Symptoms of Menopause from 40 to 65
Don’t panic, you may get some, all, or none of these symptoms but it’s good to be prepared!
You are unique and so the transition to menopause begins and ends at different times for each woman. Some things influence just when such as your family history and whether you smoke as they both can make the timing either earlier or later.
What brings it on?
As you get older, your ovaries produce less of both oestrogen and progesterone and that is why as their levels decline your periods become more erratic and eventually stop.
Once you’ve been without a period for 12 months, you’re officially in menopause and the average age for women to go into menopause is 51. However the physical changes that usher in menopause can begin as early as age 40, or may not start until your late 50s.
One way to predict when you’ll start menopause is to ask your mother as it’s typical to start menopause at roughly the same age as your mother and sisters. If you are a smoker then that can accelerate the transition by about two years.
Which stage are you in?
As I mentioned, there are three separate stages – perimenopause, menopause itself and then post menopause. They can occur at different ages, but typically these are the symptoms you might experience – and don’t worry most women experience only a few – not all – of them.
Ages 40 to 45
This is when you may experience an early menopause as a couple of missed periods when you’re 40 might lead you to think you’re pregnant, but it’s also possible to begin menopause at this age.
About 5 percent of women go into early menopause, experiencing symptoms at this age and one percent of women go into premature menopause before age 40.
Early menopause can occur naturally, or, it may be triggered by surgery to remove your ovaries, cancer treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy, or autoimmune diseases.
Signs you’re in early menopause include:
– missing more than three periods in a row
– heavier or lighter than usual periods
– trouble sleeping
– weight gain
– hot flushes
– vaginal dryness
Because these can also be symptoms of pregnancy or other medical conditions, always get them checked by your doctor..
If you left starting your family until later, then going into menopause early could prevent you from starting a family. You may want to consider options like freezing your remaining eggs, using donor eggs to conceive but certainly this is the point to check your progesterone levels.
Good levels are essential for fertility, reduction of miscarriage risk, and using bioidentical progesterone can certainly help with that.
Ages 45 to 50
Many women enter the perimenopausal phase in their late 40s and it is at this stage, your oestrogen and progesterone production slows, and you begin to make the transition into menopause.
It is variable and can last for 8 to 10 years. Your periods may still occur, but with less regularity and your menstrual cycles will become more erratic.
During the last year or two of perimenopause, you may skip periods and the periods you do get could be heavier or lighter than usual.
Signs you’re in perimenopause include:
– hot flushes
– mood swings
– night sweats
– vaginal dryness
– difficulty sleeping
– vaginal dryness
– changes in sex drive
– trouble concentrating
– brain fog
– hair loss
– fast heart rate
– urinary problems
Remember: it’s harder to get pregnant during perimenopause, but not impossible so continue with your birth control if you don’t want to conceive.
Ages 50 to 55
During your early 50s, you may be either in menopause, or making the final transition into this phase. At this point, your ovaries are no longer releasing eggs or making much oestrogen or progesterone.
This stage can take one to three years and symptoms like hot flushes, vaginal dryness, and sleeping difficulties are common during this time, as well as many of the others you might have experienced in perimenopause.
Ages 55 to 60+
By age 55, most women have gone through menopause and once a full year has passed since your last period, you’re officially in the postmenopausal phase.
Unfortunately this does not necessarily mean the end of your symptoms as I know many women continue to experience the same ones again with an estimated 40 percent of women ages 60 to 65 still get hot flushes. Hopefully, in most women, they’re infrequent.
Check the list for perimenopause and you may be able to identify which ones are still troubling you.
Remember: at this stage of life anxiety and stress are often higher and these will definitely impact your symptoms, and not in a good way. Also your risk for heart disease and osteoporosis increases so look proactive ways to reduce your risk.
Ages 60 to 65
A small percentage of women are late going into menopause and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Studies have linked late menopause to longer life expectancy and lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and osteoporosis. This is due to the fact that such women are still producing oestrogen and progesterone which protects from this increased risk.
I am a great believer in women having choice, but in order to have choice you need to have information and that is what I try to bring you in my articles.
It doesn’t matter where you are from peri to post menopause, and all the stages in between, in order to have a happier, healthier transition the more you know then the better you are able to take the proactive steps you need.
However sometimes you may want to go a little deeper and I recently came across an award winning accredited online course which allows you to work as a Menopause Practitioner, or simply want have to have better knowledge about the process your body is going through and what your options are for menopause wellbeing.
A wide range of topics is covered from how your endocrine system works, your hormones in depth at menopause, to exploring stress and learning and an integrated approach to this vital life transition.
Whether you are interested to explore holistic healing alongside more traditional approaches or delve into a wellness pack that enables you to ask questions, make choices and take control then take a look at their website for more information.