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 following resources can help you find experts who specialize in managing symptoms related to menopause:
- The North American Menopause Society has a tool to help you find a qualified menopause expert in your area.
- The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine has a searchable directory of licensed acupuncturists.
- The American Academy of Sleep Medicine maintains the public-facing website SleepEducation.org that includes a section on finding a sleep center by location.
- The National Institutes of Health () and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center has a page on finding an expert.
- Register for the FORCE Message Boards to get referrals from other members. Once you register, you can post on the Find a Specialist board to connect with other people who share your situation.
FORCE offers many peer support programs for people with inherited mutations.
- Our Message Boards allow people to connect with others who share their situation. Once registered, you can post on the Diagnosed With Cancer board to connect with other people who have been diagnosed.
- Our Peer Navigation Program will match you with a volunteer who shares your mutation and situation.
- Our moderated, private Facebook group allows you to connect with other community members 24/7.
- Check out our virtual and in-person support meeting calendar.
- Join one of our Zoom community group meetings.