What Are The Symptoms Of Perimenopause
During perimenopause, you can experience a variety of symptoms. The reason: Your ovaries have been making estrogen since your first period. During perimenopause, the estrogen production decreases substantially. Your body has to adjust to functioning with less of the hormone, putting you into estrogen withdrawals. The type and intensity of symptoms vary greatly among women some just feel a little off or dont notice anything at all.
Others can experience perimenopausal symptoms including:
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling irritable, anxious or depressed
- Night sweats
- Hot flashes
About 80 percent of women will experience some form of a hot flash during perimenopause or menopause. Hot flashes happen when your brain has trouble regulating your internal temperature, which is a common response to having less estrogen. The shift in temperature may not be noticeable. Or, it may feel like someone cranked up the thermostat on your core body temperature. You suddenly feel uncomfortably hot and sweaty, or you may wake up drenched in sweat .
How Will Menopause Affect Me
Menopause affects every woman differently. Most women get some hot flushes and/or night sweats but are able to manage these without treatment. Around 20 per cent of women have symptoms which are troublesome and/or prolonged and these women may consider treatment. The experience of menopause and symptoms differ in women from different ethnic groups, for example, for some Asian women, body and joint aches and pains are the most troublesome symptom.
Factors that may affect your experience of menopause
- Your age at menopause. Younger women who were not expecting to go through menopause may have more difficulty than women at the average age.
- What you are expecting of menopause. Women who expect to have troublesome menopausal symptoms are more likely to experience troublesome symptoms when they go through menopause. So, a positive and informed approach to menopause may help.
- Many women are relieved that they no longer have menstrual periods and are no longer fertile.
What To Expect After A Diagnosis
If possible, find a supportive and sympathetic doctor to help you adjust to the diagnosis of early menopause. Your doctor will help to counsel you, prescribe appropriate treatments and refer you to relevant specialists when necessary. This is a specialist area and usually, at least initially, an endocrinologist or gynaecologist with expertise in early or premature menopause should assess and advise you.
Your doctor should see you regularly over the years to reassess your health needs, including reviewing your medications and to test routinely for potential risks associated with POI. Often it is necessary to have a team of health professionals monitor you through the years after you have been diagnosed.
You may need to seek out a specialist early-menopause clinic or individual practitioners, such as infertility specialists, endocrinologists , psychologists or psychiatrists for support.
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Q When Does The Menopause End Does Your Body Return To Some Sort Of Normal Or Do These Symptoms Last The Rest Of Your Life
A. The menopause never ends: its a long term hormone deficiency with health risks. Many women find that their symptoms last several years others for decades. But symptoms tend to change over time. For example, hot flushes and night sweats may improve but, on the other hand, you might then start to suffer from poor sleep, memory loss, urinary symptoms or headaches.
Henpicked: So Its Important For Women To Understand Whats Going On In Their Body And If Periods Are Getting In The Way Of Life And Work Speak To A Medical Expert Or Gp
Heres why Deborah joined Dr Mortons
Dr Karen Morton: Yes. Dont put up with it. Even if your periods havent been heavy enough to make you anaemic, your bone marrow which sits in your sternum and your hips is a factory, replacing the blood that youve lost. A factory needs energy. If its busy replacing blood youve lost its not available for you to be doing other things. Dont be a putter upper.
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General Recommendations For Ht
Current guidelines support the use of HT for the treatment of severe hot flashes that do not respond to non-hormonal therapies. General recommendations include:
- HT may be started in women who have recently entered menopause.
- HT should not be used in women who have started menopause many years ago.
- Women should not take HT if they have risks for stroke, heart disease, blood clots, and breast cancer.
- Currently, there is no consensus on how long HT should be used or at what age it should be discontinued. Treatment should be individualized for a womans specific health profile.
- HT should be used only for menopause symptom management, not for chronic disease prevention.
Before starting HT, your doctor should give you a comprehensive physical exam and take your medical history to evaluate your risks for:
- Heart disease
- Breast cancer
While taking HT, you should have regular mammograms and pelvic exams and Pap smears. Current guidelines recommend that if HT is needed, it should be initiated around the time of menopause. Studies indicate that the risk of serious side effects is lower for women who use HT while in their 50s. Women who start HT past the age of 60 appear to have a higher risk for side effects such as heart attack, stroke, blood clots, or breast cancer. HT should be used with care in this age group.
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Q What Help Is There For Women Who Are Unable To Take Hrt
For example, if they are on tamoxifen or similar but are experiencing menopausal symptoms. Please dont say exercise, diet and sleep!
A. Some women who have had breast cancer choose to take HRT for the benefits to their symptoms and also their future health but you will need an individualised consultation with a menopause specialist. For more information on menopause and breast cancer, read my specialised booklet.
