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10 Telltale Symptoms of Menopause

10 Telltale Symptoms of Menopause

Every woman will reach menopause, the point in life where your period stops for good, and you can no longer have children. Some women will breeze through this natural time barely noticing anything is different, while others will have symptoms severe enough to interfere with their life.

At Alpha OB GYN, Sowmya Reddy, MD, FACOG, has years of experience helping women transition in their post-menopause years as smoothly as possible. 

Through a customized treatment plan using hormone replacement therapy, lifestyle changes, and other strategies, Dr. Reddy can address menopause symptoms that affect your physical and mental health.

How to tell menopause is near

On average, women go through menopause in their early 50s. However, your perimenopausal transition can start in your early 40s and last for up to 10 years before your periods stop for good.

If you have a hysterectomy to remove your reproductive organs, you can expect to go through a medically induced menopause regardless of your age.

While the decline in your hormone levels can cause many different symptoms, here are 10 telltale signs that your menopausal years are getting closer:

1.Irregular or missed periods

One of the first noticeable signs of menopause is irregular periods. Your period may be longer or shorter than usual and you may even skip a period during some months.

Abnormal bleeding is also a symptom of menopause. The flow of your period may be much lighter or heavier than usual.

2. Tender breasts

Breast tenderness is a common side effect of hormone changes that occur with pregnancy and menopause. Your breasts may also feel heavy, achy, or even painful at times.

3. Weight gain

The decline in reproductive hormone levels can also cause weight gain and you may notice more fat building up around your abdomen. On average, women gain an average of five pounds during their transition to menopause, but the amount can vary from person to person.

Weight can also be harder to lose after you reach menopause, even with a good diet and regular exercise.

4. Mood swings

If you often had mood swings during your period, you may continue to experience them throughout perimenopause.

Some women also develop anxiety and depression during their menopause transition because of the dips in their hormone levels or in response to other uncomfortable menopause-related symptoms.

5. Hot flashes

Hot flashes describe a sudden warming of your body. You may also feel flushed and sweaty, especially in your face and upper body, during a hot flash. Your heart may also beat rapidly and cause feelings of anxiety.

6. Night sweats

Night sweats are hot flashes that occur when you’re sleeping. Some women sweat so much that they soak through their clothes and bed sheets. Excessive sweating can also disturb your sleep quality and make you feel tired and irritable during the day.

7. Vaginal dryness

The loss of estrogen can shrink your vaginal tissues (vaginal atrophy) and reduce your natural lubrication production. Your vagina may itch or feel irritated, and the loss of lubrication can make sex painful.

8. Urine leaks

Urinary incontinence is a loss of bladder control that can develop during the transition to menopause due to a weakening of your pelvic floor muscles. Sneezing, laughing, and coughing can put too much pressure on your bladder and trigger unexpected, and embarrassing urine leaks.

9. Bone loss

Estrogen supports healthy bones and when your estrogen levels decline, it can lead to progressive bone loss (osteoporosis). You may not know you have osteoporosis without a bone density test, but if your bones are brittle, you might fracture bones easily.

10. Reduced fertility

The closer you get to menopause, the fewer eggs your ovaries release. While you can still become pregnant during your perimenopause transition, you’ll likely face infertility challenges that require professional treatment.

If any of these menopause symptoms are negatively affecting your life, schedule a diagnostic evaluation online or call the Alpha OB GYN office near you today.

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