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Early Symptoms of Menopause

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It might surprise you to learn that 73% of women do not seek treatment for their menopause symptoms. However, 78% of women surveyed say that menopause actively interferes with their lives. The reasons women don’t seek treatment are diverse and complex. However, one can be a person not recognizing the symptoms. Thus, let’s take a look at some of the early symptoms of menopause.

What is Perimenopause?

Before we can understand the early symptoms of menopause, we should first ensure we are on the same page when it comes to the menopause process. There are three stages of menopause: perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.

Perimenopause is the stage where symptoms first begin. Women can enter this phase as early as their mid-30s; however, they typically enter it during their 40s. This stage typically occurs an average of six years before the development of menopause. Again, this time frame differs from individual to individual.

During perimenopause, your body’s levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to naturally decline. This causes your body to react in different ways, generating early signs of menopause. In many ways, you can think of this as the opposite of what happens to your hormones during puberty.

Early Symptoms of Menopause

Women who enter perimenopause will experience a variety of symptoms. Many of these can vary from person to person in terms of occurrence and level. However, let’s take a look at the most common early symptoms of menopause.

Irregular Periods

Ovulation becomes more unpredictable during this time. This can lead to differences in your periods. Flow could be lighter or heavier, the length between periods could increase or expand, and you can miss periods.

Hot Flashes

Perhaps one of the most frequently discussed symptoms are hot flashes. These often occur during sleep and can even disrupt sleep. Some people may develop extreme night sweats.

Mood Change

Mood swings are fairly common when hormone levels fluctuate. Thus, it is not surprising that this is an early sign of menopause. You may feel more irritable, sad, or even have mood swings.

Cholesterol Changes

When your estrogen levels decline, this can lead to an increase in LDL cholesterol (often called “bad cholesterol”) and occasionally a decrease in HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”). Thus, it is important to have these checked regularly.

Changes in Sex Drive

It is normal for some people during perimenopause to have changes in terms of arousal or desire for sex. Your sex drive may increase or decrease.

When Should I Seek Treatment for Menopause Symptoms?

Even though menopause is a normal part of the aging process, this does not mean that you must go through it without help. In fact, you should seek treatment for early symptoms of menopause if they begin to interfere with your normal life. Interference with sleep or mood are particularly important to address. Check with your physician if you have concerns.

The information in this site will not replace a medical examination or relevant medical advice. We do our best to make the most reliable and orderly information available. Still, as reliable as it may be, this information can not be a substitute for any other medical recommendation received by a qualified physician after an individual examination.
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