Pre Menopause Will Take You On A Roller Coaster Ride

Pre menopause is the time before the actual menopause, when cycles may change and symptoms first start to appear. Pre menopause can last only a few months or up to several years, and is different for every woman. Some women sail through early menopause with no symptoms except changes in their monthly cycles, while others experience hot flashes, mood swings, erratic bleeding, and other discomforts.

Early menopause can occur naturally or it can be induced by medication, radiotherapy or surgery. Around 10 percent of women have their menopause before the age of 45. Of these, less than 2 percent will have true pre menopause, which means their periods will have stopped by the age of 40. Most experience of true early menopause will have been induced as the result of surgical or medical intervention. Early menopause can be caused by surgical removal of the ovaries. But most women who have early natural menopause inherited a genetic predisposition for it. Perhaps these women were born with fewer egg follicles, or perhaps their follicles simply have shorter life spans. Induced menopause can take place at any age, but the younger the woman, the more traumatic and difficult it will be for her to come to terms with it.

Factors other than heredity also play a role. The ovarian function of women who have undergone chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment for cancer in the pelvic area, often is either temporarily or permanently altered or destroyed. In some women ovarian function comes back fully after the therapy is completed, in some it comes back partially, and in some women it does not come back at all. Younger women may be offered the chance to have some ovarian tissue removed before treatment, and have it frozen for future in vitro fertilization. Women undergoing menopause at an early age require greater help in coming to terms with their change and usually more treatment to control their symptoms.

Changes in bleeding patterns occur for every woman during per menopause. For about 10 percent of women, periods simply end, without any fanfare whatsoever. For others, periods may lighten and come less frequently. Yet other women experience erratic cycles and heavy bleeding. For most women, the change in pattern of menstruation around this time will be entirely explained by fluctuating hormone levels. It is normal to have irregular periods from four to eight years before the actual last periods. It is also normal for periods to be lighter or heavier, a bit longer or a bit shorter. When your cycle starts to change, it is important to see your doctor to make sure the change in pattern is explained by pre menopause and not anything else.