Signs and Symptoms of Menopause

Signs and Symptoms of Menopause

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

There are three stages of menopause, which marks when a woman’s fertility ends: perimenopause, menopause, and the postmenopausal stage. Perimenopause can actually begin up to a decade before actual menopause, causing symptoms to appear such as irregular periods and cold spells.

Typically, menopause happens between the ages of 45 and 55. Some women experience it later, and others experience it at younger ages. If a woman undergoes surgical removal of her ovaries, she will experience “surgical” menopause; this is because the ovaries are the main source of estrogen in a woman, so her body will no longer produce this flow of estrogen. 

If you are experiencing the symptoms of menopause, it is important to choose a medical expert who specializes in integrative and functional medicine. This provides you with a holistic approach to dealing with this stage of your life in a healthy way. Let’s talk about the various signs of menopause that you may be experiencing and who can help minimize your symptoms: 

Symptoms of Perimenopause

The first sign of perimenopause will be a change in the frequency and duration of a woman’s periods. They will start happening irregularly, where a woman will get her period one month, skip a month, then get it again three weeks later.

It can be frustrating how unpredictable your menstrual cycle becomes, so just keep in mind that it is normal during perimenopause. Some months, you may have very heavy periods, while others are unusually light. 

This stage can last for 4 to 12 years before full menopause happens. Menopause refers to when a woman doesn’t have her period for a full year. Up until that time, a woman can still get pregnant even though estrogen production is inconsistent. A woman may also experience extreme mood changes during perimenopause. Medical treatment is available to help alleviate what you are experiencing. 

How Do I Know Menopause Has Started?

When a woman goes 12 consecutive months without having her period, then she is at the point of being menopausal. However, some women continue to endure hot flashes and symptoms of perimenopause even though her periods stopped long ago.

Every woman’s body is unique, so what one woman goes through can be very different from what your friend experiences during this phase. There are treatments available for postmenopausal women as well.

Tests to Detect Menopause

There are two blood tests that can be conducted in order to ascertain the levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen. This information is key, because FSH and estrogen levels both decrease as menopause occurs.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) can create similar symptoms to perimenopause and menopause, so this hormone may be the actual cause of what you are experiencing. A test will detect this.

Menopause Treatment Center in Fort Worth

Many women undergo hormone replacement therapy in order to control the side effects of menopause. Custom-formulated bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is available at compounding pharmacies, which create the hormones to exactly match your own body’s hormones. 

If you or your partner is going through menopause or any of its stages, there is treatment available to minimize its side effects. This can be a long stage, so getting connected with a wellness center is a great way to keep your fluctuating hormones under control.

If you are in the Fort Worth area, schedule a consultation with Dr. Catherine, who is a leading expert in integrative and functional medicine. Schedule an appointment with her at AlphaCare Wellness Center by calling (817) 550-6332 or request a consultation via our online form. Know that you don’t have to deal with this alone – Dr. Catherine is here for you!