Periods and Menopause

menopause bleedingIf you have ever been surprised by your monthly period arriving three days early or suffered concern the first time that is was several days late, then this article is for you.  Periods and menopause can cause a great deal of concern, unless you are adequately prepared.

Irregular periods and a change in the monthly cycle is a perfectly normal occurrence for women during around four year before and also during menopause.  Although women normally enter menopause in their early 50`s, changes in the monthly cycle can occur anywhere as early as mid 30`s onwards.

Hysterectomy Affects Menopause

If a woman undergoes surgical menopause such as a hysterectomy and her ovaries and womb have been removed, she may find that her period stops almost immediately afterwards.  Also, it may be that other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and high emotions are more severe than they are as a result of a natural menopause.

Most women will find their periods become irregular as they approach menopause and for some, they may even occur more frequently, before stopping completely quite abruptly.  On the other hand, most women will experience a gradual tapering off and lightening of her monthly cycle before it eventually ceases completely.  In these cases, the time between each period will typically lengthen, for some it can become shorter, but for most women the time will be longer.

Why It Happens

These changes occur due to the altering levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, as they are responsible for the monthly menstrual cycle, as a woman’s uterine lining comes away if she has not become pregnant in that particular cycle.  They are also to blame for affecting our moods and emotions!

Keeping a menstrual diary will enable a woman to keep track of her irregular periods on the approach to menopause.   This knowledge will empower the women as she learns how to handle these changes and makes the necessary adjustment to her lifestyle.  Dealing with irregular periods is inconvenient and frustrating, especially if you are used to your monthly cycle appearing as regular as clockwork.  By keeping a diary, you will be in a better position to notice any recurring patterns that will help you to identify when your next period is due.

Check Your Symptoms

Sometimes women can confuse PMS with menopause, as some of the symptoms are the same.  Mood changes, lethargy, anxiety and, headaches are all symptoms shared by both conditions. If you are in any doubt, speak with your medical professional who will be in the best position to advise you.

While it is necessary to deal with these changes as they occur, do remember that this is all a natural process of your body preparing itself for menopause.  It is possible that some women will positively welcome menopause, especially if they suffer from menstrual problems such as cramps or heavy periods. If you are not one of these women, then the best thing that you can do is to give yourself time to adjust and surround yourself with strong circle of friends and family.  They will be invaluable in the times when you need support, cheering up or even a shoulder to cry on when those hormones start raging.

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