7 mins read

How to Deal with Premature and Early menopause?


medically reviewed by Dr Godmi Tresa

Dr Sooraj Sukumaran

Updated on October 24, 2023

Women do not menstruate throughout their lives.

It usually stops after 45 years of age. This biological phenomenon is called menopause.

But do women stop menstruating before 45 or even 40 years of age? Isn't that a bit early?


What is an early menopause age? 

Studies show about 1% of women go through menopause before 40 and about 5% of women before 45.

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So is it natural? 

Is it okay to start menopause so early? How is premature menopause different from early menopause? What are the signs of premature menopause? What can cause early or premature menopause? How do I diagnose it? Is there any treatment for early menopause?

A hundred more questions might have already popped up in your mind by now.

We are here to answer most of them. Keep scrolling to read more.

What is the difference between premature and early menopause?

Imagine that your friend's daughter started menstruating at the age of 8. "Oh, that is not healthy. Please see a general practitioner." Is that what you would advise?

Well, it is worrisome when periods set in early and the same is valid when it stops early too. The process of menopause usually begins for a woman between the ages of 45 and 55. 
So, we need to dig deeper to see why it happens earlier than that (early menopause) or much earlier than that (premature menopause).

When menstruation stops between the ages of 40 and 45, it is called early menopause. 
But if it stops before 40 years of age, it is called premature menopause.

Medical fact: These days, premature menopause is called premature ovarian failure or primary ovarian insufficiency by practitioners and science geniuses.

What are the symptoms of early or premature menopause?

The signs of premature menopause, early menopause and menopause are more or less the same.

Here are the physiological changes you can expect from early or premature menopause, along with menstrual irregularities.

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Pain during sex (or dyspareunia in the words of your consultant)
  • Peeing more times a day than usual
  • Losing control over bowel and bladder
  • Sleeplessness
  • Headache
  • Joint pains

Early or premature menopause also comes with symptoms affecting your mental health. They can lead to

  • Depression
  • Anxiety 
  • Irritability
  • Brain fog
  • Lack of concentration and focus

These symptoms are similar to natural menopause, the only difference being that they visit too early.

The risks that these symptoms are misinterpreted as hyperthyroidism, anaemia or PCOS and are likely to be ignored are high.

What are the causes of premature or early menopause?

Women are born with approximately 1 million eggs in their ovaries which, by the time they reach puberty, become roughly 300,000.

These eggs are safely protected by 'sleeping bags' called follicles. One of these eggs gets released every month from the ovaries, out of these sleeping bags, once menstruation begins. 

These sleeping bags or follicles produce the female sex hormone oestrogen in the ovaries.

As you grow older, the number and quality of these eggs decline and the remaining eggs start getting worn off. This decline causes a reduction in oestrogen levels and, thus, gives rise to menopausal symptoms.

There are numerous causes of early or premature menopause.

1. Surgery or induced menopause

Surgeries that require the removal of ovaries or uterus are one of the leading causes of early or premature menopause in women. Chemotherapy and radiation can also cause premature or early menopause.

2. Medications

Some medications like alkylating agents, methotrexate, actinomycin and adriamycin can mess with your ovaries.

3. Genetic disorders

Genetic disorders like Turner's syndrome, fragile X syndrome, Ovarian dysgenesis etc., are some of the causes of early or premature menopause.

4. Autoimmune conditions

In autoimmune conditions, your immune system mistakenly attacks your cells. There are chances it can attack the body's hormone-producing organs as well. Ovaries can also get attacked in the process leading to the dysfunction of ovaries and, thus, premature or early menopause.

5. Infections

Mumps and pelvic tuberculosis are a couple of infections that can be a reason for premature or early menopause.

6. Lifestyle 

Smoking can hamper the smooth functioning of your ovaries and thus is a potential risk factor for early menopause.

How can you be sure if it is menopause visiting early?

If you can tick these off, you could be dealing with premature or early menopause!

  • Your period has gone awol!
  • You have symptoms of menopause or estrogen deficiency
  • Your blood tests show abnormal levels of hormones

Things to look out for in your blood test

Elevated levels of Gonadotropins (the other female sex hormones- LH and FSH) A decline in blood calcium levels and bone mineral density. There are many more tests, but it is best to consult your general practitioner before you undergo any of these tests.

How can early or premature menopause be managed naturally?

How can early or premature menopause be managed naturally.png

Everything starts with the proper diet. Every bite and every sip matters.

What can you include in your diet?

