Is This Menopause?

If you are in your 40’s and you’ve recently had some night sweats, feel extra moody, or skipped your last period, you may be wondering if you are entering menopause. Menopause is the stage of life that marks the end of a woman’s childbearing abilities. Unfortunately, menopause can also be confusing to navigate and come with some very unwanted symptoms.

Menopause doesn’t happen overnight. There is a stage that leads up to menopause, called perimenopause. It can take years from your first symptoms of perimenopause until you reach full menopause. With so many stops, starts, and strange diversions along the way to menopause, it is hard to predict what this stage of life looks like for each woman. At North Point OB/GYN, we want to help you understand what is happening within your body at all stages of life.

Menopause vs. Perimenopause

Both menopause and perimenopause can indicate that your monthly period is ending. While it is a clear indication that your reproductive years are over, it doesn’t happen all at once or even comes with an obvious declaration of when it is starting.  

Perimenopause occurs before menopause. It can begin as early as 8-12 years before you officially enter menopause. Since 51 is the average age that an American woman reaches menopause, you could experience perimenopause in your late 30’s or early 40’s. When your period has been gone for 12 full months, however, you can assume you are officially in menopause.

Signs You are Entering Menopause

While each woman experiences perimenopause and menopause differently, here are some of the most common warning signs that you are transitioning into this stage of life:

Other signs of menopause can include insomnia, urinary incontinence, mental fog, skin changes (dry, brittle skin), weight gain, joint pain, headaches, and hair loss.

Ask a Doctor for Help

Not every woman will struggle through menopause. You may only have one or two of these symptoms or they may be mild and manageable. However, if you are suffering from perimenopause or menopause symptoms that are compromising your quality of life, please reach out to our providers at North Point OB/GYN. Our Cumming gynecologists offer a number of treatment options to help you manage or alleviate unwanted menopause symptoms.

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