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What Are Some Signs Of Menopause

Vaginal Dryness And Pain With Intercourse

What are the early signs and symptoms of menopause?

The decreased production of estrogen and progesterone can affect the thin layer of moisture that coats the vaginal walls. Women can experience vaginal dryness at any age, but it can be a particular problem for women going through menopause.

Signs can include itching around the vulva and stinging or burning. Vaginal dryness can make intercourse painful and may cause you to feel like you need to urinate frequently. To combat dryness, try a water-based lubricant or a vaginal moisturizer.

If you still feel discomfort, talk to your doctor. Having sex or other sexual activity involving the female genitals can increase blood flow to that area. This helps keep the vagina more lubricated and also may prevent the vagina from becoming smaller.

Wellness Clinic In Sarasota

If you are tired of feeling all of the side effects of perimenopause or being menopausal, contact our skilled team at Intercoastal Medical Group to schedule a consultation. We have the natural and medical solutions you need to get back to feeling like yourself again.

Intercoastal Medical Group Gynecologist Jon Yenari, MD, is an expert in managing menopause and other gynecological conditions. Please call is office to schedule an appointment: 379-1700. His office is located at 3333 Cattlemen Road, Suite 200, Sarasota, FL.

What’s 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.

What Are The 34 Symptoms Of Menopause

When you think of a woman going through menopause, you might think of symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, or mood swings.

These symptoms receive a lot of attention due to the fact that there are over-the-counter and prescription drug remedies designed especially to target them. However, the symptoms of menopause are actually far more complex than these companies let on!

In total, there are 34 different symptoms that can be attributed to menopause. A woman going through menopause might experience some or all of these symptoms, ranging from mild to severe.

Read on to learn more about the menopause process and how it might affect a womans health and well-being.

Frequent Urination Or Urinary Incontinence

What Is The Average Age Of Menopause?

Its common for women in menopause to lose control of their bladder. You may also feel a constant need to urinate even without a full bladder, or experience painful urination. This is because during menopause, the tissues in your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity and the lining thins. The surrounding pelvic muscles may also weaken.

To fight urinary incontinence, abstain from too much alcohol, stay hydrated, and strengthen your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises. If the issues persist, ask your doctor what medications are available.

What Are The Stages Of Menopause

  • Perimenopause typically occurs 3-5 years prior to the start of menopause. This stage occurs when your estrogen levels begin to drop and your body begins the transition towards menopause. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause.
  • Menopause is confirmed to have started after youve missed your period for 12 consecutive months. Though every woman is unique and will experience this transition differently, most women enter menopause when they are 51 or 52.
  • Postmenopause includes the time after menopause. Estrogen levels continue to decline during this stage, which can cause some menopausal symptoms to linger.

Moodiness Or The Wicked Witch Of The West Syndrome

Its not really funny if its happening to you! Some women experience severe moodiness with increasing anxiety, irritability, and depression. Their mood can change on a dime, and it is normally due to hormonal changes during menopause. You can feel like you are becoming someone else, and nothing is normal.

Talk with Virginia Womens Health Associates if this issue is becoming severe. There is no need to suffer through this.

Direct Exposure To Contaminants

Individuals that have actually had radiation treatment or radiation treatment to deal with cancer cells have a greater threat of early menopause.

A 2015 research additionally checked out direct exposure to particular estrogen-disrupting chemicals. It located that direct exposure to compounds discovered in some chemicals as well as phthalates likewise offers you a greater threat of earlier menopause.

Do All Women Experience Menopause In The Same Way

The first signs & symptoms of menopause

Menopause experiences are different among individual women, and also among women in different cultures and in different parts of the world.

Research has shown that womens experience of menopause can be related to many things, including genetics, diet, lifestyle and social and cultural attitudes toward older women.

For example:

  • Japanese women report fewer hot flashes and other symptoms.
  • Thai women record a high incidence of headaches.
  • Scottish women record fewer severe symptoms.
  • Greek women report a high rate of hot flashes.
  • Mayan women report no symptoms.

