September is National Menopause Awareness Month. So it seemed like the perfect time to tell you the symptoms that lead up to menopause. If you are in your late 30s or early 40s, menopause probably isn’t on your mind. But it could be causing some of the bothersome symptoms you’ve been noticing.
It makes sense when you think about it. Menopause doesn’t just happen one day. It’s a gradual transition that causes symptoms because estrogen levels gradually drop.
That gradual transition is called perimenopause. It starts about 10 years before natural menopause, which on average happens at age 51. So some of the symptoms you notice in your 40s aren’t a new medical problem. They are just normal perimenopause symptoms caused by lower estrogen levels.
You probably expect typical perimenopause symptoms such as irregular periods. But it’s also a time of reduced fertility, irregular heartbeats, trouble sleeping, or mood changes – all normal symptoms of perimenopause and lower estrogen levels.
But if you are not aware of it, you may end up seeing a heart, mood or sleep specialist instead of going to see your gynecologist.
Other symptoms of perimenopause include low libido, hot flashes and vaginal dryness. This combo of symptoms causes a lot of worry for many women and most don’t realize it is the beginning of menopause and lower estrogen levels. Realizing it’s perimenopause allows you to talk with your doctor and get one of the many treatments available these problems.
During perimenopause, many women also complain of urinary loss, weight gain and migraine headaches.
Since perimenopause begins up to ten years earlier than menopause as estrogen levels start to decline, start talking with your doctor about what to expect before perimenopause symptoms worry you. That means some time around your 40th birthday.
In honor of Menopause Awareness Month, I’d like to offer you a free three-part video series called Health Accelerator that will teach you important things you need to know about such as 1) The tests you need to have done 2) How to prepare for your next annual exam and 3) Five health tips you can begin doing today to jumpstart your health.
Click here for instant access. It contains valuable information to help you stay well.