Whats The First Sign Of Perimenopause
The first perimenopause sign is typically a disruption of your menstrual cycle. For many women, your period starts earlier or later than normal. For example, if your menstrual cycle has always been 28 days, during perimenopause, your period could come as early as 21 or as late as 35 days. Some women start skipping months entirely and then experience heavier-than-normal periods when they do have them.
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Eat Smaller Meals More Often
Another way to manage your blood sugar and belly fat? Eat smaller meals, more frequently.
When you overeat, youre putting too much stress on your body, and youre spiking your insulin and blood sugar. Conversely, when you wait too long between meals, your blood sugar crashes. This is hard on your metabolism and can make losing that excess belly fat even harder.
Help your metabolism out by eating smaller meals more frequently instead of two or three large meals per day.
Signs You May Be In Perimenopause
The signs and symptoms of menopause can start as much as a decade before a woman actually hits menopause. Youve reached true menopause when youve been period-free for at least 12 consecutive months. This signs and symptoms stage of menopause is actually called perimenopause, around menopause, and covers the period of time during which your body makes the shift from still fertile to no longer fertile.
Most women reach menopause between the ages of 40 and 58, with the average age for American women being 51-years old. However, the shift towards menopause can begin about four to eight years before it is actually diagnosed. In very rare cases, women may begin showing signs and symptoms of menopause in their late-20s or early-30s. This is referred to as early or premature menopause.
Either way, if you suspect youre feeling the effects of perimenopause, schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider so they can discuss what youre experiencing and determine what if any treatment or support is available to you. Some women weather the road to menopause with only a few hitches and require nothing in the way of treatment, while others may find relief from various menopause treatments.
The following are five of the most common signs youre making the transition to menopause:
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Christina Went To Her Gp When She Missed A Period And Had Hot Flushes At Age 40 She Had Her Last
I went after Id missed my second month. I mean I wasnt in a relationship or anything so I knew there was no way that there was going to be a pregnancy or anything like that and I went and said, Im just worried, I just want to make sure that everythings okay. And he said, Well, you probably are going through the menopause. So well leave it but if you have a period then come back. But it wasnt until I went back six months later because I was feeling really grotty and Id had the sweats and everything else and I saw a female GP in our practice, and she said, Ill take your hormone test and find out what your hormone levels are and then well confirm one way or another whats happening before we look at your thyroid again. And all this that and the other and the results came back that I was going through. And she said, Unfortunately, theres nothing we can do for you because of the problems, medical history youve got. So she said, Youve got to grin and bear it.So you said you had a blood clotting problem. What was that?Yeah, I have protein S deficiency. My mum had previously had several deep vein thromboses and embolisms on the lung so I had an embolism on my lung.
What Are The Potential Health Concerns Of Premature Menopause
Premature menopause poses some health risks. Its a good idea to talk with a healthcare professional about these risks so that you can take steps to protect your physical and emotional health going forward. Here are some potential health issues that can arise:
- Heart disease. Lower estrogen levels can cause changes in your blood vessels and your heart, possibly leading to a higher risk of heart problems.
- Anxiety, depression, and other mood changes. Hormone changes can also cause some significant emotional shifts. Anxiety, depression, and lower self-esteem are not uncommon.
- Eye conditions. Around 79 percent of menopausal women in a
Why Does This Happen
Now, this can be caused by a variety of factors. Very often it’s just your hormones having one last fling. They go, “I don’t want to stop yet. I want to have one more go at having periods before I calm down for good.” So this is usually the most common reason.
But another interesting fact is if you decide to overhaul your diet, and a lot of women going through the menopause get to the point where they say, “I need to do something about my diet. I need to eat healthy, or I need to exercise a bit more.” If you are giving your body a lot more extra nutrition, that can very often feed your hormones as well. And that can be one of the primary reasons for getting a period back, if you have decided just to sort everything out.
Now, there can be other reasons as well. There’s something called a prolapse, where the pelvic floor muscles tend to get a little bit weak. And that allows either the womb, or the bladder, or the bowel to slightly shift position. And this could maybe irritate the womb and trigger a bleed as well.
There can be other issues as well such as fibroids, which you might not even been aware that you had. And suddenly because your hormone levels are changing or maybe sometimes the womb starts to get a little bit thinner as you go through the menopause, this could irritate the fibroid. So when you get to this stage, it is really important that you just get things checked out by your doctor as well.
Risks Of Premature & Early Menopause
The risks of developing osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease are higher for women with premature or early menopause than for women reaching menopause at the expected age. For this reason, it is important that you seek advice and treatment from your doctor.
