Recognising the symptoms of menopause

As women get older certain physical and hormonal changes may occur that can indicate the onset of the menopause. While some of the symptoms can be anticipated and prepared for, others may occur differently for each woman. Here we explore how you can recognise some of the common symptoms of the menopause.

Irregularity of periods

As menopause approaches you can expect to experience irregular periods that may be shorter in duration or longer than your normal cycles. This inconsistency of periods is a good early indicator that you could be entering menopause and should get checked out by a female gynaecologist in London. Remember that you are still able to get pregnant during this stage of the menopause, so ensure that you discuss contraception methods with your gynaecologist.

Hot flashes

Hot flashes are the most common symptoms of the menopause. Episodes may last a few minutes and can go on for an average of 5 years during menopause. Hot flashes are not usually treated unless they are very disruptive to your life.

Thinning hair and weight gain

During menopause weight gain and thinning of the hair are also common. There may also be an increase in the presence of facial hair and the breasts could become tender and less full.

Mood swings

You may also become more irritable and have mood swings. In some cases anxiety and depression can occur, but medication can be an option for those undergoing emotional changes.

Sexual changes

Another common symptom in the lead up to menopause is that of sexual changes. Sexual complications including dryness and pain during intercourse may commonly occur and changes to consistency of discharge may occur too. These changes occur because of a thinning of the vaginal wall. A loss of sexual desire may also accompany the menopause.

Changed mental alertness

Mental alertness may also change, leading to moments of confusion and periodic loss of memory. If you are experiencing regular lapses of attention then this could be a sign that you are entering menopause and should seek advice.