First Symptoms of Menopause

by Laura Ramirez on March 24, 2011

The first symptoms of menopause can be confusing, especially for women who are just in their late thirties and already experiencing them. Early or premature menopause is a phenomenon that’s actually felt by about one percent of women at anywhere between 15 and 45 years old. This mid-life transition has unique indications, and we’ve come up with the top five menopausal symptoms you’re likely to encounter first.

  1. Changes in monthly period.
  2. First Symptoms of Menopause

    First Symptoms of Menopause

    One of the most obvious first symptoms of menopause is an irregular period. You’ll easily notice a change in your monthly period especially if you’ve always gotten your flow regularly. Take note when your cycle suddenly becomes shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, or you get more than one period within a month. Chances are you are already entering menopause. However, it’s always important to get a check-up with your doctor especially if you are not quite forty yet, just to rule out other possible conditions contributing to an irregular period. If you’ve had any major surgery or treatments (such as chemotherapy or radiation) for any illness, these can affect your menstrual cycle temporarily or permanently.

  3. Hot flashes.
  4. Hot flashes are one of the most frequent first symptoms of menopause that can either occur for a short period of time, or else until menopause concludes. It’s when you feel a fleeting sensation of heat on your face, neck, and chest, followed closely by sweating and a rapid heartbeat and a flushed countenance. While it doesn’t pose any serious health risks, hot flashes can be quite uncomfortable. You can combat this menopause symptom the natural way by avoiding stress, caffeine, alcohol, spicy food, hot weather; and wearing loose, comfortable clothes made of cotton or other lightweight material.

  5. Emotional volatility.
  6. Plenty of women report being emotionally fragile or volatile during menopause. Since this stage of your life is primarily dictated by fluctuating hormone levels, it’s perfectly understandable and there’s nothing to be ashamed of it. However, if it gets in the way of harmonious relationships with your loved ones and wreaks havoc on tasks and responsibilities, then it’s time to look up remedies (preferably of the natural kind) for the emotional roller coaster caused by drastically reduced estrogen levels. Seek help right away so you can have a manageable and more fulfilling life during menopause.

    The first symptoms of menopause that involves emotional and mental well-being include mood swings, depression, irritability, inability to concentrate and focus, short term memory loss, anxiety, and lowered self-esteem. Being emotionally vulnerable is a direct result of drastically reduced estrogen levels in your body.

  7. Crashing fatigue.
  8. Some might argue that middle age is a time for slowing things down and feeling more lethargic. But crashing fatigue is one of the first symptoms of menopause usually complained about by women. It is also caused by hormonal imbalance, but there can be other factors contributing to its presence during menopause. The kind of fatigue felt during menopause is sudden and overwhelming, and it can strike at any time during the day. You can get enough hours of sleep at night and still experience it. It can also affect your concentration and interaction with people. As with emotional vulnerability caused by menopause, it’s best to seek help to alleviate fatigue and live a more balanced and comfortable life.

  9. Vaginal dryness and decrease in libido.
  10. Hormonal changes in menopause cause vaginal dryness, and discomfort during sex. This in turn can affect a woman’s sex drive. Vaginal dryness and a decrease of libido are some of the first symptoms of menopause secretly complained about by women who experience it. Between 20-45% of menopausal women report a decrease in sex drive mainly because of the drop in hormones (progesterone helps maintain a healthy libido, estrogen provides heightened sensitivity during sexual intercourse, and testosterone boosts sex drive and lubricates the vagina). Painful intercourse and an unsatisfying intimate life with your partner shouldn’t be sacrifices a woman must make for the sake of menopause. There are safe, natural, and effective ways to remedy these symptoms and make you come to terms comfortably with the changes in your body.

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