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When Does Menopause Start And How To Tell If You Have It

    Let’s start with the basics for all those who do not know a single thing about menopause.

    Menopause causes a decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone hormones in a woman’s body starting from her late forties. 

    Menopause is that time in a woman’s life when she goes through a full 12 months without her menstruation period. It is a natural process and happens to every woman after she crosses a specific age.

    Premature Or Late-Onset Menopause

    If a woman is below 40 and has already begun menopause, it will be known as premature menopause. Most women begin menopause when they are in their forties, but some will not have it until their 50s. This is not common, but it happens to many women. If someone is above the age of 51 and still hasn’t begun their menopause, it is late-onset menopause.

    Many women opt for removing both their ovaries before their menopause. The menstruation cycle eventually stops after that; this is surgical menopause.

    How Do You Know?

    The first thing that you may notice is an irregular period cycle. The other physical symptoms that you might see are:

    • Vaginal dryness
    • Thinning of hair
    • Dry skin
    • Loss of breast fullness
    • Slowed metabolism and weight gain
    • Mood changes 
    • Sleep problem
    • Chills
    • Hot flashes
    • Night sweats

    Again it is crucial to understand that the symptoms can vary among women. But the one way you can be sure of it would be an irregular menstruation cycle. It is very common to skip periods during menopause. Either they will skip for a month and come back in the next month or even be gone for several months and be regular for the following months. 

    Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes begin during the time of pre-menopause. They last for at least three to five years, and every year they get worse. 

    Hot flashes can also lead to night sweats, which may cause sleep problems. Try to avoid alcohol, caffeine, hot beverages, and spicy food, and keep a check on all those things that are likely to trigger it. Some women find deep breathing exercises helpful.

    Vaginal Changes

    Because of the decrease in estrogen, the vaginal lining becomes thin and dry. It can cause irritation and inflammation of the vaginal walls. Sometimes it may get worse and cause atrophic vaginitis. This is an infection, and if not treated, then the vaginal thinning and ulceration will increase, which can cause bleeding. 

    To treat this, you can use a vaginal lubricant to prevent the vagina from drying. You can also use a vaginal moisturizer. You can apply estrogen treatments like tablets, rings, and creams to the very effective area.

    Mood Swings And Depression

    Studies have shown that mood swings are more common during pre-menopause rather than postmenopausal time. Though there is no evidence that low estrogen causes mood swings or depression, women may have more mood swings and depression than men.

    Many people believe that it is better to make some lifestyle changes rather than directly turning to medications. Getting enough sleep and the correct diet is very important. If you are not in the habit of regular exercises, you may try to add this to your daily schedule. Looking over a herbal approach and doing stress-reducing activities is also proven to moderate mood swings.

    Memory And Concentration

    When women go through pre-menopause, they often complain about short-term memory troubles and difficulty concentrating on their work. At this time, more than the reduced estrogen,  stress plays an important role in memory and concentration.

    Because it is not caused due to the low level of estrogen, there is no specific thing that you should follow. Reducing stress is crucial, and meditation can help. You can also do some brain activities like puzzles, learn something new, play a musical instrument, or even read books. Try to challenge your brain with new ways that will help with functioning.

    Weight Gain

    It can be caused due to the low metabolism rate. At this point, weight gain can be due to the age factor.

    Weight gain, if not controlled, can give way to many health problems. Please exercise daily and try to eat a proper diet. Keep a regular check on your weight and try not to increase it. Check your waistline regularly. Swimming, aerobics, and even walks will help in avoiding the accumulation of weight in one area.


    The Bottom line:

    Every woman whose age is more than 40 will go through menopause. It doesn’t have to be necessarily genetic; if your mother had it when she was 50 doesn’t mean you should have it at that time only. Taking care of one’s health and diet is crucial at this stage.