Early, premature and late menopause: the differences and how to recognize them

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In this article

  • What is menopause?
  • Premature menopause: causes and what to do
  • Premature menopause, what does it consist of?
  • Late menopause and body responses
Read also: Menopause: Body Symptoms and Signs Regarding Pregnancy

Menopause is a physiological moment, a natural process that women go through, sooner or later, in the course of their life. However, there is no predetermined instant in which it arrives, which is why we speak of early menopause, preterm e late. What can be more complex is understanding the differences between them and, sometimes, identifying their symptoms.

Before continuing, however, a necessary clarification must be made: each woman is a universe in her own right, whose body works according to its own rhythms and times. There is no one-size-fits-all rule, consequently the best thing to do is to always listen to your body and, in case of anomalies, contact your trusted gynecologist.

What is menopause?

Menopause is a transitional phase that every woman goes through when she goes from her fertile period to her infertile period. It is divided into four parts:

  • Premenopause;
  • Perimenopause;
  • Menopause;
  • Postmenopausa.

Any of these moments can bring with them quite common symptoms such as cramps, hot flashes, sleep disturbances, moodiness and irritability, pain during sex or depression. Menopause can be said to have begun at 12 months from the last menstrual cycle and can last for several years. And it generally starts between the ages of 45 and 55.

Nonetheless, it can happen that you start first (early or premature menopause) or after (late menopause) with respect to this time range. Now we will see in detail how early and premature menopause differ and how late menopause is identified.

Premature menopause: causes and what to do

Premature menopause is a type of menopause that we could consider not natural. Attention, this does not mean that there is something wrong, but that it was not a natural cessation of the functioning of the ovaries that triggered the transition phase.

Several things can cause premature menopause: first of all some diseases that lead to partial or total surgical removal of the ovariesbut also infectious diseases and cancer treatments.

To play a rather decisive role, however, is also the lifestyle: it excessive stress, an inappropriate diet that alters the values ​​of the body mass index, alcohol consumption and smoking are among the most frequent causes.

The symptoms of premature menopause are the same as those of menopause and should not be taken lightly: a correct diagnosis helps not to avoid menopause (once started, the process is irreversible) but to slow down the other signs of aging.

Read also: Premature menopause

Premature menopause, what does it consist of?

La premature menopause it is, in the strictest sense of the term, an anticipated menopause. Basically, what generally happens between the ages of 45 and 55 takes place around the age of 40.

Unlike what happens with early menopause, this type of menopause is natural so much the "classic" one: simply, the body ends the reproductive phase, without too many words.

This regardless of the causes that trigger it, which are different and all quite well known. To start, playing a decisive factor is the genetics: if there are stories of premature menopause in the family it is very likely the story will repeat itself for a purely hereditary issue.

Another cause is the diseases (an anomalychromosomal, which can be inherited as well as arise in the course of life. These diseases affect the functioning of the reproductive system and can trigger premature menopause.

There are also special cases that can lead to premature menopause: undergoing chemotherapy or surgery for ovarian cysts.

Late menopause and body responses

Finally, here we are at late menopause. Late menopause, as the name implies, arrives after the age of 55: in some women it can even after the age of 60.

The body's responses are those already mentioned: hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances. Basically, however, cystitis and urethritis can also arise with advancing age.

This type of menopause is also completely natural and the timing is generally linked to the arrival of the first menstruation. In fact, late menopause is typical of women who have had their first period well after the age of 16.

There is nothing wrong with this type of menopause, but it is still advisable to have check-ups to make sure everything is normal.

Plus, once you get there, it's good follow your doctor's advice to take vitamins, supplements and any other drugs to ensure that the process is as peaceful as possible: the risks of hypertension and severe osteoporosis for those who go into late menopause, in fact, are higher.

Sources for this article

  • Scientific article: Menopause - an overview;
  • Articolo scientifico: Early menarche, nulliparity and the risk for premature and early natural menopause;
  • Articolo scientifico: The Timing of the Age at Which Natural Menopause Occurs.

  • menopause
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