Perimenopause can begin up to five years before menopause. Even though a woman may still menstruate, periods can become irregular with many months passing between each episode. Medical professionals can now administer tests that determine the stage of menopause currently being experienced and is a viable option for women who want to know if they are indeed going trough menopause or simply suffering from the perimenopause stage. The simple blood test involves testing the FSH(follicle stimulating hormone) levels. High FSH levels indicate that the women is indeed going through or finished with menopause. The presence of certain symptoms can also assist in knowing whether or not menopause has set in.
Hot flashes and night sweats
are by far the most common symptom for menopausal women, affecting nearly three-fourths of women during perimenopause and menopause. The occurrence of hot flashes can begin during perimenopause but generally become more severe with the onset of actual menopause. Hot flashes feel like an ultra hot flushing through out the face, neck and sometimes the limbs.
Often hot flashes and night sweats are accompanied by headaches, irritability, anxiety, nausea, heart palpitations, sleeplessness and insomnia, urinary incontinence, discomfort during sexual activity, changes in vaginal appearance and/or discharge
These symptoms are generally attributed to the changes in a woman’s estrogen levels as she is going through perimenopause and menopause. The inconveniences caused by these symptoms can also cause moodiness and depression in some women. Social relationships can become strained while the family and friends of these women find it difficult to understand and sympathize with the mood swings and other hormone-induced negativity common in women going through menopause.
There are other symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause that pose greater health risks to women going through these stages. These symptoms include the loss of bone density, a rise in bad and total cholesterol levels, and a thinning of the skin. However it is difficult to determine how much of these symptoms are the result of menopause or simply caused by natural aging.
Some women find relief by taking Hormone replacement therapy, while others stick to natural remedies like black cohash, eating more soy based products or wearing wicking pajamas to help relieve night sweats.
Consult your doctor or medical professional to determine which treatment would be best for you. All treatments should be thoroughly researched before use and should not be disregarded because they are "natural", "herbal" or "alternative" treatments.
Check out our featured video about night sweats and ways to combat those menopausal symptoms.
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