Menopause is split into 3 stages, with each phase lasting for an undetermined time in every woman. To increase the confusion, every woman will experience menopause differently. The 3 stages are perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. Perimenopause begins years before your last period. Little changes may occur without your notice, then you get a hot flash, that can be a wake up call. Menopause is when your period stops entirely.
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When you’ve had a complete year with no period, you’ve gone through menopause. Normally, menopause is about age 51, even though some go through it sooner and some later than that. Next, postmenopause is everything after menopause, essentially, the rest of your life. Among the first signs you’re entering perimenopause is the period becoming irregular, or missing one here and there, sometimes even for a couple of months in a row. Next are the incidence of hot flashes.
They may start mildly initially but menopause takes decades to go through and finally the hot flashes will escalate. Night sweats go together with hot flashes. You awake in the middle of the night and your bedding and nightgown are completely saturated. Some girls experience night sweats rather than hot flashes, or vice-versa, or neither or both; but the chances are you’ll get at least one of those indicators.
It is still another side effect of menopause. Diminishing estrogen levels cause physical changes in the moisture and elasticity of the vaginal walls and a decline in the natural lubrication. OTC lubricants can substitute for a little while, but eventually it will become too painful to continue, lovemaking hurts too much and avoidance is simpler. Ask your physician about hormone replacement therapy and if it’s perfect for you. Lack of sex drive and lack of intimacy in your marriage can be frightening.
Keeping an open conversation with your spouse and an open mind in the bedroom can help both of you through that time. You could also experience urinary incontinence. The prevalence of depression increases and may warrant going to a physician for support. You may gain weight for no reason whatsoever; it’s a side effect of menopause.
The fluctuating hormones are to blame as would be the stressful times you’re going through. Keep your eyes on a wholesome diet and exercise and it might fix itself soon enough. Insomnia is also a side effect of reduced estrogen levels. With all you have in mind, it’s easy to blame anxiety but it’s a side effect of decreasing estrogen levels. Taking melatonin, beginning at the 1 mg dimensions, an hour or two before bedtime may help you fall and stay asleep.
Melatonin is a natural hormone made by the body as day turns into night. It does not have any side effects and it secure. Take the lowest dose and you’ll awake refreshed. Mood swings may take you by surprise. Throw in a hot flash and you may seem out of control. Your memory is not what it was, either. You may worry, but all of these are natural effects of estrogen withdrawal and quite common in menopause.
Among the most debilitating physical symptoms is loss of hair, sometimes it appears by the brush-full! This may be frightening as your self-esteem and self-confidence are shaken as your hair falls out constantly. Your hair loses the depth and body you had in your childhood. Trying a new hairstyle can be a lifesaver here. Not all these signs may be present all at once, thank goodness, but you can make certain a few will be recognizable. Keeping a sense of humor at all times is a terrific aid and looking on the bright side of everyday happenings can help you through this sometimes-difficult period of life.