Should 20 Y/O Women Start Worrying About Menopause?
Writer: Farah Karim
Menopause is a normal condition that all women go through once they hit a certain age. Your mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have gone through it. From uncomfortable hot flashes to migraines and even being more withdrawn than usual — you’ve seen it all and sometimes you wonder when will your time come. While it might seem a long way to go, it’s better to know the signs and know what to expect.
When a woman is born, she has a limited number of eggs in her ovaries (roughly around 1 to 3 million eggs) that is gradually lost throughout a woman’s life. By the time a girl has her first menstrual cycle, she has an average of 400,000 eggs but by the time of menopause, a woman may have fewer than 10,000 eggs. This controls her hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone.
Meanwhile, menopause happens when the ovaries no longer have any eggs in them and your menstruation stops, changing your hormone levels.
There are 3 phases of menopause: perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.
- Perimenopause begins a few years before menopause when the ovaries gradually makes less estrogen until the ovaries stop releasing eggs. For many women, experiencing menopause systems is very normal.
- Menopause typically occurs when it’s been a year since a woman has had her last menstrual cycle and her ovaries have stopped releasing eggs.
- Last but not least, postmenopause occurs years after menopause. Although it’s been a few years, you might still experience some menopausal systems such as hot flashes.
Usually, menopause occurs after the age of 40 but women can go through menopause earlier either from surgery (such as hysterectomy) or damage to the ovaries (chemotherapy). But you don’t have to worry until much later. The average age of menopause is 51 years old but it can vary with a span of a few years.
Perimenopause happens between the ages 35 to 45 but it isn’t an indicator of when you’re going to be receiving your menopause. At the age of 30, your fertility rate decreases rapidly and by the age of 35, this goes down sharply. By the time you reach 40 years old, only about 40% of women are able to conceive without medical intervention. But that still leaves 60% of women who are able to conceive. Like we said, there isn’t a set time or deadline so all you have to do is wait and see.
Should you be worried?
While there are tons of symptoms of perimenopause like being overly sensitive, uncontrollable crying, hot flashes, having migraines, experiencing hair loss, bloating, vaginal bleeding, being unusually depressed or withdrawn as well as gaining weight — most women rarely experience all of these symptoms.
Some women don’t even notice any of these signs until they actually reach the stage of menopause. If you are experiencing it, just know that it’s completely normal. Your friends might not admit it, but they’re probably going through it too.
Just know that asking them about it and opening up to them about your experiences isn’t a weird thing to do. Knowing that you’re going through it together will make you feel better knowing that there are other people going through it at the same time as you and they’ll be understanding of it.
So, should you be worried? Not really. Just take it one step at a time and monitor your condition. If there’s anything that warrants a cause of concern, don’t be afraid to see a doctor and talk to them about it.