Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
Is menopause on your mind? For women nearing 40, menopause is just around the corner. But there are a few prevention tips to keep this common issue at bay a little longer.
Menopause is not a common topic that usually comes up in conversations, especially for women. It’s going to happen eventually, but for women, it’s not something to be worried about sooner than they have to, which could be a little weird considering prevention should be a priority for some.
Did you know that 51 is the average age of menopause?
Most women would like to forget about it until they reach that age. But sometimes, that dreaded change comes much earlier before even hitting 40.
That’s for the 1 percent of all women who may experience premature ovarian failure or insufficiency, the clinical term for early menopause. The usual symptoms are hot flashes, night sweats, sleep problems, sexual issues, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, pelvic floor disorders (urine, bowel leakage, pelvic organ prolapse), losing bone mass, and mood swings.
The age of menopause is mostly predetermined by your genes, but there are some things that you can do to possibly delay its onset or at least lessen the symptoms.
Here are some menopause prevention tips for women . . .
Menopause Prevention Tip #1: Know Your Risk Factors
For women, menopause is something that everyone will go through. There are several factors that influence when this hormonal transition begins.
What makes menopause start?
- Genetic predisposition
- Family history
- Chromosomal disorders like Turner Syndrome (when a female is born having only one X chromosome)
- Being very underweight or obese
- A long smoking history
- Past chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Those who have autoimmune diseases
Prevention tips often suggest that you can’t change most of them, but for weight and smoking, those are some things that you can control. Consult your doctor about your personal risk factors to develop a plan to lessen as many factors as you can.
Menopause Prevention Tip #2: Don’t Overdo Your Exercise
Because activity helps regulate hormones and maintain normal levels of body fat, exercise is one of the best things that you can do to help in the prevention of early menopause.
Just try to remember that more is not always better. There is actually a link between early menopause and extremely intense and/or long exercise. Too much exercise will create a hormonal imbalance that could cause irregular ovulations and most likely early hormonal depletion.
Prevention tips for women suggest that if you suddenly stop menstruating for more than a month or two even if your weight is fine then consult your doctor immediately.
Menopause Prevention Tip #3: Stop Smoking, Including Marijuana
Smoking has been known to induce early menopause. The chemicals in cigarettes like nicotine, cyanide, and carbon monoxide can accelerate the loss rate of eggs. And once eggs die, they cannot be regenerated or replaced.
For women smokers, they usually experience menopause one to four years earlier than non-smokers. There’ no research yet about smoking Marijuana and menopause but since for women, they will still be inhaling burnt vegetal material and treated paper, it’s not too far off that menopause could be hastened.
So, prevention tips recommend that you should just avoid all smoking, even second hand smoke.
Menopause Prevention Tip #4: Avoid Environmental Toxins
Preliminary research shows that early menopause may be partly exacerbated by chemicals in the environment that are called endocrine disruptors. These endocrine disruptors interfere with the body’s ability to regulate hormones and they are usually found in plastics and phthalates used in cosmetics, household products, and even food containers.
Prevention tips for women state that by minimizing your exposure to these chemicals as much as possible, your delicate hormone balance may be maintained well.
Menopause Prevention Tip #5: Avoid Coffee and Alcohol
Alcohol may not induce early menopause on its own but drinking too much of it may trigger it if you have other risk factors. Be reminded that heavy alcohol consumption and heavy caffeine consumption have both been linked to reduced fertility. So, prevention tips for women recommend that if you want to start being careful about it, stick with just one cup of coffee per day and two alcoholic drinks per week.
Menopause Prevention Tip #6: Avoid Extreme Weights
Estrogen is stored in fatty tissue so being overweight can cause excessive estrogen for women. Too much of it can result to ovarian failure. Being underweight, on the other hand, can trick your body into thinking you’re starving and needs to shut down all non-essential-to life systems like your fertility.
The more extreme you are in either weight of the spectrum the more likely early menopause will be triggered. So, prevention tips suggest that you should start exercising, eat healthy, get enough sleep, manage your stress levels, so you can maintain a healthy weight.
Related Post: Sex After 40 for Women: Get a Healthy Orgasm Back
Menopause Prevention Tip #7: Consider Hormone Therapy
For women, once ovarian failure has started it can be very hard to stop, but hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may be able to help. It’s not recommended as a first solution because of concerns with breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
There are many different types of HRT and it’s still considered the best treatment for many hormone related issues, especially early menopause. Prevention tips say that you should consult your doctor about your risks and ask if this will be a good option for you.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.