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Signs Of Menopause - Early Menopause Symptoms

Feb 26, 2008
Signs of menopause - menopause and menopause symptoms are part of the natural evolution of the female body as the woman's childbearing years begin to wane. Most women begin menopause at around 45 years of age, but can start as early as their early 30s at last into their 60s.

Menopause symptoms are also a natural byproduct of aging. As the sun will rise tomorrow, God willing you will reach an age when you will begin the "change". And while talking with your mother or your older sisters or your friends you may find some answers, understand that each woman's experience with menopause will be different.

Some women will go about their day with no issues whatsoever while others will battle with a range of emotions, hot flashes, or mood swings which could have a significant impact on their lives. But before you get into all that, you need to know what to look for and what are the signs of menopause.

What are the signs that menopause has begun?

Once again, you should begin to look for the signs of menopause at around age 45, but if you feel as if you've been getting early menopause symptoms you may want to check with your physician and have your estrogen levels evaluated.

One of the most common indicators for women that menopause has begun is irregular periods. The irregularity may show in a few different ways; you may have an increase or decrease in the frequency of your cycle or in the amount of flow during your period. You are also less likely to become pregnant as your ovulation fluctuates, but you should continue to use contraception until your menstrual cycle has been absent for a year.

Menopause thins the lining of the vagina and the urethra, creating a feeling of burning and itching. You're also at risk of increased vaginal or urinary tract infections. This is when women begin to feel that constant urge to urinate. Some women experience bouts of incontinence, especially when coughing, laughing, or sneezing. You may also find it sexual intercourse becomes increasingly difficult as you may experience pain or discomfort.

And now for the granddaddy of all the signs of menopause, the hot flash. A hot flash is caused by the dropping estrogen levels which cause blood to expand rapidly; this in turn increases the temperature of the skin. This can happen as often as once an hour and last for 30 seconds to a few minutes, during which time most women experience sweating and a flushed complexion.

Although women experience hot flashes at any time of day, many women of waking up from a nice deep sleep only to find themselves and their beds soaked as night sweats is also a telltale sign of menopause.
Most women will also see a bit of weight gain, typically around 5 pounds. The additional weight will gather around the waist and stomach. Women experience other physical changes; wrinkles, adult acne, coarse hair, thinning hair, or fullness of the breasts.

Confirmed menopause

So you've listened to the signs of menopause, gone to the doctor and confirmed your suspicions. Now you should know about the other complications of menopause. After menopause, women tend to develop chronic conditions. Cardiovascular disease becomes a risk due to the declining estrogen levels. This is where diet and lifestyle choices become so important.

If you smoke, stop. If you've been on the go all these years and developed a bad diet, now's the time to get your refrigerator packed with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods low in saturated fats. You should begin to exercise regularly if you haven't already and monitor your blood pressure.

Osteoporosis is a major concern after menopause as bone density decreases rapidly. You must maintain adequate levels of calcium of around 1500 mg a day as well as 500 to 800 mg of vitamin D. Again, beginning strength training, walking, or jogging regimen which will help prevent your bones from becoming weak and brittle

Why does this happen?

As we age, a woman's ovaries slowdown the production of estrogen and progesterone. This marks the conclusion of a woman's reproductive years. At some point menstrual periods cease altogether and it becomes no longer possible for a woman to get pregnant.

This progresses into stages:

Perimenopause: in this state women begin to notice the signs of menopause as well as continue to ovulate and have menstrual periods. Women begin to notice irregular periods and the onset of hot flashes but may still be three to five years away from the full onset of menopause.

Postmenopause: once a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual cycle occurring, she has reached for menopause. The ovaries at this time no longer release eggs and produce much less progesterone and estrogen. No longer is pregnancy possible.

For the most part women have been tuned to their bodies for years and know when the signs of menopause start to appear. If you feel as though you're having a tough time dealing with your menopause or the symptoms, talk to your doctor and investigate some therapies available to control some of your symptoms.

Once you know the signs of menopause or are in full menopause, then you should make the necessary changes to provide yourself with as smooth a transition as possible.
About the Author
Tess Barksdale is your average new century woman, author, mother, daughter, friend, and businesswoman. Tess writes on many topics but loves discussing all things women. Find out more about Signs of Menopause - Early Menopause Symptoms by visiting Tess at her website at http://womenshealthreport.org or her blog at http://womenshealthreport.org/blog
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