Some scholars wonder if the North American emphasis on youth and lack of respect for older people contributes to a more difficult menopausal transition here.

The typical North American diet, high in saturated fats and sugars, along with our in-active lifestyle and low childbirth rate, may also contribute to the physical complaints common to many North American women at menopause.

The Signs Of Early Onset Dementia

Diagnosing early onset dementia and Alzheimers can be difficult because it is not normally expected or considered for people under the age of 65. In reality, the Alzheimers Association of America estimates that anywhere from 220,000 to 640,000 Americans are affected by early onset Alzheimers and Dementia, though many go undiagnosed.

Signs that what you are experiencing is in fact dementia and not just menopause are:

As you can see, there are some pretty significant differences between the symptoms of menopause and the warning signs of dementia. Unfortunately, at the early stages, these signs can be quite subtle and misconstrued for other conditions. Thankfully, there are some tests that you can do at home to help determine whether or not your symptoms are a sign of something more severe than menopause or regular aging.

Medications: Treating Hot Flashes And Night Sweats With Hormones

Some women may choose to take hormones to treat their hot flashes. A hormone is a chemical substance made by an organ like the thyroid gland or ovary. During the menopausal transition, the ovaries begin to work less and less well, and the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone declines over time. It is believed that such changes cause hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.

Hormone therapy steadies the levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It is a very effective treatment for hot flashes in women who are able to use it. There are risks associated with taking hormones, including increased risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots, breast cancer, gallbladder disease, and dementia. The risks vary by a woman’s age and whether she has had a hysterectomy. Women are encouraged to discuss the risks with their healthcare provider.

Women who still have a uterus should take estrogen combined with progesterone or another therapy to protect the uterus. Progesterone is added to estrogen to protect the uterus against cancer, but it also seems to increase the risk of blood clots and stroke. Hormones should be used at the lowest dose that is effective for the shortest period of time possible.

Some women should not use hormones for their hot flashes. You should not take hormones for menopausal symptoms if:

Talk with your doctor to find out if taking hormones to treat your symptoms is right for you.

Emotional And Cognitive Symptoms

Women in perimenopause often report a variety of thinking and/or emotional symptoms, including fatigue, memory problems, irritability, and rapid changes in mood. It is difficult to determine exactly which behavioral symptoms are due directly to the hormonal changes of menopause. Research in this area has been difficult for many reasons.

Emotional and cognitive symptoms are so common that it is sometimes difficult in a given woman to know if they are due to menopause. The night sweats that may occur during perimenopause can also contribute to feelings of tiredness and fatigue, which can have an effect on mood and cognitive performance. Finally, many women may be experiencing other life changes during the time of perimenopause or after menopause, such as stressful life events, that may also cause emotional symptoms.

Can Menopause Affect Sleep

How menopause can affect your sex drive, and what to do ...

Some women may experience trouble sleeping through the night and insomnia during menopause. Insomnia is an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. This can be a normal side effect of menopause itself, or it could be due to another symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a common culprit of sleepless nights during menopause.

If hot flashes keep you awake at night, try:

  • Staying cool at night by wearing loose clothing.
  • Keeping your bedroom well-ventilated.

Avoiding certain foods and behaviors that trigger your hot flashes. If spicy food typically sets off a hot flash, avoid eating anything spicy before bed.

Home Remedies: Plant Estrogens

Plant estrogens

Isoflavones are chemical compounds found in and other plants that are phytoestrogens, or plant-derived estrogens. There is a perception among many women that plant estrogens are “natural” and therefore safer than HT, but medical researchers haven’t proven this scientifically. Most scientific studies have not shown a benefit of phytoestrogens in controlling hot flashes. In addition, there is concern that some phytoestrogens might act like estrogen in some tissues of the body. Therefore, many experts recommend that women who have a history of breast cancer avoid phytoestrogens.

