Have you been having trouble sleeping recently? Maybe you’ve been experiencing hot flashes, sweating more frequently, or your clothes seem to be fitting a little snugly even though you haven’t made any changes to your diet or relaxed your fitness routine. You are concerned about these changes you’re experiencing but they aren’t happening consistently, causing you to wonder what is going on with your body. The average age for women to experience menopause is 51, but could it really be menopause already for you?
How Menopause Works
Unfortunately, menopause isn’t a process that happens overnight or even over the course of one year. Menopause takes time, technically being defined as occurring exactly one year from the end of your final period. This is why it’s difficult to define which stage of the menopause you may be experiencing. Whether you are in the perimenopause stage – the time leading up to the menopause – or experiencing full menopause symptoms, it’s important to find the tools that you need to feel better and relieved.
The Biology of Menopause
Just as our bodies take ten to twelve years to fully enter puberty and many teenage girls experience irregular periods, there’s also a transition time when reaching the end of your periods. This is why many women can be confused as to whether or not they are in menopause – there’s no marker to determine the onset of menopause, and you can only confirm that you’re actually in menopause when you look back after it’s been twelve months since your last period. Most of us don’t keep track at that point, making it even more difficult.
Unfortunately, there is no precise blood test which can be carried out in order to determine whether or not you’re in a perimenopausal state. However, the good news is that your doctor will be able to check whether your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are rising and also check for other hormonal fluctuations which when looked at in conjunction with your age and other symptoms could mean that it is likely.
When experiencing perimenopause or menopause, women experience a number of different symptoms. You are likely to start having irregular periods during the premenopausal stage as your body prepares to cease having periods altogether. Insomnia, a lack of energy, hot flashes and night sweats, foggy thinking or forgetfulness, weight gain around the hips and waist, a loss of libido and swollen, painful breasts are just some of the common symptoms which can be tell-tale signs that you’re going through perimenopause or menopause. As the hormones in your body fluctuate, you may also be more prone to experiencing mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and even symptoms of
depression. Thankfully, there are many medications, therapies and treatments available which can help to relieve these symptoms and enable you to live the fullest life even when going through this transitional stage.
Are you experiencing perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms? Bioidentical hormone therapy is a treatment that could help you to manage – there’s more information here on this useful treatment.