First Signs of Menopause

One of the first signs of menopause is a change in your periods. Hot flashes and heavy sweating is also common in perimenopause. 

Early Signs of Menopause

Early signs that you're moving toward menopause include small changes in your cycle or flow. These changes may begin 10 to 15 years before menopause. The average age of the onset of menopause is 51.4 years. 

Disruptions in your Regular Menstrual Cycles

Disruptions in your menstrual cycle become more erratic over time. You officially reach menopause when you go 12 consecutive months without a period. 

You might wake up one day and realize you missed your period, and never get another one. This would be normal. So would erratic periods for 11 years. 

First Signs of Menopause

Surgical Menopause

Menopause induced by surgery or chemotherapy may cause more difficulty with symptoms because of the sudden steep drop in estrogen levels. 

Surgical menopause is the process by which outside intervention such as chemotherapy, pelvic radiation, or the removal of both ovaries. 

With chemotherapy and radiation, the perimenopausal transition can last for months. Fertility can sometimes end immediately. 

Surgical menopause is most commonly referred to the process of removing the ovaries to get rid of the main source of natural estrogen. This sudden drop in hormone levels increases the likelihood that you'll experience menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and verbal memory problems. 

Early First Signs of Menopause

While most women reach natural menopause between the age of 40 and 58, it occurs earlier about 1 percent of the time. The average age of premature menopause is 27 to 30 years. 

Premature menopause refers to any type of menopause that occurs before the age of 40. While rare, premature menopause puts women at greater risk for bone loss. 

Changes in Estrogen Levels

One of the first signs of menopause is fluctating estrogen levels. Fluctuations in estrogen levels on the way to menopause cause symptoms such as hot flashes, breast tenderness, and decreased vaginal lubrication. It's also common for women to struggle with bleeding issues and fibroids. 

Natural Menopause

Natural menopause is sometimes described as spontaneous because it starts without your intervention. You might detect a few subtle hints of what's coming 10 or more years before your periods stop. As you get closer to the end of your reproductive years, the timing may become more unpredictable. Also, the level of flow may be unusually heavy or almost nothing at all. 

As hormone levels increase, many women experience hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness, less lubrication when sexually aroused, and moodiness. 

You won't know for sure if you've reached menopause until you've gone a full year without your period. This can happen at any age from 40 to 58, with the average age 51.4 years. 

› First Signs of Menopause

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