Symptoms of the Menopause
Are you feeling hotter on occasions than you used to? Do you wake up sweating at night? Does your heart suddenly thump for no reason or feel as though it's missed a beat? If your periods are lighter, or more irregular, if you can't shed weight as you used to and you suffer from vaginal soreness, if you are over 40 you may be starting the change of hormonal status which leads to menopause.
It is common now to talk about the peri-menopause, which includes all the years in which you are still having periods, but experiencing the symptoms mentioned above which indicate changing hormone levels. Some women complain of mood changes such as irritability, emotional lability, and loss of libido (interest in sex), but these are not definitely linked to hormone change. Note that most of the symptoms mentioned so far can also be caused by stress and anxiety.
Most women find that periods have stopped altogether by the age of 55 and many women arrive at this point (true menopause) without any of the symptoms mentioned above.
We are now warned of the hidden body changes which happen at this time, such as reduction in bone density and rise in blood cholesterol levels. Most doctors suggest that all women take medical treatment, such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), for these conditions.