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Signs & Symptoms of Menopause

Posted 10-16-2013 11:50 AM by ChristaIB
Updated 10-16-2013 12:12 PM by ChristaIB

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As a woman approaching her beautiful twilight years, you may be concerned about when exactly menopause will begin or if you have already entered that phase of your life. The truth is that you don’t really know until it starts happening. It is helpful to know about the signs and symptoms of menopause in advance so you'll know how to recognize when it is arrives, and be fully prepared when it does happen.

What Is Menopause?

Menopause happens when the female body completely finishes its reproductive capabilities. After menopause, your body no longer releases eggs for fertilization so you no longer have menstrual periods. Menopause can be a gradual process that lasts for several months or, in some cases, years. Menopause is officially over when you have gone a full year without menstruating.

Perimenopause is the stage that leads up to menopause—it is the transition stage that typically begins when a woman is in her forties. During this period you may experience a number of symptoms that indicate you’re approaching full menopause.

Symptoms

Common symptoms that signal you may be approaching menopause include:
  • hot flashes (often at night as night sweats)
  • general problems sleeping
  • period infrequency
  • mood swings
  • weird changes in your weight
  • dryness in your vaginal area
  • unexplained loss of hair

Though these are the most common symptoms or changes associated with perimenopause, there can be many more symptoms.

What to Expect

Some women view menopause negatively, believing that they are losing an aspect of their womanhood or that they will no longer have sexual desires. The truth is that with proper maintenance, fitness and nutrition, plenty of menopausal women have active, happy sex lives and continue to look and feel good well into their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. Additionally, they no longer have to worry about the various methods of birth control.

When to Consult Your Doctor

If you believe that you are approaching menopause, it is important to schedule a visit with your gynecologist primary care physician. Your doctors can suggest important tests that a menopausal woman should have to ensure continuing good health through this stage of life, including a pap smear, regular mammogram and colonoscopy. You should also get checked for heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. As you age, it is important to get more frequent checkups to track the health of your organs and resolve potential issues as soon as they arise.

Fitness and Nutrition

It is important to stay active before, during and after menopause. Exercise at least two to three times per week, even if it is just a quick jog on the treadmill. Many women find that yoga is beneficial. A diet that includes plenty of calcium, magnesium, iron and fiber is important as well. Eat plenty of fruits and green leafy vegetables while reducing your overall fat intake. Be good to your body during this phase of your life, and it will be good to you.

Try to look at menopause in a positive light; as a welcome natural transition. The more positive your outlook, the more likely it will be a great start to a new stage of your life as a woman.

Content provided to the community by the Healthboards Editorial Staff.
Total Comments 2

Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Is there an OFF button for the flow.. i have been bleeding for three week!!then nothing for 3-5 days and on again!!!!!
    permalink
    Posted 08-19-2017 at 07:45 AM by Jtunes12 Jtunes12 is offline
  2. Old Comment

    Menstation

    Is there an OFF button for the flow.. i have been bleeding for three week!!then nothing for 3-5 days and on again!!!!!
    This has been going on for months now. I have to carry tarpons and pads everywhere.
    Sex is not an option.
    And laundry is piling up.
    Frustration is setting in .... Wherei s the relief???
    At 50 I need peace!
    permalink
    Posted 08-19-2017 at 07:48 AM by Jtunes12 Jtunes12 is offline
 

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