Five signs you are going through menopause.
Menopause is a natural transition for all women that can be accompanied by aggravating symptoms due to decreased ovarian production of estrogen and progesterone. Since no two women are alike, the severity and the length of time that symptoms persist varies from person to person.
How can you tell if you’re going through menopause? Here are five signs:
1. Menstrual cycle length
As hormonal production falls, one of the first signs is varying menstrual cycle length. Cycles can become longer or shorter and bleeding may become heavier or lighter. You still need to protect yourself against pregnancy during this time because you may be ovulating.
2. Hot flashes
Hot flashes are another common complaint during the menopausal transition. They involve a sudden feeling of heat, usually in the face, neck and upper body. You may become flushed and start sweating. Hot flashes can vary in intensity and even wake you from sleep. They usually last less than 10 minutes. Most women will experience hot flashes to some degree and there are treatments available if they disrupt quality of life.
3. Vaginal dryness
The third sign you may be approaching menopause is vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. As estrogen levels fall, the tissues of the vagina become thinner and have decreased natural lubrication. This can cause symptoms of irritation and sometimes itching. Many women initially confuse these symptoms with a yeast infection. The lack of lubrication can also make intercourse more painful. Lubricants and vaginal moisturizers are often recommended to help alleviate dryness. Prescription vaginal estrogens can also be helpful.
4. Mood swings
It is also common to experience mood swings and depressive symptoms. Changes in hormone levels can greatly affect a woman’s mental stability. Women often report vast swings in mood that can be sudden and unpredictable. Along with mood changes, forgetfulness is another common perimenopausal complaint.
5. Sleep changes
Finally, most women reports sleep changes during the menopausal transition. This can either be difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. It is important to practice good sleep habits to help with these symptoms. Remember to limit caffeine intake, limit screen time in the evenings and make sure your bedroom is cool and quite.
There are many therapies for menopausal care, both natural and pharmaceutical, which can help women ease through this menopausal transition. Request an appointment with your gynecologist to review your symptoms and design a treatment plan.
Date Published: March 11, 2016