There are various different terms related to menopause. It can be quite tricky to sort all of them out. For most women, menopause begins between the ages of forty-seven and fifty-two. There are, of course, exceptions to this and every other rule dealing with menopause.
When a woman reaches her late thirties or early forties, she may start to experience a number of symptoms that might sound strangely like menopause. She should realize at that point that she may be experiencing the great change in life a bit earlier than expected. This time of life is called peri-menopause. Some women try to blame themselves for this earlier than expected change in life, however, even eating all of the right foods and getting the exercise you should be cannot prevent this for some women.
The first signal of peri-menopause for a woman is a change in the frequency of her monthly cycle. She may also begin to notice a number of aches and pains that she has not previously seen in her body before. Moreover, she may have trouble concentrating on tasks she once loved. She may start to forget simple, everyday items, like picking up the dry cleaning or buying milk at the store. This can seem odd, and it can even cause some women to panic.
It is important to remember, however, that all of these symptoms are a normal part of peri-menopause. Every woman, even if it occurs a bit earlier for some, will experience these same symptoms. These premature symptoms can help a woman’s body to prepare for the more serious symptoms that will follow into actual menopause. Menopause is diagnosed when a woman has gone twelve consecutive months without a period.
The peri-menopause phase, though, of the great change in a woman’s life can last for a long time. Some women only deal with it for two years. Others, however, know each aspect of peri-menopause for up to eight to ten years. It is important to note, though, that the symptoms of peri-menopause may not actually be associated with the condition.
Case in point, headaches and insomnia could be a sign of peri-menopause or they could be a sign of a more serious illness in a woman’s body. For that reason, it is essential to see your doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms. He can run one of several possible menopause tests including a standard pelvic exam to see if the vaginal lining is thinning or he might do a bone density test, or he might even do a urine-type test (like they do with pregnancy tests) to verify the hormone levels in a woman’s body.
As you enter menopause, your reproductive organs are preparing for shut down. This starts when production of the two primary hormones in a woman’s body, estrogen and progesterone, begins to slow down. The egg supply in the ovaries will decrease and the body ovulates on a less regular cycle. Sooner or later, ovulation will stop altogether when there are no eggs left to release.
As the cycle progresses, you might become aware of symptoms like anxiety, low desire level for sex, vaginal dryness, breast tenderness, depression, hot flashes, night sweats, and sleep related problems.
All of these things can be quite frustrating for any woman. Some symptoms may present themselves slowly, but others will come much more quickly than you expect. It is essential to consider the fact that this happens to every woman. There are a number of options available to you to treat your symptoms. Talk to your doctor to decide upon the best course of action for you.