The first signs of menopause can appear in women of just about any age. However, barring abnormalities or premature menopause, it most commonly occurs in between the ages of 40 and 55.
Whether you fall into this age range or not, it can be worrisome when anything unexpected happens to your body. If you hoping to have children or just concerned with your overall reproductive health, checking on your body is a good thing.
If you’re wondering whether or not you’re entering menopause, here are 5 of the most common issues that many women will experience. They include cycle changes, changes in sleeping patterns, urinary incontinence, UTI’s, and a lower libido.
#1: Cycle Changes
There are all sorts of reasons that women experience changes in their menstrual cycle. Changes in diet, exercise, stress, or hormones can all trigger slight variations in your menstrual pattern. For example, training for some endurance sports can cause you to stop having your period altogether.
During your average cycle, estrogen and progesterone increase and decrease in a fairly predictable pattern. In the early stages of menopause, hormone levels get out of whack. This can lead to heavier or lighter periods than usual. How different they are depends, on course on the person.
The length of your period might change as well. Instead of four day, you may have five. Or instead of five days, you may have three.
One thing to keep in mind though—skipping a period is a sign of pregnancy. Take a test to see if you’re pregnant if your period doesn’t show up on time. Otherwise, you could be experiencing an early sign of menopause. Check with your doctor to be sure!
#2: Difficulty Sleeping
Doctors typically recommend that healthy adults aim for four to six 90-minute REM cycles a night. Because your body’s hormonal balance in changing, menopause can upset your sleeping.
No matter what your cause is for sleeping trouble, you should take this issue seriously. Even slight changes to your sleep pattern can have disastrous effects on decision making.
Try some common relaxation techniques such as taking a warm bath, turning off digital devices, listening to relaxing music, or doing yoga in the evenings. Try going to bed at the same time every night and keeping your room cool while you sleep.
Aside from easing the effects of menopause, you’ll improve your overall mental health the more sleep you can get.
#3: Urinary Incontinence
If you have trouble with urinary incontinence, you could be experiencing one of the more common symptoms of menopause. As the tissues in the vagina and urethra lose elasticity, the thinner lining might lead to urine leaking.
Avoid drinking alcohol and stay hydrated to avoid these issues. Kegel exercises work for some women to strengthen their pelvic floor.
If issues persist, talk to your doctor about medication options. Or, you can also use something like these reusable cloth pantyliners. They’re an eco-friendly, reasonably priced option if you need a bit of protection all the time.
Some women find that the frequency of Urinary Tract Infections increases during menopause. Low estrogen levels that cause changes in the urinary tract are responsible for this issue.
If you feel burning during urination, take a urine test with your doctor to look for this early sign of menopause. Antibiotics can solve your problem, so don’t suffer needlessly! It is easy to solve this problem, if you get help.
#5: Lower Libido
The changes to your estrogen levels will undoubtedly have an effect on your sex drive. Along with changes to your cycle, this is one of the most well documented first signs of menopause.
Sex can become uncomfortable or clitoral reactions can slow down, making sex take longer, or become less pleasurable.
Take The First Signs Of Menopause Seriously
While this is a natural part of your life that everyone with a uterus experiences, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t change your life in a personal and unique way. Being prepared will allow you to experience menopause in a positive and constructive way. This is better than being blindsided by unexpected bodily changes.
We hope that you feel more aware of the first signs of menopause. Don’t forget to consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing these things. There are many things that can be done to make this life transition as smooth as possible.