Menopause affects each of us differently. The average age of a woman experiencing menopause is 51 years old, but menopause can begin as early as around age 40 and as late as age 58 or older. (MedicineNet) While menopause has no set beginning time, it is important to be aware of the time before menopause (“perimenopause”) and how early menopause and late-onset menopause can affect your everyday living.
Menopause officially begins twelve months after your last menstrual period, often preceded by perimenopause. Perimenopause can begin with irregular and noticeably heavier menstrual periods. Some women experience early menopause naturally while older women who haven’t experienced menopause may weigh the risk of getting pregnant while still ovulating at a later age.
Menopause involves a reduction in hormone production, namely estrogen, which aids with maintaining hormone balance, healthy bone density, and cardiovascular health. The later a woman experiences menopause, the less potential exposure to serious health risks, including osteoporosis, heart attacks, and strokes. Late-onset menopause can also extend life expectancy, but it can increase the risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. (NCBI)
One myth to examine is the belief that a hysterectomy can induce early menopause. While a hysterectomy does remove the uterus, it does not remove the ovaries, which are vital contributors to natural hormone balancing. (North American Menopause Society) Medically-induced menopause often occurs following treatment involving certain drugs or radiation treatments that damage the ovaries and induce early menopause. Women who experience medically-induced menopause often require additional estrogen-focused treatments than women who naturally begin menopause.
Hormone therapy can help you transition through menopause to rebalance your hormones to healthy levels. The level of treatment your body needs may depend on when you began menopause. Our ReVital care staff created a FREE eBook available for immediate download here to help you learn more about our different varieties of hormone replacement therapy for women. Download your FREE eBook and schedule your next appointment today.