What is Menopause? Simply put, it is the transition period that occurs after a woman has finished having her menstrual cycle. Menopause typically begins between 40 and 58 years old in developed nations, where the median age is 51 years old. For some, it may happen earlier because of a diagnosis or medical complication. However, for many women, menopause comes as a natural part of aging. After several years of regular fertility cycles, the woman is considered to be menopausal, and her body will no longer produce an abundance of estrogen.
There are several indications that you might be experiencing menopause, and your doctor can run a series of tests to determine whether or not you are one. One of these tests involves the analysis of your cervical mucus. In this test, the doctor will look for changes in color and texture, and consistency. These changes will provide clues as to your hormonal status, as well as how advanced the menopause symptoms are. Your doctor may also take blood tests to confirm their findings, although, in the United States, the results of these tests have to be interpreted by a board-certified doctor.
Some other signs that you may be experiencing menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, palpitations, and high blood pressure. Because hot flashes are characterized by rapidly increasing temperature and heart rate, they can be frightening and unpleasant. Many women find that staying cool and comfortable is essential to help them deal with hot flashes and other related symptoms. In addition, many women find that when they consume especially spicy or acidic foods, these ingredients make their hot flashes even worse.
If you are experiencing any of these problems, you should see your doctor as quickly as possible to determine the cause of your perimenopause symptoms. Most of these symptoms are attributed to hormonal imbalances, such as large amounts of estrogen and testosterone. For example, if you experience night sweats and hot flashes, you may have begun menopause because your estrogen levels had dropped below the normal range. On the other hand, if your night sweats are excessive, this could indicate that your estrogen has begun to react with your progesterone, which in turn causes vaginal dryness. Some women find that natural perimenopause remedies involving diet, exercise, and regular sleeping patterns help reduce their symptoms considerably.
During perimenopause, which often occurs around middle age, some women will begin to experience irregular menstrual cycles or no periods at all, while others will have heavy menstrual flow. Other symptoms can include mood swings, depression, anxiety, heart palpitations, and headaches. Also, some women experience sudden hair loss, vaginal dryness, or thinning skin, which can be attributed to their perimenopause. These symptoms are caused by fluctuations in hormones throughout the perimenopause period.
Menopause can last for several years, although it tends to last a lot longer in some women. Around six months after one’s last period, one should be able to tell when one has gone through menopause. This benchmark does not necessarily mean that the perimenopause symptoms have entirely disappeared, however. Women who experience hot flashes around three or four months after their last period are often unsure about what this means, mainly since these flashes usually occur several years after one’s last menstruation. Usually, it is safe to conclude that one is experiencing perimenopause if they experience severe hot flashes and have had those cycles for at least six months.