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The First Step In Order To Cope With This Is To Be Aware
If you start experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, rather than Googling and making yourself more anxious, please visit your gynaecologist. This way you will be able to do the required test and be able to actually know whether these are symptoms of perimenopause or otherwise.
Once you feel that your transitions have begun, keep a check on your symptoms and your moods. It is important for one to be aware so that they can recognize them accordingly. The first thing that we have to remind ourselves with is that this process is absolutely normal and a lot of its symptoms are temporary. The more we look at this step as a negative path, the harder, more anxious and more depressing the whole process becomes.
Weight Gain And Early Menopause
Its summer and youre going to the beach in your bathing suit or wearing shorts and tank tops or at least thinking about it. At this time of year more than any other, youre more aware of your body.
Or its the holidays and you want to look fabulous for those parties youre invited to. Or its just any day, and you want to look and feel wonderful.
But you step on the scale, and the little arrow is higher. Or you look in the mirror and dont think you look as good as you used to. You feel heavier. You feel like you look different.
Its a common problem for women like us going through early menopause.
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Treatment For Early Or Premature Menopause
There is no treatment available to make the ovaries start working again.
Rarely, the ovaries may spontaneously start working again, for reasons unknown. According to some studies, about one in 10 women who are diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency get pregnant, for reasons that are not yet clear.
Women with early menopause have a long period of postmenopausal life, which means they are at increased risk of health problems such as early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease. For this reason, it is recommended that they take some form of hormone therapy until they reach the typical age of menopause . This may be the combined oestrogen and progestogen oral contraceptive pill, or menopausal hormone therapy .
Either option treats menopausal symptoms and reduces the risk of early onset of osteoporosis and heart disease.
Early And Premature Menopause
Menopause before the age of 45 is called early menopause. Menopause before the age of 40 is called premature menopause.
A spontaneous early menopause affects approximately 5% of the population before the age of 45.
Premature menopause, or premature ovarian insufficiency , is defined as being menopause that happens before the age of 40.
Premature menopause is estimated to affect 1% of women under the age of 40 years and 0.1% of women under the age of 30 years.
Premature menopause is different to menopause which occurs at around the average age , as premature menopause means that the ovaries arent working properly. They stop producing eggs years before they normally would.
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How Does Early Menopause Affect Your Fertility Planning
Once youve gone through menopause, you wont be able to conceive naturally, but you can still successfully start a family by using IVF with either donor eggs, or your own eggs that you froze at an earlier point in life.
You might have heard about hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, which is often recommended for women who experience early menopause. However, HRT is only prescribed to address various other health issues associated with menopause, like osteoporosis and an increased risk of cancer, in addition to managing its symptoms. It doesnt improve your fertility.
- Have a family history of early menopause
- Are suffering from an autoimmune disorder, infection, or genetic disorder that can bring on early menopause
- Have been advised to begin treatment or surgery that can impact your fertility
its wise to consider freezing your eggs as soon as possible.
When you freeze your eggs in your 20s or 30s, egg quality is higher, which improves your chances of success when you use them later to get pregnant via IVF. Egg quality can drop well before menopause, which means that even if you do get pregnant during perimenopause, youll have a higher risk of miscarriage and of the egg failing to divide properly, resulting in the wrong number of chromosomes in each cell in the embryo.
How Hormones Affect The Elasticity In Your Skin
The dermis of your skin is a layer composed chiefly of collagen.
Along with elastin, collagen is responsible for the skins structure and elasticity.
Once menopause sets in, you can expect to lose almost one-third of the collagen content of your skin in just 5 years.
The collagen content continues to get lower at the rate of 2% each year once youre postmenopausal.
Its the decreasing levels of estrogen that cause the outer layer of the skin to produce fewer glycosaminoglycans, also known as GAGs. This hormonal change leads to the lowering of collagen content and makes your skin less elastic.
These lowered levels of estrogen is the main reason for these bothersome changes to the skin.
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How Does Menopause Affect Workouts
Your workouts don’t have to stop once menopause starts.
As a woman, there are plenty of ways that your body changes as you get older. But, one of the most major changes is menopause. Menopause is a blanket term that covers the physical and emotional changes that you experience when your bodyas a result of no longer releasing eggs every monthstops menstruating.
And were going to be honest, the list of physical and emotional changes during menopause is pretty lengthy. The most common symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, hot flashes, sweating, insomnia, depression, anxiety, feeling apprehensive, weight gain or loss, fatigue, poor concentration, memory loss, and heart palpitations, says Sherry Ross, MD, OB-GYN and womens health expert at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.
