Symptoms and signs of perimenopause differ in every case. Some fortunate women undergo this stage without any complications or dreadful symptoms, while others find menopause ghastly even from the very first day of pre-menopausal stage that sometimes lasts for years.
One thing is for sure, each of these symptoms is the result of the transition ofand progesterone levels in the women’s body. The radical decrease of these female sex hormones initiates the physical and emotional changes that women experience in the menopausal phase.
Estrogen is the hormone that regulates the woman’s menstruation. Its change in the body consequences to several effects in the reproductive organ, heart and blood vessels, urinary tract, bones, hair, mucous membranes, breasts, skin, pelvic muscles, and even brain. These effects are the body’s natural reaction to adapt, which makes it unnatural to cure the signs and symptoms of menopause, as it is a normal stage that the body should undergo just like adolescence. But for some who have severe cases of signs that already affects life and well being, medical assistance and alternative cures are ready for consideration.
The Signs of Perimenopause
Changes in Menstrual Pattern
Though menopause means the cease of menstruation period, it is unusual that the occurrence of bleeding suddenly stops. In most cases, firstly the period becomes irregular, turns too light or heavy, occurs in abnormal frequency, and can sometimes be really painful. This first stage of pre-menopausal phase is medically termed as Peri-menopause that is also accompanied with feelings of irritability and low energy. There are times that a menopausal woman would miss her period for months, then strikes with a dreadful comeback. Just make sure every time you miss your period, do a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy.
Hot Flushes and Night Sweating
Hot flushes is the most common symptom that menopausal women complain. Almost 80% of women at this stage experience episodes of hot flushes that range from mild to unbearably severe. It is an abrupt feeling of heat, mostly at the upper portion of the body that reddens the skin and lets you produce excessive sweat. This symptom is due to the decrease of estrogen levels in the brain that is being misjudged as an increase of the body’s temperature by the part of our brain called hypothalamus.
Night sweat is the episodes of hot flushes at night. Menopausal women find it more infuriating and noticeable as it disrupts sleep. This symptom can also be an embarrassing circumstance with the partner as it causes the sheets to be drenched in sweat. Imagine waking up in the middle of your sleep, feeling clammy and cold. It’s certainly uncomfortable for the too hygienic ones. Night sweating when severe can be damaging to women’s life, as it can also be a cause of sleep problems such as insomnia. There are plenty of medicines that physicians can prescribe if it becomes worse, but natural alternative ways like exercise, breathing patterns, diet and lifestyle change are still much preferred.
The low levels of estrogen and progesterone affect the moisture that coats the vaginal walls, thus results to dryness of the woman’s reproductive organ. Together with this symptom, vaginal irritation and burning sensation also arise that sometimes consequences to pain during intercourse. There will be times that intercourse results to bleeding and urge for frequent urination due to the vagina’s distress. The best approach to this problem is by using water-based lubricant or moisturizer during intercourse, but if more serious problems occur, consulting the physician is the wisest step to make.
Aside from night sweating and hot flushes that disturbs sleep, menopausal women sometimes complain about other signs of perimenopause. They are having irregular sleeping pattern too. Some wake up in the middle of the night with no reasons at all and having a hard time going back to slumber. One efficient way to get as much rest as you want is by practicing relaxation and breathing exercise before hitting the bed. Through this way, you can regulate your mind and body that will greatly help to prolong your sleep hours. Avoiding drinks and food that may affect sleep such as caffeine, wine and cigarettes is as well suggested.
Urinary Incontinence or Frequent Urge to Urinate
One bladder problem that menopausal women usually encounter is the constant need to urinate. This is due to the thinning of connective tissues in vagina and urethra that will eventually result to loss of elasticity. This problem is also accompanied by the weakening of the pelvic muscles that is responsible for urinary incontinence. To counteract the occurrence of urinary incontinence, always keep yourself hydrated, avoid drinking alcoholic beverages and include exercise as a habit.
Decreased Libido (Sexual Drive)
The sudden decrease of sexual drive in as on of the signs of perimenopause is again due to the low levels of estrogens in the body. The reductions of these sex hormones cause several physical change that makes intercourse less interesting for menopausal women. Those physical changes include deferred clitoral response time, intensely slow or absence of orgasm, and vaginal dryness. To bring back your sensual heat in intercourse, several ways such as using lubricants; focusing more time in foreplay rather than the sex itself; trying something new or something you haven’t done before in intercourse; and taking care of your body more to increase your self-esteem is a great help in reviving you and your partner’s sex life.
Nails, Skin and Hair Changes
Changes in skin, nails and hair will be noticed during menopause. It is because as we age, the amount of fatty tissues andin our body decrease, and these components are vital for a supple skin, strong and shiny hair and nails. The reduction of estrogen, which is also responsible for the elasticity of urethra and moisture in vagina, also affects the elasticity of hair. Its reduction causes the hair to be brittle and dry. The best step is to be aware of the chemicals that we put in our body, as strong chemicals might worsen the situation. Natural and organic products should be more preferred than chemical products.