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"What are the symptoms of early menopause?"


What are the first signs of early menopause? My mother and my aunt both hit menopause when they were VERY young. I'm only 28 now, but I want to be sure that I catch menopause early so I can be prepared and consider my options (for hormone replacement therapy, etc.).


At your age, I would not expect menopause to be in your near future, unless you have something abnormal with your reproductive system. Even if you will have a early menopause, it still should be 12 years away for you. If you, or any of your family members developed menopause earlier than 40, then it is considered premature ovarian failure and should be looked into.

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The best type of physician for you to see about this problem is an OBGYN. The first sign that menopause is on its way is often anovulatory periods. These are periods in which ovulation does not happen. They result in erratic irregular periods, and skipped periods. So if you have always been regular and suddenly you are irregular, this can be the first sign. In addition, women begin experiencing hot flashes do to the decreasing estrogen levels. Hormone replacement therapy should be considered only in women with unbearable symptoms or high risk for osteoporosis. This is because the extra hormones increase chances of breast cancer and heart disease. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. He or she can discuss you current symptoms in the context of your family history and estimate when you are likely to hit menopause. Your doctor can also determine if you have a medical condition which would put you at risk for premature ovarian failure. When the time comes (hopefully years from now), you can discuss symptomatic treatment for hot flashes with therapies like hormone replacement.

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