Many women are asking themselves, "could I be going through early or premature menopause at 35, 40? In greater numbers, women have been experiencing a host of symptoms that they have always heard associated with early menopause.  Symptoms such as irritability, mood swings, mild depression, fatigue, sleeplessness, hot flashes and decreased sex drive have been sending many women in their 30's and 40's into a panic.  Before you decide its all down hill from here, there are a few things you should know.

In America, the average age of onset for "natural" menopause is around 51.  Because of genetics, illness, or medical procedures, some women, however, go through menopause before the age of 40. Natural or induced menopause, that occurs before this age, is known as "premature" menopause.  However, there is another, little known cause of these ailments in a lot of women.  While some women do indeed begin  menopause early, what a larger percentage of women are actually experiencing is the effects of low testosterone.  Yes, testosterone.

Women's bodies use testosterone too and as they age, these levels can decline to levels that cause the symptoms listed above.  While aging is one factor in the declining levels, these declines are also being increased and/or exacerbated by pollutants and chemicals we are exposed to everyday from a myriad of sources. Often women present to their doctors and complain of irritability, lack of interest in things they used to enjoy, being withdrawn, etc., only to be diagnosed with fybromyalgia or given anti-depressants.  These anti-depressants can sometimes worsen symptoms and further depress individuals who are alarmed by being told they need such medications.

So, what is the solution? There is a simple blood test that can be used to discern if testosterone levels are low.  However, many physicians use old run of the mill tests that do not adequately measure hormone levels in women.  Women should ask their doctors to perform the test if they have been experiencing symptoms like the ones listed here.  If levels need to be adjusted, they can safely be increased by bio-identical hormones and hormone pellet theory.