Is Menopause Starting? How Can You Tell
Some women have the expectations that the beginning of menopause will be clearly defined, unfortunately, it's not that simple. Even doctors can't be sure if menopause is beginning or not, even after you've fully explained all your symptoms.
Symptoms of menopause can be symptoms of other conditions as well, this is where the confusion comes in. Your doctor will most likely want to do some hormone testing to determine exactly what is going on. Hormone testing is simply drawing blood. Menopause can be a mystery, it may occur in some women that are as young as 30 years old or wait until a woman is over 60 years old before menopause begins.
It's extremely difficult to predict the timing of menopause. There are several factors that can act as signals however, such as family history. You will be more likely to go through menopause early if your mother did.
Gathering information from your mother or grandmother as to what age they went through menopause can be very helpful but don't expect it to be completely accurate. This is however, a good place to start if you're curious about it. The current data shows the average age for women to start menopause is around 51 years old.
There are many other factors that can help you to determine when you may start going through menopause. Are you a smoker? Studies have shown that women who are smokers are more likely to reach menopause before non-smoking women do. Although this information varies, it is believed that smokers will reach menopause on an average of two years before a non-smoker will. While this is still being studied, it's certainly something to consider.
At present there doesn't seem to be any relationship with menopause and the start of a female's menstruation. It's also not related to motherhood, birth control, height or a persons race.
You can try to recognize the menopause transition, therefore, getting a head start on the process! This transition is referred to as perimenopause. Perimenopause normally happens about six years before full menopause begins.
During the perimenopause transition, your hormones are beginning to fluctuate. You may start to notice irregular periods. Many times these irregular periods deal with the level of the flow and the length of the period.
You may also start to experience hot flashes. You could also find yourself having night sweats, occasional mood swings, and changes in your libido. Although these changes are not as prominent in the beginning, they are present in most women. During perimenopause, the average woman may only experience these symptoms once a month or every few weeks. However, during menopause you'll find these symptoms will most likely occur much more frequently or even everyday.
You'll be able to start recognizing these symptoms as a beginning point to menopause. Keeping a diary is a great way of tracking the patterns that may be developing. Write down things like; how long did your period last; what was the level of flow; did you experience hot flashes and things such as this. By keeping track of what's going on you will have a much easier time talking with your doctor about what patterns are occurring and what steps you need to take next.