If you’re having trouble becoming pregnant, the last thing you want to find is that menopause has started early. Unfortunately, early menopause rates are increasing for various reasons, one of which is the many chemicals people are exposed to affecting hormone balance and hormone production. When menopause begins, your body no longer releases viable eggs or produces the blood-rich uterine lining needed for an embryo to implant into and enable pregnancy.
If you want to carry a baby, you need to conceive before the onset of menopause. A woman is officially in menopause when she hasn’t had a period in one year or longer, signaling that her childbearing years are over. For most women, this occurs in her 50s, however, since the age varies from individual to individual the general recommendation is that sooner is better than later.
Due to a variety of causes, some women experience the onset of menopause long before the average age. Menopause is considered “early” when a woman begins experiencing symptoms before they reach the age of 40. Various factors can contribute to a woman experiencing menopause early, including genetics, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and certain autoimmune disorders.
Symptoms of early menopause include:
- Irregular or skipped periods (in women whose cycles are usually regular)
- Lighter or heavier periods than normal
- Hot flashes
- Vaginal dryness or a decrease in libido
- Moodiness or irritability
- Sleep problems
If you have noticed these symptoms before the age of 40 (or in your early 40s and you are still hoping to conceive), see your doctor so they can help determine whether it is early menopause or not. You can treat menopause symptoms with lifestyle changes, diet, and hormone therapy, but you cannot reverse the process. If you want to have a baby and have received a diagnosis of early menopause, see a fertility specialist as soon as possible.
Possible environmental causes of early menopause include:
- Plastic containers. Eating food or drinking a liquid that has been stored in a plastic container might contain chemicals that are thought to affect hormone levels.
- Phthalates. These chemicals are found in many mainstream cosmetic products and appear to have a detrimental effect on hormone production.
- Commercial meat. Factory-farmed meat and animal by-products can contain hormones that transfer from the food into your body, so choose hormone-free foods whenever possible.
- Pesticides. Some pesticides have also been linked to fertility problems and early menopause, so try to purchase pesticide-free options when you can.
If you have been diagnosed with early menopause, there are still fertility solutions that can help you achieve a healthy pregnancy. Contact us at Egg Donation, Inc. for more information.