During reproductive years, a woman’s ovaries produce hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. They help prepare the body for pregnancy, and also play other roles in health and wellness. During natural menopause, as a woman ages, these hormones decrease gradually, leading to menopausal symptoms.
Premenopausal women who have surgery that removes their ovaries will experience young-onset menopause. Certain chemotherapy treatments can also cause early menopause. The menopause experience is different for every woman, but typically, young-onset menopause causes more intense symptoms and side effects than natural menopause.
Many of the menopause symptoms can be improved with hormone replacement therapy. Research has shown that hormone replacement therapy after young-onset menopause is safe for most women who have never had cancer.
Hormone replacement therapy is not safe for everyone. For women who cannot safely take hormones, there are non-hormonal options for managing menopausal symptoms and side-effects.
It is important for women who have, or will be experiencing early-onset menopause to discuss menopausal symptoms and management with their health care team.
- The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), is a professional organization devoted to promoting women's health and quality of life through an understanding of menopause, certifies providers who have passed an examination and maintained ongoing education in the area of menopause. Their website provides a tool to help you find a qualified menopause expert in your area.
Women experiencing menopausal symptoms can find peer support through the following resources:
- Register for the FORCE Message Boards to connect with others who share your situation.
- FORCE's Peer Navigation Program will match you with a volunteer who shares your mutation and situation and provide you with a free resource guide.
- Contact FORCE volunteers in your area to link to local support groups and other resources.
- Contact the FORCE impact leaders in your area to link to local support groups and other resources.
- Attend a virtual support meeting in your area.
- Read the stories from members of our community.