Because PMS and early menopause share many symptoms, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two. However, there are a number of ways to tell them apart.
Continue reading to learn about PMS and early menopause, including symptoms, causes, treatment options, and much more, to have a better understanding of the changes occurring in your body.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes the physical and emotional symptoms that come before a woman's period. It is reportedly experienced by as many as 75% of women.
PMS is caused by the cyclical changes in hormones that occur before a woman's menstruation comes as well as chemical changes that may take place in the brain, causing varying states of mood. Symptoms are aggravated by stress or depression.
Some of the most common symptoms of PMS include bloating, headaches, breast tenderness, irritability, depressed mood, anxiety, poor concentration, and cramping, among others.
Early menopause can be defined as menopause that occurs before the age of 45. This means that the menopausal transition, during which the ovaries slow down hormonal production, and its symptoms can begin in a woman's 30s.
It can be caused by genetics; an underlying medical condition; invasive reproductive surgeries, such as a total hysterectomy; or exposure to radiation or chemotherapy.
What is distinctive of early menopause are irregular periods due to declining and drastically fluctuating hormone levels.
Other characteristic symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, vaginal dryness, loss of libido, mood swings, and many more.
What Differs between PMS and Early Menopause?
While both PMS and early menopause are caused by changes in hormone levels and may have some overlap in symptoms, the timing is an important difference between the two.
The main symptom that distinguishes PMS from early menopause is irregular periods, which occur as a woman's fertility gradually comes to an end.
Moreover, symptoms of PMS form a cyclical pattern, occurring within a week to two weeks before your projected period (as long as you are not on birth control).
On the other hand, symptoms of early menopause do not. Irregular periods, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness can occur during any time of your menstrual cycle, and any symptom can last for weeks or months at a time unless properly managed and treated.
Accordingly, if your symptoms are altering the quality of your life, or you would like an effective and natural way to treat them, click on the following link to learn more about early menopause treatments.
- Mayo Clinic. (2018). Premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Symptoms & causes. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780
- NHS. (2017). Early menopause. Retrieved January 17, 2019, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/early-menopause/