According to community studies, women who go through premature or early menopause without hormone treatment have a reduced life expectancy by about two years.
The advice below is based on current expert opinion, as there are no studies on women with premature or early menopause that establish which prevention strategies are effective.
Are There Other Health Issues That Affect Women In Premature Menopause
Like all menopausal women, women in premature menopause experience lowered estrogen levels as the ovaries stop most of their production of this hormone. Low levels of estrogen can lead to changes in women’s overall health and may increase their risk for certain medical conditions, such as osteoporosis. Other health risks associated with the loss of estrogen include increased risk for colon and ovarian cancer, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cataract formation.
However, compared with women who go through natural menopause, women undergoing premature menopause spend a greater portion of their lives without the protective benefits of their own estrogen. This puts them at an even greater risk for the above mentioned menopause-related health problems.
Low Estrogen Health Risks
Osteoporosis is when the bones become weak and brittle due to a lack of calcium. Estrogen preserves bone health by preventing calcium loss. When estrogen levels decline because of hormonal changes, it may increase the risk for fractures in the spine, hips, legs, and arms.
Women who drink a lot of alcohol, smoke, and do not exercise are at an increased risk of osteoporosis. Thin and petite women and those with a family history of osteoporosis also have a higher risk of developing this condition.
Estrogen seems to play a role in protecting the body from heart disease because it may elevate good cholesterol levels in the blood. A sharp increase in heart disease risk occurs with menopause.
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Menopause Mystery: Why Do Female Killer Whales Experience The Change Of Life
For people who cannot take estrogen therapy, or choose not to, Stuenkel says some drugs in the antidepressant family, such as SSRIs and SNRIs, can help with hot flashes. Stuenkel says, While theyre not perfect, they can take the edge off and help enough so that women can get a better nights sleep.
There are an abundance of nonhormonal, nondrug treatment options for managing symptoms, some of which have significantly more evidence backing them than others. In 2015, a North American Menopause Society panel found that cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis were significantly effective in treating hot flashes. The same panel also found that popular herbal remedies are unlikely to help, although some NPR listeners who wrote in said they got relief from some of those treatments.
For depressive and anxiety symptoms, women may want to seek out professional counseling or a psychiatrist.
When do I need to see a doctor?
You might not need to at all. Some people sail right through menopause with little trouble. But if you are experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your life, its worth making an appointment. Some of these symptoms could indicate other problems that need treatment, such as fibroids or even cancer.
Ways to cope with symptoms
For people approaching this stage of life or who are already going through it, here are four steps for making this transition more manageable.
1. Get educated
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Other Changes During Menopause
The loss of estrogen during menopause can cause changes in the vaginal and vulvar skin. These changes can result in vaginal dryness, burning and discomfort, or painful intercourse. Most women need a lubricant.
There are many different formulations, but silicone-based lubricants are best. Be aware that most over-the-counter lubricants contain preservatives, which can cause irritation. A preservative-free silicone lubricant or natural product, such as extra virgin olive oil or organic unrefined coconut oil, can also work.
Many women also experience painful spasms of the interior pelvic muscles, called vaginismus. Specialized physical therapy is a very effective treatment. Our center has a group of female physical therapists who are specially trained in pelvic floor rehabilitation.
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What Is Menopause Its A Moment In Time
Menopause is a specific point in time. Menopause occurs when periods stop and youve gone 12 consecutive months since having your last period. Once youve hit that moment, you enter post-menopause.
Reaching menopause means that youre no longer able to bear children. Every woman except for those whove had their ovaries removed before puberty will go through menopause.
When does menopause start?
The average menopause age is around 51. But some women experience menopause in their 40s with a small percentage experiencing menopause even younger. Some women may not reach menopause until their 60s.
Theres no way to know your exact menopause age until it happens, but genetics seem to play a strong role. You may get a general idea of when to expect menopause based on when your family members went through it, particularly your mother.
Genetics arent the only thing that can impact when menopause starts. Medical factors can also influence menopause timing. When the ovaries are removed, symptoms will begin to show immediately.
Certain medical conditions like autoimmune diseases have also been associated with early menopause. Women whove undergone treatments like radiation therapy or chemotherapy are also more likely to show symptoms earlier.
