Menopause is part and parcel of getting advanced in age so one cannot help but experience it. It happens when you do not have your menstrual period for 12 months straight (and of course that reason isn’t due to illness or pregnancy.)
As you age, your sex hormones level drop naturally and the ovaries will stop releasing eggs in time. The result? No menstruation for you and you cannot get pregnant. The age when menopause occurs is not constant but it can happen around your 40's and 50's for most cases.
Some factors may affect the time when a woman starts to experience menopause. It may come earlier than usual for women who have undergone medical operations on their ovaries and uterus or for those who are taking medication for cancer treatment, for instance.
Be that as it may, there are symptoms that you can check and/or notice as indicators that menopause may not be a long way off. This phase is called perimenopause.
During this period, you will possibly experience what are known as hot flashes and an irregular menstrual period. Hot flashes are characterized by feelings of hot and cold happening successively and without apparent reasons for it. You will also feel your heartbeat going faster. Hot flashes that are experienced at night are called night sweats and can be intense or not and can last from a minute to five minutes.
Also during this time, you may experience changes like heavier or lighter periods, that might be longer or shorter. Or your period may come often or less than before.
Other symptoms of menopause are moodiness (due to changing hormones), forgetfulness (may be caused by stress and/or menopause), sleep problems (if this is not a usual problem before), change in sexual interest (some feel less inclined to have sex while others are more so), and physical changes such as weight change, dry skin and hair.
Remember to be vigilant on the changes of your body and stay active and have a healthy lifestyle. If you are beginning to experience any of these symptoms, especially if you can’t seem to tell if they are related to anything specific, it might be time to schedule an appointment.
Our team of OB-GYN providers includes midwives and naturopathic doctors to help you find the course of treatment that is right for you during menopause. Contact us today at (480) 539-6646.