Ready, Set, Menopause

By Meghan Bailey on Feb 10, 2015

Ready,
Set,
Menopause...

Not quite ladies. Menopause is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no clear start or ending point, and it is not the same for each woman.

The beginning of Menopause is also known as perimenopause. This can begin several years before your last menstrual cycle happens. The changing levels in estrogen and progesterone, may lead to many of the symptoms. Some of the common signs consist of irregular periods, inability to sleep through the night, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, and mood swings.

“Menopause is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Most women will experience natural menopause between the ages of 40 and 58, with the national average being 51. There are some types of surgical operations that can cause your period to stop such as a hysterectomy (removing your uterus). Although there are physical changes that begin years before the final menstrual cycle, menopause isn’t confirmed until you have had a confirmed 12 months of not having a menstrual cycle.

What Are Signs of Menopause?

Depending on how estrogen is produced and used throughout your body you may experience some of the following:

Change in your period. You may start to notice they are coming closer together, you have heavier bleeding, you are spotting, or they last longer than a week.

Hot Flashes. A hot flash is one of the most common symptoms women have. They can be described as a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body. You face can become flush and you may have red blotches.

Sleep. You may find that you can’t fall asleep easily, or you wake too early.

Mood Changes. Being moody and irritable around the time of menopause is completely normal. Scientists do not know why this happens but it has been reported that stress, family changes (such as aging parents and grown children) could be the possible reason for mood changes.

Vaginal Health. Most women experience vaginal dryness. This can make intercourse uncomfortable or give you other health problems such as vaginal infections.

Your Body Changes. These changes are now visible on the outside. Your waist may get larger, you could lose muscle, and your skin could get thinner.

During Menopause, make sure you convey to your family the changes you are going through so you can have a great support system. Your doctor is also a key member during this transition. They can guide you and make sure you stay healthy.