Menopause, which marks the end of a woman's reproductive years, is considered early if it occurs before age 45. The average age for menopause is 51 in the United States. So menopause at 45 would be on the early side.
There are a few key points to understand about early menopause:
If you're going through early menopause, the key is to work with your doctor.
- It affects about 5% of women. So while not extremely common, many women do go through early menopause.
- There are various causes, including:
- Family history - if your mother or sisters went through early menopause, you may be more likely to as well
- Autoimmune disorders
- Cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Surgery to remove the ovaries
- The symptoms are typically the same as with menopause at the average age. These may include:
- There are long-term health risks to consider with early menopause, since your estrogen levels drop at a younger age. Risks include:
- Bone loss/osteoporosis at an earlier age
- Heart disease
- Parkinson's disease
Getting the right information and treatment plan can help you manage symptoms and reduce long-term health risks.
Some things your doctor may recommend:
- Hormone therapy - To replace estrogen and help relieve menopausal symptoms. This also helps protect bone health.
- Bone density screening - To check your bone density and determine if medication is needed for osteoporosis prevention.
- Healthy lifestyle measures - Such as proper nutrition, calcium/vitamin D intake, regular exercise, not smoking, limiting alcohol, etc.
Overall, menopause at 45 is earlier than average but can be managed.
The important thing is to recognize it's happening and get the care you need specific to early menopause. Reach out to your gynecologist or a menopause specialist.
At Equilibrium Hormone Institute
, we help women navigate early and premature menopause with compassionate care. Our physicians and nurses specialize in complex hormone issues. We take the time to listen and create customized treatment plans to help you feel like yourself again. Schedule a consultation today to develop a personal plan for your symptoms, bone health, heart health and overall wellbeing during this transition.