Learning to recognize the signs of perimenopause and menopause can help you manage the change.
During a woman’s childbearing years, mood swings, cramps, and bloating present challenges on a monthly basis. As that time of life comes to a close, different sets of uncomfortable symptoms may emerge. The good news is your health care provider can help you know what signs to look for and how to address them.
“Usually, when women are in their 40s, they begin perimenopause, which is the transitional time before menopause actually occurs,” says Annie Bailey, Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) at Prevea Health. “It usually lasts for about four years but can range in length from a few months to 10 years. During this time, taking steps to manage general well-being is important.”
4 Key Signs to Watch For
If you are experiencing perimenopause, you may notice:
- Hot flashes
- Irregular periods
- Mood disorders
Hormone supplements or a low dose antidepressant may be helpful during this time.
5 Indications of the Next Stage
If you are experiencing menopause, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Lack of a menstrual period for one year
- Hot flashes
- Mood swings
- Vaginal dryness
Hormone therapy or natural treatment options may help you manage menopause.
“Talk with your provider about these symptoms. Do not hesitate,” Bailey says. “You can talk through all kinds of issues and also have important screening tests for conditions that you may not know you have, such as diabetes or thyroid disease.”
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