Clearly, menopause is a time of physical change. So, you might be wondering if these physical changes impact your workouts in anywyay. Read on as we explore the connection between menopause and exercise and how to adjust your routine for the change.
While you may not feel your best during this time, finding a way to relax may be helpful. Aaptiv has hundreds of meditation classes to help rejuvenate your mind and body.
What Affects The Age You Start Menopause
Certain factors may affect when you begin menopause. Your family history, medical conditions, and hormones all play a role in when menopause is likely to occur for you.
Smoking may influence the age of menopause onset. Studies have found that smoking during the reproductive years was significantly associated with earlier menopause.
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Q I Have Suddenly Started To Get Bad Body Odour Nothing Else Has Changed: Might This Be Related To The Menopause
Which deodorants are best if youre going through the menopause?
A. Yes, body odour is a common symptom of the menopause. It may just be due to increased sensitivity on your part: your sense of smell can really change as a consequence of low hormone levels, so women often report noticing smells that others dont. HRT can really help with this. I also recommend Sure Maximum Impact, which I use myself.
How Is Early Menopause Treated Or Managed
Early menopause generally doesnt require treatment. However, there are treatment options available to help manage the symptoms of menopause or conditions related to it. They can help you deal with changes in your body or lifestyle more easily.
Premature menopause, however, is often treated since it occurs at such an early age. This helps support your body with the hormones that would normally be made until you reach the age of natural menopause.
The most common treatment includes hormone replacement therapy . Systemic hormone therapy can prevent many common menopausal symptoms. Or you may take vaginal hormone products, usually in low doses, to help with vaginal symptoms.
HRT does have risks though. It can increase your chances of heart disease, stroke, or breast cancer.
Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits to your individual care before starting HRT. Lower doses of hormones may decrease your risk.
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How To Make Workouts Work For You During Menopause
So, the bad news is that menopause definitely has an impact on your workouts. But, the good news? Theres no reason why your workouts need to stop after menopause starts. In fact, continuing to work out during menopause is one of the best things you can do for your body, your mind, and your overall health. Its completely unanimous that there is a long list of benefits from regular exercise. Exercising as little as 30 minutes, three days a week can show immediate health benefits , says Dr. Ross.
There are a few ways to change up your routine as your body changes.
Enjoy Aaptivs thousands of workouts, ranging from meditation and yoga, to running and strength training. Theres something for everyone!
There Are Several Reasons For Early Menopause The Most Common Of Which Include Genetics Chromosomal Effects Autoimmune Disorders And Lifestyle Factors
Out of these, the only one in our control is that of lifestyle. We live in extremely stressful times today. Stress has a huge impact on our physical health as well and is known to cause hormonal imbalances. Moreover, certain factors like smoking, consumption of excessive alcohol, being over or underweight, extreme diets and lack of exercise, all contribute towards an unhealthy lifestyle and have been seen to sometimes cause early menopause. It is therefore extremely important to be aware of how we are doing and take care of our health accordingly.
Symptoms of early menopause not only include irregularities in our periods but also mood swings, changes in sexual desire, vaginal dryness, sleep problems, hot flashes, night sweats and lack of bladder control. As a result, one may feel irritable, sad, demotivated, anxious, aggressive, have difficulty concentrating and experience fatigue. These changes are caused by hormonal imbalances but also are reactions to the physical symptoms that we are going through.
One can feel quite helpless, vulnerable and out of sorts during this situation as their body starts to react in ways which are outside ones control.
I Got My First Period Early Does That Mean Ill Go Through Menopause Early
I have many patients tell me, I know Im going to go through menopause earlier because I started my period really early, says Streicher. The reason women think that is because they think menopause occurs when you run out of eggs. This isnt going to happen were born with millions of eggs and many of those are never used. When you go through menopause is really about the aging of eggs and what causes them to age more quickly, she says.
The average age of menarche in the United States has gotten younger for a variety of reasons, but that hasnt made women go through menopause earlier, she points out.
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Health Changes And Mood Disturbances
Changes in your physical health at the time of menopause may also drive mood changes. For example, anxiety may be triggered by an overactive thyroid gland, which becomes more common with age. In addition, anxiety and depression may be triggered by a lack of sleep, which also becomes more common at the time of menopause, as hormone shifts cause nighttime hot flashes or other sleep disruptions that make it more difficult for women to get the rest they need.
So, what can you do to protect your mental health as you go through menopause?
Be aware that mood changes may accompany other menopausal symptoms.
Monitor your mood and make note of patterns in other factors such as sleep and stress levels. Seek professional help if symptoms become severe and interfere with daily life.
Make lifestyle changes such as increasing exercise, getting adequate sleep, and controlling stress to reduce potential symptoms.
Reach out to others. Don’t struggle alone.
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