Have you been experiencing hot flashes and frequent mood swings lately? Could it be PMS or the onset of menopause symptoms?
Menopause symptoms are very variable with no one symptom is the same for all women. Some do not even feel any signs except for the fact that they have stopped menstruating. The menopause symptoms that you might be going through may not be experienced by your friends who are going through menopause as well.
An effective way to know for sure that you are indeed experiencing menopause is if you haven’t had your period for the last 12 months. Prior to the complete onset of menopause many women experience “peri-menopause” which is a phase when menopause is approaching but has not started yet. This stage may exhibit some or all the symptoms of typical menopause but still have their periods.
The Average Age For Menopause
Statistics show that menopause typically occurs between 4o and 50 years of age. In the US, the average age is 51. Many factors may play a role in the time of its onset: genetics, health status, and smoking habits. Typically women reach menopause at an age similar to their mothers and sisters.
The symptoms of menopause vary from one woman to another, but the most common symptoms fall into the following groups:
Psychological Menopause Symptoms
Mood swings, irritability, anxieties, depression, and memory loss are only some of the psychological menopause symptoms that have been experienced by women. However, some scientific studies do not blame all these on menopause. Situations like divorce, ageing, children moving out of the house, retirement from work all happen around the same time that menopause does. Sleep problems are associated with menopause and may also be a cause for some of these psychological menopause symptoms.
This is by far the most common menopause symptom. Hot flushes are characterized by a sudden “feeling” of heat usually on the face or chest, cold sweats, flushing, and clammy feeling. These may be felt as early as four years before the actual end of menstruation and can last for a few years after it.
Several sleep problems like insomnia are experienced by some women during menopause. Many women also have disturbed sleeping patterns, they find themselves waking up during the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep.
Sex-related menopause symptoms have been the focus of arguments for several years. Loss of estrogen does not necessarily mean that women lose interest in sexual intercourse. However, due to vaginal dryness brought about by menopause, women may find sexual intercourse painful. There are lubricants available to help lessen this problem.
Urinary tract Problems
During menopause, women are more prone to involuntary urine discharge especially if urinary tract infections are present. Laughing, sneezing, coughing, stretching and other physical movements may put pressure on the bladder causing the urine to leak.
These symptoms are not easy to deal with. Some women may even be experiencing a little of most menopause symptoms, while others don’t suffer from any symptoms. It’s a natural occurrence in a woman’s life. Therefore, it is only in accepting menopause, symptoms and all, that one can truly find harmony in having to live with it.
There are other symptoms of menopause that do not fall in these categories. Below is an overall list of 21 symptoms of menopause to look out for:
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Panic attacks
- Feelings of loneliness
- Increased libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Changes in the heartbeat rate (palpitations)
- Breast soreness
- Hair loss
- Thin dry skin
- Joint pains
- Bone loss (osteoporosis)
- Metallic taste in the mouth
It’s important to consult your healthcare provider about any symptoms you may be experiencing.
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