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When Is My Menopause Started?

By Riana Lance

There are some women who wondered and worried about what will happen when they reach menopause. Menopause is not a scary moment. So, don't be scared.

In fact, menopause can be a positive experience. It is a chance for all women to focus more on themselves and make changes that will improve their health.

There's no way of predicting exactly when your menopause will occur. In other words, each of us has an internal biological timer that is programmed before birth to set off the hormonal events that trigger both the start and the end of menstruation.

It seems most likely that our individual genes determine the age at which we experience menopause.

But there are things you could do to understand more about menopause. The first step is to learn all you can about the physical and emotional changes that may be ahead of you. In a survey asking women what was the worst thing about menopause, most said, "Not knowing what to expect." One woman added, "You wish someone would tell you -- but you're too embarrassed to ask anyone."

In past generations, many women were too embarrassed to discuss menopause, even with other women friends. Today, thanks in large part to the rise of the women's movement; menopause is talked about more openly.

Many women still remain in the dark about the details of menopause. One survey, for example, found that most women think the average woman experiences menopause at age 45, when the actual average age is between 50 and 51. Also, most women significantly overestimate the length of time the average woman experiences hot flashes, believing it to be five years rather than two.

Although most women experience similar symptoms of menopause, not every woman experiences all the symptoms.

Here are some symptoms you can acknowledge:

- Some women may have frustrating symptoms that start during perimenopause and continue once they have reached menopause.

- Hot flashes have become the hallmark symptom of menopause. Hot flashes are a feeling of sudden flush or warmth, often followed by sweating. They can cause serious discomfort and sleepless nights for some women.

Other symptoms that can start in perimenopause, but also might continue once you reach menopause include:

- Night sweats (hot flashes that happen while you sleep)

- Sleep problems

- Mood changes (mood swings, depression, and irritability).

- Vaginal problems, including vaginal dryness and irritation that can cause pain during sex and pelvic exams, and frequent vaginal infections; urinary problems, including burning or pain when urinating, or leaking when sneezing, coughing, or laughing problems with concentration or memory; less interest in sex and changes in sexual response;

- Weight gain

- Hair thinning or loss

About The Author
Riana Lance writes about health in some publications. Twice a week she informs her health tips and knowledge in a newsletter.

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