What Is The Average Age For Menopause

Menopause itself is just one moment in time, marking 12 months of no periods. This means that you will only know that you have reached menopause retrospectively when you realise youve had a year with no periods. 

For UK women, the average age of menopause is 51, but symptoms can start several years before that. Symptoms typically start showing at an average age of 45 years. This is your perimenopause or the storm before the calm as our medical advisor Dr Stephanie Goodwin calls it. The time after menopause is called post-menopause, and its common for your symptoms to continue into this time.

READ MORE: Dr Stephanie Goodwin explains exactly what menopause is.

Treatments For Early Menopause

The main treatment for early menopause is either the combined contraceptive pill or to make up for your missing hormones.

A GP will probably recommend you take this treatment until at least the age of natural menopause , to give you some protection from osteoporosis and other conditions that can develop after the menopause.

If you have had certain types of cancer, such as certain types of breast cancer, you may not be able to have hormonal treatment.

The GP will talk to you about other treatment options and lifestyle changes you can make to help protect your health.

If you’re still getting symptoms, the GP can refer you to a specialist menopause centre.

Going through the menopause early can be difficult and upsetting.

Permanent early menopause will affect your ability to have children naturally.

You may still be able to have children by using and donated eggs from another woman, or using your own eggs if you had some stored. Surrogacy and adoption may also be options for you.

Counselling and support groups may be helpful.

Here are some you may want to try:

Page last reviewed: 02 February 2021 Next review due: 02 February 2024

How Is Menopause Diagnosed

4 unexpected physical symptoms of menopause

There are several ways your healthcare provider can diagnose menopause. The first is discussing your menstrual cycle over the last year. If you have gone a full year without a period, you may be postmenopausal. Another way your provider can check if you are going through menopause is a blood test that checks your follicle stimulating hormone level. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland this gland is located at the base of your brain. However, this test can be misleading during the beginning of menopause when your body is transitioning and your hormone levels are fluctuating up and down. Hormone testing always need to be interpreted in the context of what is happening with the menstrual period.

For many women, a blood test is not necessary. If you are having the symptoms of menopause and your periods have been irregular, talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to diagnose menopause after your conversation.

Getting A Good Nights Sleep During The Menopausal Transition

To improve your sleep through the menopausal transition and beyond:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day.
  • Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening if you can. It may keep you awake at night.
  • Develop a bedtime routine. Some people read a book, listen to soothing music, or soak in a warm bath.
  • Try not to watch television or use your computer or mobile device in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
  • Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
  • Exercise at regular times each day but not close to bedtime.
  • Stay away from caffeine late in the day.
  • Remember, alcohol wont help you sleep. Even small amounts make it harder to stay asleep.

If these changes to your bedtime routine dont help as much as youd like, you may want to consider cognitive behavioral therapy. This problem-solving approach to therapy has recently been shown to help sleep disturbances in women with menopausal symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be found through a class or in one-on-one sessions. Be sure that your therapy is guided by a trained professional with experience working with women during their menopausal transition. Your doctor may be able to recommend a therapist in your area.

Read about this topic in Spanish. Lea sobre este tema en espaƱol

Vaginal Lubricants For Menopause Symptoms

In women for whom oral or vaginal estrogens are deemed inappropriate, such as breast cancer survivors, or women who do not wish to take oral or vaginal estrogen, there are varieties of over-the-counter vaginal lubricants. However, they are probably not as effective in relieving vaginal symptoms as replacing the estrogen deficiency with oral or local estrogen.

Common Symptoms Of Early Menopause

The most common symptoms experienced during early menopause are:

  • Hot flashes. These are sudden body temperature changes that produce heat and sweating.
  • Night sweats. These are the night version of hot flashes. They can interrupt sleep, leading to fatigue during the day.
  • Irregular periods. This is the symptom most related to early menopause. Menstrual periods become unpredictable in time and flow.
  • Decreased libido. Women often experience a decrease in sex drive due to hormone fluctuations.
  • Vaginal dryness. The vaginal walls become thinner and lose their elasticity, causing pain during sex.
  • Mood swings. Women in early menopause often experience sudden changes in mood or irritability.

