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The Early Warning Signs of Menopause

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Perimenopause is referred to as the final cessation of your menstrual cycle and the time in which you will start to see and feel the signs and symptoms of menopause—including weight gain, hot flashes, and mood swings. Perimenopause differs for every woman, but on average it takes about a year to complete (unless you have a full hysterectomy), between the ages of 45 to 55, after which time you are post-menopausal.

Here are ten common signs and symptoms that you are perimenopausal…

1. Missed Periods

Your “time of the month” is typically regular, but when your period doesn’t show up on time, or gets shorter and lighter, or you start to clot heavily, it may signal menopause approaching. Odds are, if you’re getting up there in age and use birth control – or aren’t sexually active – your missed period is not from pregnancy but instead is a sign you may be starting menopause.

During the menopausal transition period, your cycle may never be what you normally experience. And the first time you notice these changes, you might feel emotional or upset, both from changes in your hormone levels and the significance of this lifetime milestone. Although the average age of menopause is 51, some women go through it much earlier – some are younger than 40! – or much later, so when your period changes at any time, you should see your doctor. Remember, being in full menopause occurs when you’ve gone a full 12-month period without menstruation.

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