How Do You Know When Menopause Has Started? Top Signs to Look Out For
The term 'menopause' can trigger mixed feelings in women. While it marks the end of the menstruation cycle and all the inconveniences associated with it; however, it can bring a new set of symptoms and challenges.
What Happens During Menopause?
Menopause is when the female sex hormone levels naturally decline due to aging, accompanied by a gradual cessation of the menstrual cycle. As menopause causes ovaries to stop releasing eggs, the women experiencing this stage lose their ability to conceive children.
Menopause normally begins 12 months after a women's last period. While the average age of menopause is the early 50s, menopause may begin even earlier for some women. If a woman enters menopause before the age of 40 and 45, this is known as premature and early menopause, respectively.
Though there are several stigmas related to menopause, there is no reason to worry, as it is a natural and biological process that every woman's body undergoes. If you are anxious about approaching menopause, this article will help you identify common menopause symptoms and how to know when menopause has started.
Symptoms of Menopause
Most women experience certain irregularities in their period cycles. Like menstruation, the symptoms of menopause differ from one woman to another.
Here are some common signs of menopause that most women experience:
- Vaginal dryness
- Irregular periods
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Thinning hair and dry skin
- Gradual loss of breast fullness
- Reduced metabolism and weight gain
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you are not alone. Many women undergoing menopause have reported mood swings due to hormonal changes, resulting in sudden emotional triggers, anxiety, and depression. Forgetfulness in aging women can also be traced back to menopause.
Can Menopause Affect Your Sex Life?
Some women have reported a gradual decline in their libido. Menopause can also cause vaginal dryness, so it is important to use lubricants and continue practicing safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
What About Perimenopause?
As menopause approaches, it is common for women to skip periods. Most women experience perimenopause, where they do not menstruate for several months. For others, menopause may be preceded by shorter or irregular menstrual cycles. However, it is possible for women experiencing perimenopause to get pregnant, so skipping a period might not always indicate a menopausal transition.
Seeing a Doctor During Menopause
Though a natural process, many women experience health issues during menopause that affect their everyday life. If you are experiencing any menopausal symptoms that are affecting your quality of life, consult a doctor immediately to diagnose any concerns that might require professional attention. Based on your medical history, your doctor may ask for health screenings, including mammography, colonoscopy, triglyceride tests, thyroid exams, and breast and pelvic exams.
We Are Here to Help!
Addressing the stigma surrounding menopause allows more women to open up about it and seek professional help if needed. At North Atlanta Women's Care, treatment options for menopause are readily available to make the experience as comfortable as possible. If you're experiencing any complications or irregularities during menopause, contact us today for help.
Related Article:Can Menopause Cause Sleep Deprivation?
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