Signs of menopause at age 43, known as early menopause, include hot flashes, irregular periods and night sweats, reports registered nurse Kate Bracy for About.com. Other symptoms may include mood changes, vaginal dryness and insomnia. These are identical to symptoms of natural menopause, which usually occurs around age 51.
Causes of early menopause include inherited tendencies, smoking, radiation treatments or chemotherapy for cancer, and surgical removal of the ovaries, explains Bracy. Sometimes women may experience symptoms of early menopause temporarily due to medical conditions or treatments but their ovaries resume normal function once they regain their health. Symptoms of menopause may last months or years before periods completely stop, and during this time, pregnancy is still possible, states Mayo Clinic. Women should regularly visit their doctors for preventive screenings such as a mammography, colonoscopy, lipid screening, thyroid test and pelvic exam.
Women who experience early menopause may be at increased risk of medical conditions such as osteoporosis, glaucoma, heart disease and thyroid disease, warns Bracy. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms, the patient's medical history and personal choice. Doctors may prescribe hormone therapy, which not only treats symptoms but may also help prevent health risks. Other treatments may include vaginal estrogen, osteoporosis medication and antidepressants, according to Mayo Clinic.