The menopause is typically thought of as affecting women in their fifties and older, but some women will experience it much earlier. This could be due to surgery, such as a hysterectomy or removal of fallopian tubes, or might be due to hereditary factors. There are signs and symptoms to watch out for, let’s have a look at the most common indicators.
It’s basically the time when you run out of eggs. Most women are born with around 2 million eggs, and this number declines over the years of having periods and having babies. Going through this stage in our lives can take 15 to 20 years as a women’s body changes, going through the three phases; pre-menopausal, peri- and post-menopausal. Early symptoms start in the first phase and the most common of these are night sweats and hot flushes.
Night sweats are one of the early symptoms of the menopause. Many women have night sweats for years before their body completes the menopause. Night sweats can be helped by wearing cool clothing when you go to bed. Cotton rather than synthetic nightwear will help your skin to breathe. Having a cloth or flannel on hand to wipe away excess sweat can be of help, as is having a cool glass of water by your bedside. Some women use a handheld fan, and this can be especially helpful when hot flushes are experienced during the day. Hot flushes can be made worse by eating spicy foods or drinking caffeine or alcohol, so it is best to avoid these if you find they are adding to the problem.
Mood swings are often a common symptom of the menopause. As our hormones change, it can leave us feeling emotional, depressed and lacking in energy. This is all perfectly normal but if you are worried, do check out your symptoms with your doctor. Your doctor can check that your iron and thyroid levels are correct as well as looking at your blood sugar levels. They can also test for hormone activity so that you have a confirmed diagnosis of being menopausal. The end result of going through the menopause is that your periods will stop, but before they do you may experience heavy periods or painful periods. Again you can check these out with a doctor who may prescribe something to help you with the pain and excess bleeding. However, you may manage with over-the-counter remedies and a hot water bottle.
The menopause affects every woman differently. Some experience uncomfortable symptoms while others hardly experience any at all. Early symptoms can include night sweats, hot flushes, painful periods and mood swings but you may not experience any of these. Be good to yourself and your body and you will sail through this time of change.
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