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What are Early Menopause Symptoms?

The symptoms of menopause can be different for every woman, especially in the early stages of menopause. Recognizing early menopause symptoms can help women identify this life transition early, so that they can develop an appropriate treatment and management plan to stay as comfortable as possible during menopause. Treatment for menopause can be provided by a general practitioner, an endocrinologist, a gynecologist, or a gerontologist, and patients may want to interview several doctors to find one whom they feel comfortable with.

Menopause is a series of physical changes experienced by women as they age. During menopause, the reproductive system essentially shuts down, preventing future pregnancies, and women's bodies may change quite radically due to differing hormone levels. The onset of menopause can vary; as a general rule, if menopause occurs before age 45 it is termed early onset or premature menopause, while menopause which occurs after this age is known as mature menopause.

Whether early onset or premature, the early menopause symptoms are usually directly related to hormonal changes which occur as the production of certain reproductive hormones decline. One of the most common early menopause symptoms is irregularity and eventual cessation of menstrual periods. Women may also experience night sweats, hot flashes, headaches, a buzzing sensation in their ears, weight gain, tenderness in the breasts, vaginal dryness, skin changes, mood swings, memory lapses, confusion, dry mouth, cramps, joints aches and pains, changes in their sleep patterns, and a change in the texture or density of body hair.

The symptoms of menopause can onset very gradually or very suddenly, depending on the women. Women who experience early onset menopause as a result of surgery or hormone treatments can have early menopause symptoms which appear very rapidly, and they can experience very severe symptoms as their menopause occurs at superspeed. Women who transition into menopause naturally may experience gentler symptoms which build in intensity over time.

During premenopause, also known as perimenopause, women start to experience early menopause symptoms, but their reproductive tracts are still functioning. Premenopause can last for several years as the body slowly transitions, giving women time to prepare. A number of techniques can be used to cope with the symptoms of menopause, including using medications to manage severe symptoms, using massage and bodywork sessions to help address physical imbalances, attending psychotherapy to address emotional issues, and utilizing moisturizers and creams to cope with dry skin and declining vaginal lubrication.

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