The most obvious sign associated with menopause is the presence of irregular periods: the menstrual cycle becomes shorter and lighter as the years pass. This is often accompanied by other symptoms that are rather annoying than dangerous from a medical standpoint, such as insomnia, sudden emotional changes, headaches, vaginal dryness, trouble sleeping as well as palpitations. Some women experience all of these symptoms, while others only experience a couple of them – also, the severity of the symptoms can range anywhere from mild to severe, and they can last or even worsen in time. In some cases, the symptoms can last for five more years after menopause sets in.
The average time to go through menopause is approximately two to eight years. Here are some details of the symptoms along with suggestions to relieve your symptoms.
Changes in Your Periods
During your transition into menopause, your body will begin going through numerous changes. Your periods will become irregular. They may come more or less often, may be lighter or heavier or last longer or shorter than normal. If you begin noticing your periods are becoming irregular, it is essential that you visit your physician to ensure that there are no underlying medical conditions, such as pregnancy or cancer, causing your irregular periods.
Another symptom of Perimenopause is hot flashes. Hot flashes occur when hormone levels rapidly decline or rapidly peak. During a hot flash, you may experience heavy sweating or become so cold you shiver. Other symptoms of hot flashes include excessive heat in your upper body along with red blotches on your face, neck and chest. There are numerous resources available to help relieve hot flashes, including herbs and vitamins. Finally, there are several things to avoid including smoking, caffeine, alcohol, stress and spicy foods.
Trouble Sleeping and Night Sweats
You may begin having trouble sleeping and night sweats often occur. You may feel exhausted throughout the day because of having trouble going to sleep and staying asleep. Also, you may find yourself waking up in a drenching sweat through the night. To help relieve night sweats, lower the thermostat at night, chill your pillows and wear loose clothing to bed
Mood swings are another common occurrence that happens during perimenopause. This often happens because of hormonal swings. There may be times when you feel like crying, times when you are hateful and even times when you feel giddy. Additionally, you may have trouble concentrating, have episodes of anxiety and fatigue. Learning self-calming practices, such as mediation, deep breathing exercises and yoga can help relieve symptoms.
Urinary and Vaginal Troubles
As estrogen levels drop, you may begin noticing your vagina is drier making intercourse uncomfortable. Other symptoms include urinary incontinence. When urinary incontinence occurs, you may have to go more often and may experience leakage. Leakage generally occurs when you cough, laugh or sneeze. Finally, you may begin noticing you are getting more urinary tract infections. To help prevent infections, drink the recommended amount of water each day. Finally, to help prevent urinary incontinence, perform Kegel exercises each day to build your pelvic floor muscles.
Other Symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, you may experience a plethora of other symptoms. Many women experience a lower sex drive due to waning hormones. As your body changes, so does the risk of bone fractures. Many menopausal women experience osteoporosis. When osteoporosis occurs, the bones weaken and thin. Finally, you may experience weight change. Muscle loss can occur. The body can also begin to store excess fat around the middle of the body.