Every woman will eventually go through the menopause, and many changes will occur in her body before, during, and after this big change. If you are wondering how to tell if you are going through the menopause so that you can recognize it when it occurs and so that you can take steps to remain as comfortable as possible throughout this transition, keep reading to learn more.
Your Menstrual Cycle Starts to Change
One of the first signs that will indicate that you are going through the menopause is a change in your menstrual cycles. Your period won’t be as regular as you are used to it being, and your periods may be lighter or heavier than usual as well. You may even occasionally experience spotting, and the duration of your period might be longer or shorter than you are used to. If you miss a period and you know that you are not pregnant, you might have started going through the menopause. If you find that you are going through the menopause, talk to your doctor about taking supplements, such as herbal alternatives, that will make the transition easier.
You May Start to Experience Hot Flushes
Hot flushes are one of the most common, and one of the most uncomfortable, symptoms of the menopause. Put simply, they will make you suddenly feel hot either all over your body or in your upper body. Your neck and your face may turn red, you may feel flushed, and you may start to sweat. The intensity of your hot flushes could range from really strong to really mild, and when a hot flush occurs overnight, it could even wake you from your sleep. Typically, a hot flush will last anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
Your body will reduce its production of progesterone and oestrogen during the menopause, so you might also develop vaginal dryness that can be quite uncomfortable. This can cause itching, stinging, or burning around your vulva, and it could also make sex painful. Also, when you experience vaginal dryness, you may feel as though you have to urinate frequently. To help restore moisture, you can use a vaginal moisturiser or a water-based lubricant.
During the menopause, you should also expect that the moisture in your skin and hair will decrease. Collagen and fatty tissue will decrease as well, making the skin thinner, drier, and less elastic. You may even notice that your hair starts to feel dry and brittle too. The best way to combat all of this dryness is by eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, drinking plenty of water, using gentle cleansers and moisturising products, and exercising regularly.
As you can see, your body will go through a variety of changes as you move through the menopause. Being aware of these symptoms will help you pinpoint when your body starts this transition, but if you have any questions or your symptoms are extreme, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor.