Every woman will eventually go through menopause. Knowing and recognizing the first signs of menopause can help you take control of your life and get the help you need when you begin experiencing menopausal symptoms. You must understand your body if you are going to quickly recognize the first symptoms of menopause. During your teenage years, you probably experienced a roller coaster of emotions and symptoms, including acne, mood swings, and abdominal pain.

Perimenopause, the process of transitioning through menopause, takes several years to complete; however, you do not have to be miserable throughout the process. Perimenopause typically begins in your 40s; however, many women begin to notice changes in their mid-30s. Perimenopause causes your estrogen levels to rise and fall, which causes your menstrual periods to become either longer or shorter. The rising and falling of hormones also cause menopause symptoms.

Menopause is the culmination of your fertility. At the end of perimenopause, your ovaries will have shut down; however, this process takes time. Perimenopause typically lasts around four years; however, some women transition through perimenopause very quickly. Whether you go through perimenopause quickly or it takes a while to transition, you will most likely experience symptoms that make you miserable.

What is the Very First Sign of Perimenopause?

Typically, the first sign of perimenopause is the disruption of the menstrual cycle. Your period may begin earlier than expected, or it could be later than normal. For example, if you had a 28 day menstrual cycle throughout your fertile years, your menstrual cycle could change, and your period could start on the 21st day or the 35th day. In fact, some women will skip entire months while others have heavier than normal periods.

What Are Some Other Signs of Menopause?

When you are transitioning from fertility to menopause, you will experience different symptoms as your hormones rise and fall. These symptoms occur as your body adjusts to the decrease in estrogen production. The intensity and type of symptoms will vary. Let’s take a look at the most common symptoms.

  • Hot Flashes – Approximately 80 percent of perimenopausal women experience hot flashes. Hot flashes occur when the brain has difficulty regulating the body’s internal temperature. This difficulty is due to a decreased amount of estrogen in the body. Some people barely perceive the temperature change while others feel like their internal temperature has ramped up 20 or more degrees. During a hot flash, you will suddenly feel hot and sweaty.


  • Sleep Difficulties – Women transitioning from fertility to menopause may also have trouble sleeping. You may experience night flashes, which are hot flashes that come on while you are sleeping. Perimenopausal women often experience insomnia. Insomnia includes not being able to get to sleep or not being able to stay asleep. Perimenopausal women may find themselves needing to frequent the bathroom throughout the night, which can disrupt their sleep.


  • Mood Swings – While transitioning through menopause, your hormones will fluctuate, which can affect your mood. The rising and falling of your hormones can cause your mood to rise and fall. At one minute, you may be happy and the next minute, you maybe be crying. Most perimenopausal women will experience mood swings as they transition through menopause.


Seek Help for Menopause

Talk with a women’s health specialist if you are experiencing erratic bleeding, depression, insomnia, and the symptoms of menopause discussed above. Many natural remedies and lifestyle changes can help ease your symptoms. Some helpful herbs include black cohosh, ginseng, and evening primrose oil.

Regular exercise, stress relief techniques can decrease the symptoms of menopause. An anti-inflammatory diet featuring fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats nourishes the body and may reduce many of the symptoms of menopause while helping with weight loss.

Women experience numerous symptoms when they are transitioning from fertility to menopause. The first sign of menopause is typically a change menstrual cycle. This can be periods that are further apart or periods that occur more often.  Once you begin experiencing a change in your menstrual cycle, other symptoms of menopause will begin to occur.

We offer proven functional medicine, holistic nutrition, acupuncture, and bioidentical hormone replacement therapy to reduce the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.