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How Do I Know if I'm Menopausal?
Some of us have heard about the challenges women face during Menopause. Some women may have an easy experience, while many go through Menopause like a bumpy roller coaster ride. But you do not have to be miserable during this natural phase in life. Menopause can be managed, especially with your doctor's help and the people surrounding you.
But first, let’s discover more about menopause and the journey women go through.
Menopause, in General, is defined as an innate biological phase that every woman goes through. It indicates the end of a woman's reproductive years, triggered when you have not had your menstruation for a year. Menopause often begins around 40, while some women may experience it in their 50s.
Menopause may be a natural process, but your experience is anything but typical. Each woman goes through a different experience in terms of dealing with the following symptoms:
- Decreased Libido
- Discomfort during Intercourse
- Elevated Heart Rate
- Hot Flashes
- Irregular Menstruation
- Mood Swings
- Night Sweats
- Sleep Disturbances
- Urinary Incontinence or Frequent Urination
- Vaginal Dryness
Menopause General Stages
Menopause is categorized into 3 stages: perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause. During menopause, the ovaries will start to degenerate, leading to a decline in the production of estrogen and progesterone, which are essential in stimulating the menstrual cycle.
Furthermore, the production of eggs in the ovaries will decline, which will cause problems with fertility. The shift from perimenopause to menopause and to postmenopause can last up to seven years or even longer. It is best to understand these stages so you will know what to expect and how you can better prepare for all the changes you will experience. Let’s take a better look at the stages of Menopause.
Premenopause or Perimenopause
Perimenopause can start when a woman is in her late 30s or 40s. Hormone levels will begin to fluctuate, which can cause an irregular menstrual cycle. It is likely for women in this stage to experience changes in their cycle length. Getting pregnant during this stage can be a challenge, but there is still a possibility of conceiving.
During the perimenopause stage, some women may start to feel some of Menopause’s General symptoms, such as changes in sleep patterns, mild hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. It is best to consult your doctor so they can adequately assess your condition and recommend the right treatments or remedies to alleviate the symptoms.
You will not have your period for 12 straight months, and it would be impossible to get pregnant at this point. The average age of Menopause, in General, is 50, but it can vary since some women reach this stage in their mid-40s or their mid-50s.
You may still experience postmenopausal symptoms, which are similar during the perimenopause and menopause stages. Fortunately, most of these symptoms will go away over time, but the downside is you will be more at risk of heart ailments or osteoporosis because of the decline in estrogen levels. Supplementation of the hormones you may be lacking at this stage should be considered and discussed with your physician for this reason.
How to Check for Menopause Signs
You may notice changes taking place in your body months or even years before the official menopause stage begins. Symptoms will vary, so pay close attention to any physical changes or to how you are feeling overall. Here are some tips to help you determine if you are beginning the menopausal stage:
- Monitor your Menstrual Cycle
Having irregular periods could be an early sign of Menopause. If you notice any distinct changes in your menses, the flow or cycle length, then that could mean you are approaching your menopause stage. You may experience lighter or heavier period flow, or there may be spotting in between your periods.
- Check for Common Symptoms
As previously mentioned, symptoms and their severity will vary, and keeping track of any changes you may experience is advisable. You can save a journal and note any signs and pertinent details to share with your doctor.
- Consult a Qualified Healthcare Provider
Your doctor can assess your symptoms and give you the best recommendations for Menopause. They may run a few tests to check your hormone levels or conduct physical assessments.
Tips on How to Make Menopause Easy
Menopause can be an exciting phase in your life, even if you may experience some of the negative indicators. Here are some tips on how you can ease through the transition:
- Maintain a Healthy and Active Lifestyle
The Menopause General symptom stage is the best time to focus more on you. Incorporate more fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains into your diet. You can also ask your doctor to recommend health supplements that can help lessen the symptoms of menopause and improve your overall well-being.
Stay hydrated, and try to limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. You should also add more exercise, such as brisk walking and other cardio exercises, to your daily routine. Regular exercise can help boost your mood, reduce stress levels, maintain bone health, and manage weight.
- Stay Positive
Mood swings caused by menopause can be troublesome, but you can minimize emotional changes through meditation or relaxation techniques. Try yoga or learn more about meditation and mindfulness, which can help lessen anxiety and other drastic mood changes.
- Do Your Due Diligence
Get as much information as possible about Menopause General signs and symptoms. The more information you have about menopause, the better prepared you will be in handling its impact on your health and wellbeing.
- Don’t Forget Your Regular Check-ups
Your healthcare provider is the most qualified person who can help you during this phase of life. Make sure to attend your routine check-ups so they can adequately monitor your condition. Trust your doctor and never attempt to self-medicate or change your medication or treatment without proper consultation.
Embrace the unique changes that your body will go through during Menopause. Menopause should not be treated as an illness but simply as a natural phase of a woman's life. Dealing with most of the symptoms can be quite a challenge, but with the help of your doctor and by implementing some remedies, you can course through the stages of menopause with little to no discomfort.