Unless surgery happens to be involved, the period of time leading up to true menopause will likely come with gradual changes in a woman’s body. As these changes take place, the types and severity of pre menopause symptoms will vary. Some women experience very severe symptoms in the pre-menopausal stage, but others go through it without little incidence. It is hard to tell in advance what a particular woman will experience during this phase of life.
Menopause itself is characterized as the phase in life when a woman is no longer fertile. Menopause is considered to have arrived after a period of six months to a year without a menstrual cycle. The gradual reduction in the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone and the changes that come with it is the pre-menopausal phase or perimenopause. This time of life is characterized by a variety of potential symptoms that result mainly from the body’s cessation in the production of certain hormones.
It is important for women entering this phase of life to remember it is perfectly natural and normal. When pre menopause symptoms are particularly troublesome, however, help might be advised. Doctors have many different treatments at their disposal to help lessen the severity of symptoms and even to alleviate them all together.
Some of the most common pre menopause symptoms include:
- Weight gain. As the body’s hormonal levels go through states of flux, unexplained weight gain and a slowing of the metabolism might be present.
- Headaches. These are quite common in the pre-menopausal stage.
- Mood swings. Often associated with the hormonal changes, these can be rather pronounced in some women. Mood swings alone are often the reason why some women seek out treatment. Depression and irritability can also go along with it.
- Fibroids. Fibroid cysts might appear in the breasts and uterus. These are considered benign growths, but can in some cases cause discomfort.
- Water retention. An increase incidence of water retention is also common in the pre-menopausal stage.
- Hot flashes. These are quite prevalent in pre-menopausal women. Hot flashes can be particularly severe in some cases. Many women who undergo hormone replacement therapy do so simply to reduce or eliminate the appearance of hot flashes.
- Decreased libido. As a woman’s hormone levels change, the sex drive is often impacted.
- Vaginal dryness. The hormonal changes also impact natural lubrication levels, which can lead to painful intercourse and overall discomfort. This can, of course, add to a reduction in libido in and of itself.
- Insomnia, sleep disruptions. Many pre-menopausal women report problems with sleeping. Insomnia and fatigue are not at all uncommon.
The signs of pre-menopause tend to show up in the 40s and 50s. They are not unheard of in the mid-to-late 30s, but this is considered premature menopause in most cases. Unless surgical menopause is involved, the signs and symptoms tend to appear rather gradually over time.
The pre menopause symptoms can vary greatly from woman to woman. Those who suffer from extreme symptoms or find coping with daily life difficult are often recommended to seek medical advice. There are many treatment options available to help a woman adjust to the changes with less stress and discomfort.
Some potential treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, have side effect risks. Still, these are often prescribed in closely supervised situations when their benefits out weigh potential risks. Other options include the use of anti-depressants and other medications for mood swings and irritability. Medications are also quite useful in the treatment of insomnia and sleep disruptions.
Menopause is perfectly nature. An occurrence of particularly troublesome pre menopause symptoms is not. When concerns are present, women are encouraged to contact medical professionals for advice.