Can menopause start in your 30s?

Have you been feeling a bit off lately? Maybe you are experiencing mood swings, irregular periods and trouble sleeping. If so, you may be suffering from lower-than-normal testosterone levels which can be caused by early menopause.

Am I Too Young for Menopause?

early menopause

Many women do not suspect menopause, because they believe they are too young. However, some women can begin experiencing symptoms as early as 33 years of age. In fact, many women in their mid to late thirties begin this journey. You have likely heard and used the term “going through menopause” at some point in your life. 

However, this is extremely misleading. There is actually only one day of menopause in a woman’s life, and it is the day that a woman has gone twelve months without a menstrual period. The moments and changes leading up to that milestone are known as perimenopause.

Signs and Symptoms of Perimenopause

While some signs and symptoms can be easily attributed to menopause, some are less obvious and mimic the symptoms of other health issues. These can include the following:

  • Irregular Menstrual Cycles
  • Increased Irritability
  • Hot Flashes
  • Sexual Changes
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Night Sweats
  • Frequent Urinary Tract Infections

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we suggest visiting and seeking advice from experienced endocrinologists.

Irregular Menstrual Cycles

early menopause

For most women, a change in their menstrual cycle is the most obvious sign of perimenopause. If you are accustomed to having regular periods, it will be easier for you to notice this fluctuation. 

You may have some that are lighter or heavier than others, and you may even skip a month here and there. However, it can be more difficult for women who already experience irregular periods to notice this change.

Increased Irritability

Although some women experience a decrease in PMS symptoms, such as breasts that are not as tender during periods, many report excessive irritability and more frequent bouts of depression.

Hot Flashes

We have all heard that menopause brings hot flashes. However, many women do not understand what a hot flash entails. Therefore, it can be more difficult for women to know when they are having these flashes. 

A hot flash is not just getting hot periodically throughout the day. Instead, it is an intense burning sensation, usually starting in your neck and radiating to your face. It can make your skin hot to the touch, and you may feel like you are having a panic attack.

Sexual Changes

Once you begin going through the change, it is likely that you may experience a decrease in libido. Additionally, many women suffer from vaginal dryness, making sex painful.

Other Symptoms

While the above side effects are easy to attribute to perimenopause, others may not be as obvious. Such symptoms can include difficulty sleeping or restlessness throughout the night, frequent urinary tract infections, and night sweats.

Should I See a Doctor?

Doctor's appointment

Perimenopause affects everyone differently. Some women experience extreme symptoms, while others breeze right through it without a problem. If you are dealing with perimenopause fairly well and successfully managing your symptoms, there is no need to see a doctor. However, women who suffer severe side effects should consult their doctor.

Is Perimenopause Treatable?

Although perimenopause is not treatable, doctors can help you manage and treat your perimenopause symptoms. Some treatment options include:

  • Oral Contraceptives
  • Antidepressants and Behavioral Therapy
  • Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Oral Contraceptives

Most women who suffer from irregular menstrual cycles can benefit from taking a hormonal birth control pill. It can help regulate your flow, reduce irritability, relieve cramping and diminish hot flashes.

Antidepressants and Behavioural Therapy

Women who experience depression often benefit from medication, such as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs), which can also be useful in treating hot flashes. Behavioural therapy has also been successful for some women suffering from depression and excessive irritability.

Menopausal Hormone Therapy

Although hormone therapy is not right for everyone, women who have no success with other treatments may benefit from estrogen supplements. These must be prescribed by your doctor, and it may take a few adjustments before finding the right dose.

The Takeaway

As a society, we need to help women become more educated about menopause and perimenopause. Many women assume they are too young to go through the change; therefore, they ignore the signs and symptoms or attribute them to other causes. However, if symptoms are severe, it is important to see a doctor for treatment and relief. 

Can menopause start in your 30s? 1

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