How can I tell if I'm going through early menopause, and how old do I have to be?

How can I tell if I'm going through early menopause and how old do I have to be?

So the first thing is to distinguish between perimenopause and menopause.

Perimenopause are the the hormonal changes that occur before the menopause and can begin in the early 40s. So many women start having some changes in their hormones in their early 40s. Menopause is when you've actually not had a period for a whole year.

Menopause can happen between age 45 to 55, commonly with the average age being 51. Very occasionally, some women go into menopause before the age of 40. This is called premature menopause and occurs it happens to about one in 100 women. The common symptoms that might occur in menopause are hot flushes, night flushes, poor sleep, changes in mood such as low mood anxiety, vaginal dryness, low libido, fatigue.

All of those are very common symptoms. So I'd say if you're experiencing any of those and your periods have stopped, then it's likely that you are going into menopause. You can see your GP, and they will be able to check your hormone levels, particular FSH levels, which can be helpful as a marker to see where you are in the menopausal transition process.

Dr Sally Moorcroft

Specialist in Integrative and Functional Medicine

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