Summary Of Underlying Physiology
Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation which reflects cessation of ovulation owing to a loss of ovarian follicles, which in turn results in reduced ovarian production of estradiol, the most biologically active form of estrogen,, as well as increased circulating concentrations of follicle-stimulating hormone and decreased concentrations of inhibin, which inhibits the release of FSH. Age at menopause may be more sensitive to varying rates of atresia of ovarian follicles than to the absolute number of oocytes depleted, but menopause is reached when depletion of follicles reaches approximately 1000 ., The age at which sufficient depletion of follicles occurs is affected by the number of follicles achieving migration to the gonadal ridge during gestation, their mitotic abilities until mid-gestation, and the rate of follicular atresia.,
The nature and timing of bleeding may vary both within and between women. What is known about the host, environmental, or lifestyle factors that may affect such variation is summarized herein. Although some factors have been identified that are associated with early age at natural menopause, the relation of many has not been examined, and most have not been examined in relation to duration of the perimenopause.
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An Early First Menstrual Period May Lead To Premature Menopause
How do you know if youre starting perimenopause?
The most telling symptom is changes in your menstrual cycle, says psychiatrist Hadine Joffe, the executive director of the Connors Center for Womens Health and Gender Biology at the Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston.
Its the menstrual cycle pattern that really defines this lead-up to menopause, she says. During perimenopause, periods might be shorter, then a long one, or then a skipped one, or then the flow might be different, says Joffe.
Theres no blood or hormone test that can diagnose perimenopause. Joffe says a hormone test isnt helpful because hormonal cycles become erratic and unpredictable during this stage.
Theres not really one point in time when a hormone test is done that can be definitive, she says. Even if you took several tests over time, you might get a very different readout.
Surprisingly, sometimes doctors arent prepared to help women recognize the start of this life phase. Edrie was upset at her doctors responses â or lack thereof. I felt so disappointed in the medical industry. How many women has my OB/GYN seen and not recognized the symptoms of perimenopause?
What symptoms to expect
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Symptoms Of Premature And Early Menopause
The symptoms of early menopause are the same as for menopause at the typical age and can include:
- menstrual cycle changes, including changes to the usual bleeding pattern, particularly irregular bleeding
- hot flushes
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Hormones And Body Fat
During menopause, your hormones get thrown out of whack. Your estrogen levels plummet, and body fat that used to settle around the hips, thighs, or butt now tends to settle around your middle.
In menopause, your progesterone also decreases, which contributes to elevated cortisol levels in the body. Elevated cortisol can cause you to gain that so-called menopause belly.
Weight Gain And Metabolism
You may have unknowingly become a bit more sedentary as youve aged into your 40s and 50s as well, making weight gain all the more common. Your metabolism slows down as you lose muscle, and aches and pains or a busy schedule may keep you from exercising as frequently.
All of these factors can contribute to an increase of abdominal fat during your menopausal years.
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Two Years Or More Without A Period
There are also a few women that will go for two years or more and find that they get a period back. This is not really very common. And as far as we’re concerned, once you have not had a period for two years, then that’s…you’re well and truly through the menopause.
So if you get any kind of bleeding, either a proper period, or you just get a little bit of smearing, or you get a little bit of spotting, then it really is important that you just get this checked out by your doctor just to make sure that there isn’t anything else going on.
So I hope this has given you a little bit of a better picture of one of the more puzzling aspects of what can happen to your periods as you approach the menopause.
If any of you have any other questions on this or you’ve had a slightly different combination, then please do get in touch, and I’ll be happy to answer your questions. And I will see you next week for another A.Vogel Talks Menopause.
When Menopause Arrives In Your 20s
`It’s where the menopause meets infertility in women who shouldn’t have either problem.” This succinct description of early menopause or premature ovarian failure – as medical professionals prefer to call it – is from Dr Maire Milner who runs the Menopause Clinic at Dublin’s Rotunda Hospital. When you consider that up to 2 per cent of the female population – that’s one in every 50 women under 40 you know – suffer in silence from this widely undocumented condition, you can only begin to realise the extent of the physical turmoil and emotional trauma of these women. “You are deprived of an experience of being female. You’ve had something huge taken away from you yet outwardly, you don’t look any different,” says Clare . With women as young as 23 and 24 referred to her clinic, Dr Milner is very concerned about the lack of public awareness of early or premature menopause.
The symptoms usually associated with the menopause are often less dramatic in this younger group of women. Perhaps this is because they have busy lives and they don’t have time to think about such things as vaginal dryness. Maybe, it’s because – unlike older women – they are not looking out for hot flushes and night sweats. Either way, according to Dr Milner, they do not tend to complain of the normal gamut of menopause symptoms.
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