We can look at 45 as a usual time when premenopausal symptoms first appear.
Unlike the popular misconception, premenopause does not only refer to irritability and mood swings but a whole set of distinct physiological symptoms. These symptoms may be vague independently but together confirm a woman’s ingress into perimenopause.
The symptoms every woman should be able to tell are irregularity of menstruation, hot flashes and associated stress/ irritability. Here irritability is not the primary symptom but an associated one.
There may be associated depression, weight gain, water retention and headaches as well.
At times, these symptoms may cause quite a bit of discomfort, resulting in women thinking of various solutions, many of which are suggested by other peers in small chats and internet chat rooms.
Remember, this is your health we are dealing with. Therefore always consult your gynecologist before considering a drastic measure like hysterectomy or tubal reversal without revealing your true reasons.
How long will this disease last?
Technically speaking, premenopause or menopause is not a disease but merely a switching phase of the body, accompanied with some uncomfortable and, at times, debilitating symptoms. There have been known cases of women who experience sudden cessation of menstruation. However, for the majority, it is the usual grill i.e. approximately 3-6 years of premenopause followed by 2-4 years of postmenopausal symptoms. The symptoms may be mild enough to ignore and severe enough to ask for medications.
Do I need medication?
That is for you and your doctor to decide. If you are experiencing nonadjustable problems, you should seek proper medical advice. The symptoms are basically due to hormonal fluctuations. Most women complain of lack of energy in addition to the above-mentioned symptoms.
In either case, you may consider many alternatives.
How will it affect me in future?
In the best way possible! You will not have to experience menstruation and associated body cramps. You won’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancies. The depression and stress is momentary and will pass away before you even notice. This phase is tough but will be gone soon.
Is there anything that I did to cause this?
No. This is inevitable and unavoidable. You may have accelerated its onset but no matter what you did, this was nonetheless bound to happen. It is a natural process.
What do you mean by my accelerating its onset?
Yes it is a possibility that certain aspects of your lifestyle caused an earlier onset of menopause. Those aspects are:
- Hysterectomy (as it only removes the uterus, not the ovaries)
- No history of pregnancy
- Treatment history of pelvic radiation or chemotherapy
How do I know when to go to a doctor for my premenopausal symptoms?
In case of unusually heavy bleeding, longer menstruation i.e. more than 9 days, shorter cycle, and spotting in the middle of cycle, you need to see your gynecologist regardless of appearance of other symptoms.
Is this dangerous? Will I have to undergo a surgery? Will the surgery be reversible?
Whoops, lots of questions there. No it isn’t dangerous and you will not necessarily have to undergo a surgery. Most of the times, hormone replacement therapy HRT is advised. This therapy may be a combined pill or a progestin only therapy, depending upon your spectrum of symptoms.
Occasionally endometrial ablation is performed that is destruction of uterine mucosal lining. This is a surgery and not reversible. Even if you opt for a hysterectomy, that is not reversible. The reversible procedure you might be thinking of is tubal reversal which is done to reverse a tubal ligation. That has no effect on menopause at all.