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Could It Be Early Menopause?

Every year thousands of women between the ages of 15 and 44 experience an "estrogen crash", a sudden drop in estrogen levels that leaves women in the clutches of early menopause. Although menopause is traditionally seen as a problem in older women, the many younger women who experience early menopause find themselves unprepared for the unexpected changes that occur.

If your periods stop before you're 40, it could be an early menopause. This is surprisingly common, affecting one in every 50 woman, and can be due to:

  • Autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis or an under-active thyroid.

  • Chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments for cancer.

  • Premature ovarian failure, which describes a stop in the normal functioning of the ovaries in a woman younger than age 40. Thirty percent of woman with this condition find it runs in the family.

  • Sterilization, which can bring the menopause forward.

If you think you may be experiencing early menopause, visit your GP for a blood test to measure your hormone levels. They can then take you through your options.

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