Three ‘physical clues’ that the menopause process is about to begin.
Peri-menopause occurs before MENOPAUSE, when symptoms of the natural transition begin to appear.
While menstrual cycles may continue, there are other signs that oestrogen levels are declining.
The experts at The North American Menopause Society say that during perimenopause, your body will give you “helpful physical clues” that the menopause process is starting.
Hot flushes, vaginal dryness, and irregular periods are examples of such indicators.
According to Harvard Medical School experts, hot flushes, also known as vasomotor symptoms, are “the most commonly reported perimenopause symptom.”
Hot flushes are characterized by a sudden increase in body temperature that lasts one to five minutes.
Women may also experience flushing on their faces and upper bodies, sweating, chills, and a sense of confusion.
Reduced oestrogen levels cause the body’s thermostat, the hypothalamus, to become more sensitive, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“When your hypothalamus detects that your body is too hot, it initiates a chain of events – a hot flash – to cool you down,” according to the health website.
Hot flushes aren’t experienced by all menopausal women, but there are some factors that make them more likely.
Smoking and obesity are two of these factors, both of which increase the likelihood and frequency of hot flushes.
The North American Menopause Society explained why perimenopausal women can experience vaginal dryness, also known as vulvovaginal atrophy.
“Less oestrogen may cause the vulva tissues and vaginal lining to become thinner, drier, and less elastic or flexible,” according to the organization.
Furthermore, as oestrogen levels decline, vaginal secretions decrease, resulting in dryness, and the vaginal pH decreases.
Meanwhile, menstrual periods may become irregular in the run-up to menopause.
“As ovulation becomes more unpredictable, the time between periods may be longer or shorter, your flow may be light to heavy, and you may miss some periods,” according to the Mayo Clinic.
“You may be in early peri-menopause if your menstrual cycle length fluctuates by seven days or more on a regular basis.”
“If it’s been 60 days or more since your last period, you’re probably in late peri-menopause.”
Before you reach menopause, you must go without a period for 12 months in a row.
You’ve officially completed the peri-menopausal transition when you’ve been without a menstrual period for 12 months.
What’s the time frame for this?
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