Early menopause and/or premature menopause are terms that are often used interchangeably - and are often used as umbrella terms to cover many different situations and conditions - from premature ovarian failure to surgical menopause to menopause caused by chemotherapy or radiation.
The link between them all is age: To put it as simply as possible, early or premature menopause is typically used to mean menopause that comes well before the average age of normal menopause - when you're still in your 20s, 30s, or early 40s. More technically, as used by many doctors and medical journals: Early menopause refers to the total cessation of your periods for 12 months - before the age of 45.
Some other causes of amennorhea (stopped periods) include:
Excessive weight gain or weight loss, Use of certain drugs-such psychiatric drugs and narcotics, excessive exercise, Recent use of birth control pills-it's not uncommon to stop getting periods for up to six months after discontinuing the pill, Uterine adhesions -usually due to infection or d&c procedures.
Whatever the technical term that's used and whatever the cause, early menopause means one simple thing: your reproductive system is no longer working the way it used to. . . . . and it's happening at an age when you didn't expect it to be happening. Women who have put off having children they always wanted, may feel betrayed when menopause comes too early.
Women who have skipped periods for over a year do meet the diagnosis of menopause. When they are under 40 that makes their menopause too early ("early menopause"). However, menopause is a normal part of the hormonal lives for all women. For some menopause just came about 10 to 12 years too soon.
Women with early menopause are often cut short on their normal life cycle exposure to estrogen and progesterone. It does become important then to do a saliva test to determine the estradiol and progesterone levels after menopause. It may be important to balance the deficient hormones with bio-identical estrogen and progesterone therapy until you reach age 52. This should always be monitored with saliva testing and by your physician.
You should have a bone density test because one of the risks of early menopause is osteoporosis. Balancing estrogen and progesterone along with a healthy active lifestyle will help prevent this damaging disease.
Be encouraged, you have successfully survived perimenopause (which is very rough for many) and graduated into menopause a bit too early. That doesn't change who you are as a woman and a person. While your hormones are adjusting there may still be ups and downs but eventually you'll feel well again, and probably better than you have for at least five years as you enter the next wonderful season of your life!
This Article Is Copywright 2006 Jackie L. Harvey & Saliva Testing com
Jackie Harvey is a nutritional speaker who shares her interest and information on hormone health and saliva testing throughout North America in her popular “Let's Talk About Hormones" seminar. Visit her website http://www.SalivaTesting.com for a schedule of events in your area and for more information about her Best Selling 1-hour DVD “Let's Talk About Hormones with Jackie Harvey". Click For More information on Hormone Saliva Testing, Breast Cancer and HRT.