  • Vata bioenergy balancing foods
    Include well-cooked foods prepared with spices like fennel, coriander, cumin etc.
    Fruits like bananas, prunes, papaya, avocado, figs, kiwi and apricots, soaked and cooked green grams and nuts like almonds and walnuts can help balance the vata bioenergy.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D-containing foods
    Yoghurt, milk, eggs, sardine, cheese etc., are some of the best sources of Calcium and Vitamin D and are readily available.
  • Green leafy vegetables
    They are rich in prebiotics and support your gut health - The first step towards a healthy life! Micronutrients in them are another perk.
  • Fruits
    Low-calorie and fibre-rich fruits and vegetables can be a constant on your dinner tables.
    Fruits like the Indian gooseberry are loaded with antioxidants which can act as natural rejuvenators.
  • Phytoestrogens
    Flaxseeds, sesame seeds and linseed contain phytoestrogens that mimic oestrogen's role in your body.
  • Proteins
    Legumes, nuts, dairy, etc., are good sources of proteins. Ensure that you have zero allergic reactions or intolerance to these food items before adding them to your diet.

What should be avoided?

  • Trigger foods
    Caffeine, alcohol, foods and drinks containing added and processed sugar are the common triggers of menopausal symptoms.
  • Skipping meals
    It is of utmost importance that a balanced diet which contains vitamins, minerals, prebiotics,   probiotics, glucose, and protein, everything your body needs, is supplied to your body.
  • Be sure to drink water.
    Your body needs water. Twelve glasses of water per day are acceptable to avoid weight gain, bloating and excess calorie intake.

What are some ayurvedic herbs that help manage early menopause? 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)Promotes sleep, 
body strength and immunity
Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)Heart-tonic
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamom)Balances vata bioenergy
Garlic (Allium sativum)Balances vata bioenergy
Guggulu (Commiphora mukul)Nurture and strengthens 
the body 
Sandalwood (Santalum album)Manages hot flashes 
and Vaginal dryness
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)Rich in phytoestrogens

Can ayurvedic therapies help with early menopause treatment?

Can ayurvedic therapies help with early menopause treatment.png

Yes, Ayurvedic therapies help manage your symptoms considerably well.

  • Ayurvedic therapies like panchakarma focus on cleansing and detoxifying the system, restoring balance in the body.
  • Bedtime foot massage with sesame oil can balance vata bioenergy and help you sleep better.
  • Ayurvedic oil massages can be a daily routine before you take a hot shower.
  • Daily Nasya (instillation of medicated oil in the nostrils) is a great way to manage early menopausal symptoms. But please make sure you consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner before selecting the oil. 

Do exercises help to manage premature menopause?

Ensuring regular exercise and physical activities like Yoga or Pilates can improve metabolism, strengthen joints and muscles, decrease stress, promote cardiac health and induce good sleep.

How can therapeutic yoga help with premature menopause?

Here are some yoga poses that help immensely with managing early menopausal symptoms - both mental and physiological.

Reclining bound angle poseReduces hot flashes 
Regulates hormones.
Sphinx poseHelps in energising the body
Raised leg pose Reduces anxiety 
and relaxes the body
Seated wide angleTones the uterus
Relieves lower back pain
Mountain poseEases brain fog
Increases alertness

Should 'Me-time' be a priority?

Of course. It is an essential aspect of holistic healing. You are the centre of your world.

  • Give yourself more time and care
  • Restructure priorities
  • Attend community activities
  • Build new networks

Does my lifestyle influence early menopause?

Your lifestyle, in many ways, defines your entire well-being.

  • Early to bed and rise can help pause your menopause from visiting before time.
  • Defining a regular time for meals and other daily activities will help balance the vata bioenergy.

Is premature menopause good?

There is nothing desirable in attaining premature menopause; on the contrary, it curtails the opportunity to reproduce due to hormonal depletions and compromises the person's well-being at an early age.

Can stress bring on early menopause?

Till date, there is no conclusive evidence that stress can directly result in early menopause. However, stress is capable of psychosomatic ailments that can weaken the body and disrupt its function in multiple aspects.

Can premature menopause be healed?

Premature menopause can be managed with proper diet, routine and lifestyle, along with interventions like hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) taking the complications into account, but not healed.


Premature and early menopause sure raises a lot of health concerns among women all over the globe. Studies show that women who experience early or premature menopause can have a high risk for osteoporosis, neurological diseases, psychiatric conditions and even heart-related issues.

They can be managed naturally through Ayurveda and therapeutic yoga.

Ayurveda and Yoga offers abundant possibilities and herbal medications to our disposal from ancient wisdom and expertise more than 5000 years old.

Ready to reclaim control over your menopausal journey? Book a consultation with our experts today!

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