What Are The Long

Stop The Myths

There are several conditions that you could be at a higher risk of after menopause. Your risk for any condition depends on many things like your family history, your health before menopause and lifestyle factors . Two conditions that affect your health after menopause are osteoporosis and coronary artery disease.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a “brittle-bone” disease, occurs when the inside of bones become less dense, making them more fragile and likely to fracture. Estrogen plays an important role in preserving bone mass. Estrogen signals cells in the bones to stop breaking down.

Women lose an average of 25% of their bone mass from the time of menopause to age 60. This is largely because of the loss of estrogen. Over time, this loss of bone can lead to bone fractures. Your healthcare provider may want to test the strength of your bones over time. Bone mineral density testing, also called bone densitometry, is a quick way to see how much calcium you have in certain parts of your bones. The test is used to detectosteoporosis and osteopenia. Osteopenia is a disease where bone density is decreased and this can be a precursor to later osteoporosis.

If you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, your treatment options could include estrogen therapy.

Coronary artery disease

  • The loss of estrogen .
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • A decrease in physical activity.
  • Bad habits from your past catching up with you .

Relieving Severe Menopause Symptoms

Although experiencing menopause symptoms is normal, adapting often requires women to make lifestyle changes. Some remedies that might help you adjust include:

  • Maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular exercise to relieve symptoms triggered by menopause.

  • Many alternative medicines exist that are known to help counteract menopausal symptoms. Some herbs can even help balance hormone levels.

However, if you experience any of them or more severe symptoms, or find that menopause symptoms seriously affects your quality of life, it’s recommended to contact your doctor. Read on for more information about treatment for menopause symptoms.

Severe Menopause Symptoms That Can Lead To Complications

Below is a description of severe symptoms that, by significantly affecting a woman’s life, can lead to complications during menopause.

  • Depression and anxiety. Midlife is a time when women are generally considered to be more at risk of experiencing episodes of depression and anxiety due to a combination of hormonal changes and associated symptoms. Compared to depression experienced in premenopausal women, postmenopausal depression tends to be more severe and unfortunately more resistant to conventional antidepressants. When HRT is combined with antidepressants, depression is more likely to be eased. It is very normal for woman to experience a mental reaction to the stressful hormonal shifts that occur around menopause. However, if you think you are suffering from depression or anxiety, it is important to talk to your doctor about the various treatment options.

  • Sleep problems. Likewise, another severe menopause symptom is sleep deprivation. It is thought that over 60% of women going through menopause suffer from some degree of insomnia. This can lead to irritability, mood swings, and a weakened immune system.

What Are Some Of The Lesser Known Symptoms Of Menopause

Menopause comes with many minor and major changes. Some women manage to get through the process with only a little discomfort. Others may be slammed with multiple symptoms, many of which occur gradually over time so that they may not even notice that theyre happening, or that one may be linked to the other.

Most menopausal changes are caused by the decline of three hormones; estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Progesterone and estrogen, produced by the ovaries, not only prepare a woman for reproduction during her childbearing years, but they impact the rest of her bodys health, both physically and emotionally. During menopause, the adrenal glands continue to produce testosterone, but those levels also decrease with age.

Some of the most common symptoms of menopause are:

The following menopausal symptoms are not as common, but are also usually caused by the same hormonal shifts:

Hormonal changes during menopause can contribute to several serious conditions in women, including:

Should I Take Hormones For My Hot Flashes

4 surprising emotional symptoms of menopause

Talk with your doctor before using hormones to treat menopause symptoms. Hormones should be used at the lowest dose and for the shortest period of time they are effective.

Hormones can be very effective at reducing the number and severity of hot flashes. They are also effective in reducing vaginal dryness and bone loss.

Hormone treatments can take the form of pills, patches, rings, implants, gels, or creams. Patches, which stick to the skin, may be best for women with cardiac risk factors, such as a family history of heart disease.

