Menopause is actually a transition period in a woman’s life when her ovaries stop producing eggs and she undergoes several changes both physically as well as emotionally. Her body produces less estrogen and progesterone; her periods become less frequent and eventually stop altogether.
In some women menopause sets in early or prematurely. It is said to be early if menopause occurs before the age of 45, but when menopause occurs before the age of 40, it is considered premature menopause. The signs and symptoms of menopause, normal or otherwise, are mostly the same.
References:1. Menopause - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000894.htm
2. Early and Premature Menopause http://www.epigee.org/menopause/early.html
3. The 35 Symptoms of Menopause http://www.project-aware.org/Experience/symptoms.shtml#hot_flashes
4. Rahman SA, Zainudin SR, Mun VL. Assessment of menopausal symptoms using modified Menopause Rating Scale (MRS) among middle age women in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Asia Pac Fam Med. 2010 Feb 22;9(1):5.
5. Research news http://www.34-menopause-symptoms.com/osteoporosis-postmenopausal-women-soy-counteract-harmful-effects.htm
6. Newton KM, Buist DS, Keenan NL, Anderson LA, LaCroix AZ. Use of alternative therapies for menopause symptoms: results of a population-based survey. Obstet Gynecol. 2002 Jul;100(1):18-25.
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