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What Are Signs of Menopause?
Menopause is not something that happens overnight. The symptoms vary from person to person. So, it is no surprise that many women begin to wonder if they are going through menopause. You have entered the menopausal stage if you have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 months in a row. It is a natural part of life that happens to women between their early 40s and the late 50s.
Know the signs of menopause
The symptoms caused by menopause can be confusing for some people. Some women may have every symptom while others barely notice any. Some symptoms can last for months and some can continue for years.
A woman may notice her period becoming heavier, lighter or more sporadic when in perimenopause. This is the stage that leads up to menopause and can last for a few years. Women should continue to see a gynecologist regularly. If a woman has consistently heavy periods, the OB-GYN may decide to do some testing to rule out disease and infection.
Night sweats and hot flashes
Hot flashes are a major sign of a woman going through menopause. A hot flash can make a woman feel as though their entire body is too warm and can last for several minutes. Flushed faces, perspiration and racing hearts all indicate a hot flash. Waking up hot and sweaty at night is also common for women.
Women suffering from hot flashes should try dressing in layers when out during the day. Light pajamas can help at night. Women should keep a cold bottle of water close by and can cool the pillows at night with an icepack.
Troubled sleep or insomnia
One symptom that many women suffer from during menopause is insomnia. It can be difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, even if this problem has never happened to the woman before. It can happen in conjunction with night sweats. Doctors recommend following a good sleeping routine. Women should get up and go to sleep around the same time, even on the weekends. Caffeine avoidance in the late day can also help.
Menopause causes hormonal changes in women and this can cause mood swings to begin or intensify. If the woman suffers from depression or anxiety, it may worsen when menopause begins. Exercise, like walking or yoga, can keep the menopausal woman feeling better. It is important to eat a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and lean proteins. If depression or anxiety becomes worse, a woman should visit her doctor.
Lack of libido or sexual discomfort
Hormonal changes from menopause can have a negative on a woman’s sex drive. Vaginal dryness can also cause discomfort during intercourse. Women are encouraged to talk to a gynecologist about these problems. Doctors can recommend products to make intercourse more comfortable or ways to increase sex drive.
Talk to an OB-GYN about menopause
Just like any other major change in your body, it is important that you talk to your doctor if you are experiencing signs of menopause. Your doctor can help you continue to be healthy and offer advice on how to stay positive during this natural life transition. If necessary, the doctor can also recommend treatments for some menopausal symptoms.
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