An “Early Menopause” is described as developing before the age of 40. So, what can you do?
The symptoms are similar to those of normal menopause. Changes occur in the time and duration of the menstrual period.
This is one women’s health related issue that not only has physical symptoms, but also has emotional symptoms and stress as well.
Research shows one out of each one hundred women may experience this.
One cause is Ovarian failure that is believed to be caused by hormonal or genetic processes resulting in the depletion of the number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries. This reduces the possibility of pregnancy but doesn’t eliminate it all together.
Women that are treated with chemotherapy for cancer can be affected. Chemotherapy and drugs used to kill cancer can also affect and damage ovarian tissue. Certain drugs that are used can also trigger early menopause, although sometimes it is temporary.
Surgery to remove ovaries can induce premature menopause. The reduction of estrogen and progesterone levels are so abrupt, the menopausal symptoms are very intense.
For many women, this can be extremely depressing. It can be very difficult for younger women who haven’t had children yet or want more children.
It can also be very emotional for women that have completed their families, but aren’t ready for this part of their lives to happen.
There is medical treatment available for menopause symptoms.
Because of the emotional impact on women’s health, women can also benefit from therapy.
I personally have experienced this. I had to have a hysterectomy when I was 36 years old because of health issues.
Many women are concerned with hormone replacement therapy. I was fortunate and I didn’t have any problems with that. My doctor started me on estrace in the hospital. He advised me to take my estrace at night when I went to bed. His theory was the body adjusts to medications better when it’s resting. That did work for me.
However, the emotional stress is harder to deal with. Having not had any children, it’s a closure you have to go through and be able to come to terms with and accept.
If you are in this situation and are having problems emotionally, don’t hesitate to seek help. There is nothing to be ashamed of or to feel guilty about. Early menopause is a change that deals with both emotional and physical changes.
Herbal Treatment for Menopause
I’m adding an update to this article because over the past few years I decided I’d prefer to get off the chemical hormone therapy if at all possible.
Through my own experimentation with herbs and research on what many women have tried over the years, I came up with an herbal treatment for menopause that works well for me.
As always, consult with your physician before trying new treatments even if they are natural treatments. Some herbs may conflict with any other medication you may be taking.
Soy and Isoflavones
These are plant estrogens found in soybeans. Isoflavones takes as a dietary supplement have proven to be safe, and approximately 50mg per day does help relieve night sweats and hot flashes.
This has also been found to relieve hot flashes, however it has to be taken in small doses because it can thin your blood. Dosages in 5g should be safe, but if you’re taking other medications or are sensitive to the sun, consult with your doctor before taking this.
Black Cohosh, also known as Squaw Root, is effective is reducing hot flashes. It’s commonly found in herbal products marketed for menopause symptoms.
Kava is used as an herbal remedy for anxiety and insomnia. It’s also proven useful for mood swings and it does not lose its effectiveness with time.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort has been used to treat mild depression. Avoid foods containing tyramine such as aged cheese, etc. if you take this herb. It’s not been proven effective with severe depression, so consult your doctor for diagnosis of depression.
Ginseng comes in many different varieties such as Korean, American, and others. Ginseng has been proven effective to aid in a sense of well being.
Most health food stores carry these herbal products individually as well as prepackaged for menopausal symptoms as well as menstrual discomfort.