few things you should know
- Irregular periods are not a sign of early menopause and even menopause in 40s.
- Premature menopause is triggered by many factors. It doesn’t mean working women are prone and non-working are not.
- Not all women encounter all signs or symptoms. Age, family history, environmental pressure, and general health are a few factors that affect the intensity and extensiveness of the symptoms.
- Breast pain, tenderness and soreness need not be a sign of breast cancer; it can be a sign of early menopause.
Premature menopause may affect you from all directions. Consult with a doctor immediately if you experience any of these signs accompanied by irregular period to know whether you already hit menopause.
Premature menopause is too sensitive topic for younger women. However, ignoring the same cannot help them cope up the menopause symptoms at their younger years.
You can easily overcome the physical and emotional turmoil of premature menopause with treatments, counseling and lifestyle changes.