Tips to Help Manage Early Menopause

Tips to HTips_to_Help_Manage_Early_Menopauseelp Manage Early Menopause

Although it is inevitable, menopause isn’t something most women like to think about. This is especially true for women in their 20’s and 30’s who may consider menopause to be something that is far off into their futures. Although it’s true that the average age of menopause for women is 51, the symptoms of menopause can start much earlier for some women. Early menopause, characterized as menopause that occurs before the age of 45, affects roughly 1 in 20 women in the US. In addition to all the normal menopause symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, sexual issues, vaginal dryness, and pain during sex, women who go through early menopause may be more susceptible to osteoporosis due to longer periods of diminished bone mass.

Experiencing the physical and emotional effects of menopause can be tough for anyone, but going through them in your early 40’s (or younger) can be an especially bitter pill to swallow. Thankfully, women are not powerless to prevent early menopause. While the age menopause starts is largely predetermined by genetic factors, our board-certified gynecologists have provided a few tips to help fight off early menopause:

  • Eat Right & Maintain a Healthy Weight
    Maintaining a stable, healthy bodyweight is one of the best things you can do to prevent early menopause. The further you are from a healthy weight (either too high or too low), the more likely it is that you may trigger hormonal changes and early menopause. The good news is that your weight is one of the risk factors you have the most control over. Getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and getting plenty of sleep are crucial to maintaining a healthy weight, though be careful not to overdo it. Higher consumption of vegetable protein has been linked to a lower risk of early menopause.
  • Avoid Harmful Chemicals
    Preliminary research published by the scientific journal PLOS ONE shows that early menopause may be partly triggered or accelerated by chemicals in the environment called “endocrine disruptors”. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s ability to properly regulate and balance hormones. They are often found in plastics and pthalates used in everyday cosmetics, household items, and food containers.
  • Quit Smoking ASAP
    While quitting smoking is always good health advice, this goes double for women who fear early menopause. Cigarette smoking is one of the few things that has been confirmed to induce early menopause by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Chemicals found in cigarettes like nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide can speed up the loss rate of a woman’s eggs. That’s why women who smoke experience menopause 1 to 4 years earlier than non-smokers on average.

There is no guarantee that these tips will be successful for all women. But being mindful of the risk factors, following these recommendations, and living a healthy lifestyle can certainly help prevent early menopause before it strikes. If you are interested in more info on early menopause or would like to request an appointment with board-certified gynecologist Dr. Kristine Gould, please contact Gynecology Associates of Gwinnett today. We also encourage everyone to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more news, tips, updates, and info on upcoming Health and Wellness events.


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