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Menopause is the medical term used to describe the phase in a woman’s life where her menstrual cycle or period stops. This usually happens between the ages of 40-58. The period before and after menopause can be very stressful for women as there are many changes happening to the body, whether emotional or physical.
Some women may be experiencing symptoms of menopause without realizing what they are going through because symptoms can start as early as four years before their last period. This phase is called perimenopause. This, of course, makes it very difficult for women to understand the changes going in their bodies and minds.
Perimenopause is the phase when the body begins to produce less estrogen until the ovaries finally stop releasing eggs. It could happen 4-10 years before menopause occurs. Basically, perimenopause is the transition period before menopause happens. Of course, each woman experiences different symptoms, some may experience all symptoms, while others may only have a few.
Menopause is diagnosed after you have gone 12 months without having your menstrual cycle.
Signs and symptoms of menopause
- Irregular periods
- Hair and skin issues
- Hot flashes/night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Change in sex drive
- Extreme mood changes
- Sleep changes
- Weight gain/changes in metabolism
- Memory/concentration issues
Via: Medical News Today – Menopause Signs and Symptoms
Your period may come more or less often. You may get heavy bleeding or lighter periods.
Hair and skin issues
Menopause can cause hair loss and make your skin dry due to changes in hormones.
Hot Flashes/night sweats
You may suddenly feel hot and your heart may beat faster and then suddenly feel cold. Night sweats are basically hot flashes that happen during your sleep.
Menopause causes the skin around the vagina to become dry which could make sex painful. Using a gel-based lubricant can help with the dryness.
Change in sex drive
Some women may experience a lower sex drive, while others may have a higher sex drive during menopause.
Extreme mood changes
The changes in your hormones could definitely be causing you to be very moody. You may have sudden mood swings. You might suddenly cry, easily get frustrated, or feel angry.
If you have had recent sleep-related issues, whether its trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or frequent waking during the night, they could be related to menopause. The decrease in estrogen and progesterone can cause sleep disturbances, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
Weight gain/changes in metabolism
Changes in hormones will definitely be accompanied by changes in weight. You may notice sudden weight gain or difficulty in losing weight.
Your heart beats may become more noticeable.
You may notice yourself becoming more forgetful or having trouble concentrating.
If you experience any of these symptoms and feel overwhelmed for any reason, make sure to visit your OB/gynecologist and speak to them about any concerns you may have. Your doctor may ask you for blood tests and speak to you about your symptoms to make the correct diagnosis.