Perimenopause Symptoms And Other Signs Of Menopause

Perimenopause Symptoms And Related Signs Of Menopause

Perimenopause symptoms include pre menopause symptoms and the early post menopause symptoms.

In seeking answers to their menopause questions, I realized many
women get drawn with right words to use: perimenopause or menopause,
signs or symptoms.

Therefore terms like signs of menopause,the
symptoms of perimenopause, menopause symptoms or signs and symptoms of
menopause are often used to ask about the manifestations of menopause.

In
this page and related pages, I intend to present sound but simple to
grasp information about perimenopause symptoms as well as important
related information about menopause.

But first,notice below that many women are not aware of the correct clinical definition of menopause.

What is menopause?

Literally,menopause means cessation of the monthly cycles but clinically
it is the time after which no menstrual flow occurs for 12 consecutive
months.

Age Of Menopause

In the western world, the typical age at which perimenopause
symptoms begin is 40 to 60 years, with an average of about 51 years.

Women often ask ‘How long does menopauase last?’ They often seek to know how long to deal with the symptoms.

Menopause Causes

Menstruation is a naturally occurring process, caused by a normal
reduction in the amount of female hormones produced by the ovary.

However, besides the natural process, other menopause causes include those of premature menopause such as surgery (surgical menopause) and radiation.

The natural process of menopause transition goes through three phases called the Stages of Menopause which are perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause.

The Symptoms Of Menopause

There are many signs of menopause affecting many systems of the body.
These symptoms do not all occur in the same woman. Each woman usually
has a specific set of symptoms which may vary with time as some of them
taper off.They are similar to the signs of early menopause.

The
main signs and symptoms of menopause are easily grouped as shown below.
Remember that no lab tests is usually necessary for diagnosing
menopause. If symptoms occur normally, not test is required. However,
hormone tests such as the FSH test( follicle stimulating hormone) may be used in some selected women.

Menstrual changes

Changes in the ovulation cycle
are amongst the very first perimenopause symptoms.Periods become
irregular and unpredictable or may even be shorter or longer. This is
why some women get mixed up at some point as to whether menopause or pregnancy is responsible for their the absent menses.

The
cycle may be as short as 2 weeks or as long as 2-3 months. Periods of
heavy bleeding may also be noted. Once the periods have not occur for 12
months, menopause has occurred.

Blood vessel symptoms

  • Menopause Hot flashesA
    hot flash is usually amongst the first symptom of menopause, occurring
    in as high as 75% of women with perimenopause symptoms.They vary
    among women. A hot flash is a feeling of warmth that a woman feels all
    over her body, lasting from around 30 seconds to a few minutes.Hot
    flashes usually last 2-3 years, but many women can experience them for
    up to 5 years. In rare cases, it could last as long as 15 years.
  • Other
    blood vessel problems that may accompany the flashes include flushing
    (reddened) skin, strong or rapid heartbeat (palpitations), sweating(
    especially at night) and insomnia( sleeplessness).

Urinary symptoms

Urinary track dryness and shrinking may result in

  • Increased frequency of urination,
  • Incontinence
  • Pain upon urination.

Genital problems

The decrease in estrogen causes a thinning of the membranes of the vagina, vulva and cervix. This causes

Breast symptoms

  • Shrinking of the size of the breasts
  • Mild breast pain

Skin changes

  • Decreased elasticity of the skin
  • Sensation of ants crawling on the body or formication including
    itching, tingling, burning, pins and needles, or sensation of ants
    crawling on or under the skin.
  • Skin thinning and dryness

Bone and muscle symptoms

Rapid
bone loss is common during the perimenopausal years. Normally, as a
woman grows, her bone density increases to a maximum at the age of about
25 – 30 years. After that, there is a gradual bone loss and this
becomes even more rapid during perimenopause and postmenopause.

Common symptoms are

  • Back pain
  • Joint and muscle pain

Psychological symptoms

  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss, and problems with concentration
  • Mood disturbance
  • Sleep disturbances, poor quality sleep, light sleep,
  • insomnia

Sexual Symptoms

Sex after menopause poses some challenges.These can be amongst the most troublesome longterm symptoms of menopause. These include

  • Dyspareunia or painful intercourse because of the dryness and loss of lubrication of the vagina.
  • Menopause sex drive issues
  • Problems reaching orgasm

Weight gain

There is a link between weight gain and menopause
which many women find disturbing.There is an almost inevitable increase
in weight of about 10 to 15 pounds( 4.5 to 6.8 Kg) associated with
perimenopause and menopause.

Menopause Complications

Besides these symptoms, menopause may cause some health menopause complications such heart, bone and lipid problems.

You can also read more on menopause treatments or general information on menopause and menstruation.

Weblinks For Further Information

US National Institute of Health: Postmenopausal hormone therapy

The North American Menopause society: Menopause


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