It’s hard to pinpoint the start of menopause, but the average age for women to go through peri-menopause is 49. There are many symptoms that can be experienced with this time period and some may be more uncommon than others. The following article will cover 13 signs that you might be experiencing menopause as well as some helpful ways on how we can get relief from these symptoms.
1. Irregular Periods:
One of the most common symptoms that women experience during this time is irregular periods. This can be a result of fluctuating estrogen and progesterone levels as well as changes in the normal production of FSH, LH, and estrogen. It’s important to try and recognize any trends or patterns to help you assess whether your irregular periods are the result of menopause or if there might be other causes for the changes.
2. Hot Flashes:
Hot flashes are one of the most common and classic symptoms associated with menopause. They are usually experienced by women who are going through peri-menopause and typically occur during the evening or nighttime hours. Hot flashes can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or longer, making it hard for you to get relief once they start. Symptoms may include flushed face, sweating, warmth or heat sensations in the neck, chest, head, and/or back area.
There is a close relationship between hot flashes and insomnia, as hot flashes can wake you up at night. It’s also common for women to experience trouble falling asleep in the first place, this is normally because of hot flashes that may keep you awake or cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. On average, women may have anywhere from 2-6 hot flashes during the night and they typically last 5-10 minutes each.
Many women may experience anxiety during menopause as a result of their hot flashes, night sweats and changes in their moods. Anxiety can often follow hot flashes, making it hard for you to calm down once the hot flash is over and it’s also associated with post-menopausal depression as well. This is a common menopause symptom that may start soon after your periods stop or anytime after that afterwards.
Women who are going through peri-menopause may often experience depression as well, a few months after their periods stop. Depression can be a result of hot flashes and other menopause symptoms that affect your overall mood. It’s normal to feel sad and depressed during this time and it’s part of the normal grieving process for women that are going through menopause.
Fatigue is another common menopause symptom that can be experienced by many women. This can be uncomfortable and can prevent you from getting out of bed or completing everyday tasks like cooking dinner for your family. There are a few different symptoms associated with fatigue that include: a sudden feeling of tiredness, low energy, lack of motivation, and trouble falling asleep, as well as headaches and trouble concentrating.
As menopause progresses, many women report experiencing dryness in the genital area including the vagina. This can result from changes in hormones and some women experience vaginal dryness as a result of menopause before they’ve even gone through peri-menopause. Changes in the vulva area can also cause dryness since the opening to the vagina is no longer lubricated by estrogen. Many women also experience dry skin during this time and it’s a common symptom that can be experienced by many.
8. Increased Irregularity:
Some women may experience changes in their body’s normal functioning that can result in irregular or heavier periods. This can be one of the more common menopause symptoms and more commonly occurs at the earlier stages. It’s important to try and pinpoint what changes are taking place in your body so you can see if there is a reason for it.
9. Vaginal Dryness:
The vagina is another part of your body that can experience changes as menopause progresses, causing vaginal dryness. This is often paired with dry skin and can make you feel uncomfortable as well. It’s normal for women to notice vaginal dryness once they’ve been through peri-menopause and is usually a result of changes in hormone levels.
10. Trouble Sleeping:
Sleeping is important for everyone and especially so for women in the menopausal years. As menopause progress, many women begin to experience trouble sleeping. This is often a result of hot flashes and other changes that take place in your body as you go through this transition in your life.
11. Poor Concentration
When you’re going through menopause, it can be difficult to concentrate on things or focus on tasks for long periods of time. This is often a result of changes to your brain and hormones. Some common changes that your brain can experience include: severe headaches, memory loss, trouble concentrating and even depression.
12. Mood Swings:
One of the more frustrating menopause symptoms is the mood swings that occur throughout your day or even at night. This can be incredibly uncomfortable for women as it makes them feel very unproductive during the day and they may not be able to get much done with it. As you go through menopause, you may also notice your emotions changing and that’s normal.
Menopause is a life stage that can be tough and uncomfortable for women to go through. It’s important to speak with your family doctor, gynecologist and/or nurse practitioner if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above in order to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.