There are many types of hormones available for women to treat hot flashes. These include estradiol, conjugated estrogen, selective estrogen receptor modulators , and compounded or synthetic hormones. It is a common misconception that synthetic hormones mixed by a compounding pharmacist are safer and less risky than other hormone therapies. This is not the case. We must assume they have the same risks as any hormone therapy.

Some of the relatively mild side effects of hormone use include breast tenderness, spotting or return of monthly periods, cramping, or bloating. By changing the type or amount of the hormones, the way they are taken, or the timing of the doses, your doctor may be able to help control these side effects or, over time, they may go away on their own.

What Tests Diagnose Menopause

Because hormone levels may fluctuate greatly in an individual woman, even from one day to the next, hormone levels are not a reliable method for diagnosing menopause. There is no single blood test that reliably predicts when a woman is going through the menopausal transition, so there is currently no proven role for blood testing to diagnose menopause. The only way to diagnose menopause is to observe the lack of menstrual periods for 12 months in a woman in the expected age range.

Early Menopause Signs And Symptoms

All women will eventually experience menopause. However, women may begin this transition at a young age. It is estimated that four in every 100 women will experience menopause in their 20’s and 30’s. While its causes are not entirely known, there are many signs and symptoms that can indicate early menopause.

Learn more about some of the common and uncommon signs and symptoms of early onset menopause.

What Is The Best Natural Remedy For Menopause

There are several natural remedies that some women use for combating specific symptoms menopause brings. Always let your doctor know if you are taking any, because they can affect more traditional medicines.

Black cohosh, flax seeds, soy, vitamin E, exercising, yoga and meditation have been adopted by many women to lessen menopause symptoms.

However, each remedy aims at relieving a particular symptom. Flax seed, for example, is a useful remedy for hot flushes, while vitamin E relieves vaginal dryness.

A lot of women use black cohosh. It aims at relieving hot flushes and night sweats of menopause. Black cohosh is a herb, and its dietary supplements are from a powder of its roots.

How Can You Alleviate Perimenopausal Symptoms

Stop The Myths

Some women deal with the symptoms of perimenopause, and some women seek treatment for specific health concerns. Women with heavy bleeding, periods that last longer than seven days, spotting between periods or cycles that are less than 21 days should contact a doctor.

Typically, perimenopause is a gradual transition, and no particular test indicates what is happening to the body. Hormone therapy, vaginal estrogen treatments and antidepressants can help treat perimenopausal symptoms.

Start by identifying what’s bothering you most and then working with your doctor to address it. There are steps you can take to feel better. Lifestyle changes that can make a big impact in easing perimenopausal symptoms and improving your overall health include:

  • Yoga

Sure Signs Of Menopause

“You’re in menopause.” My doctor said calmly and with almost a little smile-smirk on her face. “Your tests have all come back — and you’re healthy. Sure a little low on iron as you typically are, but now that those pesky periods are gone — that should just correct itself.”

Pesky periods.

“Menopause? But I’m only 45. Well now 45 and a half and rolling quickly downhill to 46, but surely right now I’m only 45.” I told my doctor – and not with a smirk-smile on my face but rather a more ‘are you fucking kidding’ me look, and my voice was less than quiet.

“Yes, menopause. I mean you might have one or two more periods but your test results show you should be done with them in about six months at the most.”

Menopause. But I’m still young. Right? The only person I could think of who reached menopause in their 40s was Ma Ingalls. Remember that episode when Laura announced her pregnancy and Caroline did too — but it turns out that Caroline was NOT pregnant — she was just in menopause. And then she fell into a deep depression. Yeah, that’s where my mind immediately went. Because I’m a child of the 70s — and children of the 70s just cannot be in menopause yet, right?

Who do you call when you hear the words that you’ve entered menopause? When in your mind menopause is the affliction of grandmothers and doesn’t look like a 45 year old with a four year old child.

Here are 12 signs that you might be menopausal…

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