There are many signs and indicators of menopause. There is no need to have any fear or anxiety about menopause, because it is as much a natural process as puberty and it happens to every woman. As you approach the time in your life when menopause becomes more likely, be on the lookout for the signs that menopause approaching.
Aging is a process that is intrinsically linked with menopause. As you gain in years, your body also ages and menopause naturally occurs as part of the aging cycle. Every woman goes through this phase and it is a different experience for every woman. Most women agree that menopause is a great maturing experience and helps them accept their age gracefully.
Some women sail through menopause while some experience a certain amount of distress. Mood swings and hot flushes occur incessantly during menopause and you have to learn to treat the symptoms effectively.
To do this let’s begin by understanding the signs of menopause.
Be on the lookout for the first signs of menopause when you are around forty five. If you sense that you are getting early signs of menopause, it is time to pay your gynecologist a visit.
A common precursor of menopause is irregular periods. There are many ways in which you will see this irregularity. There can be either an increase or a decrease in the time between your periods.
Some women experience a shortening of their cycle while in some the signs of menopause are a lengthening of the cycle. Check the flow of your periods regularly after forty five. Some women experience very heavy flow, for others the flow is decreased.
The advent of menopause usually thins the vaginal and urethral lining. These changes increase your chances of contracting vaginal infections. We recommend monitoring for signs and symptoms of vaginal infections, such as an itchy feeling in your vagina, sometimes coupled with a burning sensation.
This is also a time when your desire to urinate increases considerably. This can be unpleasant and disturbing for women because many of them also suffer from incontinence during laughing, coughing or sneezing. This is also a time when you will find it somewhat difficult to indulge in sexual intercourse. Intercourse might become something that causes discomfort and pain in your vaginal area.
One of the most common and surest signs of menopause is the hot flush. This is caused when the estrogen levels in your body suddenly drops. This dramatic fall in estrogen levels lead to a very rapid expansion of blood pressure which in turn suddenly increases your skin temperature. The effects of the hot flush usually last for a few minutes, and they can happen as frequently as once or twice in an hour. Other than a sudden increase in your body temperature, the hot flush also causes profuse sweating and a flushed complexion.
Hot flushes can occur at any time of the day. If you wake up to find yourself soaked in sweat, it is an indicator that you had been having hot flushes in your sleep. You may want to seek medical advice if you are concerned that it may be something else.
Weight Gain is another sign of menopause. Generally women gain around five pounds but this varies from individual to individual. The extra weight has a tendency to gather in the stomach area.
Other indicators of menopause include physical changes such as wrinkles, extra fullness of breasts, thinning of hair or the onset of skin problems like acne.
Once you see the initial signs of the onset of menopause, it is best to pay a visit to your doctor. Since there can be many other complications related to menopause, it is best to go and see your gynecologist when you first start to experience menopausal symptoms. For example, sudden drops in estrogen levels can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disorders.
This is also a time when you have to take extra care of your body. If you are a smoker, there is no better time to consider quitting. Try to reduce the fattening foods in your diet and include more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Start exercising regularly and get regular blood pressure check ups.
Another major effect of menopause is osteoporosis. After the advent of menopause, the bone density of your body deteriorates. This is a time when you need to have a diet high in calcium so that your body is able to counteract the effects of menopause. Regular walking and jogging also helps strengthen your bone structure.
Why do you get these effects?
With menopause, there is a drastic change in your body’s hormone levels. The lower levels of estrogen and progesterone mean an end to the reproductive years. These changes in hormone level means that the other functions of your body also tend to change.
Increased PMS symptoms
Many women suffer dramatic mood changes during the early part of undergoing the menopause, primarily because they are suffering a degree of difficulty with Pre Menstrual Syndrome or PMS. The mood changes are caused because of the drops in estrogen levels. Estrogen influences the amount of serotonin produced in the body which leads to mood changes.
At the same time, many women suffer changes in memory and attention span. There are many women who have problems remembering things. Some women also complain of decreased attention spans. The lessening of estrogen levels affect the ability to concentrate in certain cases.
Another adverse effect of perimenopause is insomnia. This is mainly because of frequent night sweats which lead to sleep disorders. Even mood swings and depression lead to sleeping problems. However, you have to ensure that you get sufficient sleep because inadequate sleep often leads to increased irritability during daytime.
Since the levels of estrogen decrease with the arrival of the menopause, there is a gradual thinning of the vaginal lining. This makes sexual intercourse a painful experience for many women.
Another adverse effect of perimenopause is urinary incontinence. This happens because of the changes in the pelvic floor. Also, decreased levels of estrogen make it more difficult for the bladder to hold urine.