4 Early Signs of Menopause That Can Help You Prepare

4 Early Signs of Menopause That Can Help You Prepare

When your childbearing years end, you’ve entered menopause. Technically, you’re in menopause when you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months, but perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause, and its symptoms are a precursor to the much-discussed “change of life.” 

These early menopause symptoms that emerge in perimenopause can actually serve as good preparation for the future.

Dr. Peter Khamvongsa provides expert education about and treatment for all your symptoms throughout the menopause journey. Every woman is different, and never is this truer than when you’re living in your “before, during, and after” menopausal phases. You need a knowledgeable, caring provider to call on, and Dr. Khamvongsa and his team are eager to help.

Prepping for menopause

We’ve compiled a list of four of the most commonly experienced early menopause symptoms. Even though menopause might still be years away, it’s never too soon to learn about symptoms that stem from when your ovaries slow down and you begin to produce less estrogen.

1. Irregular periods: This might sound like an obvious symptom, but women can experience period irregularity for many reasons throughout their lives. If you’re in your 40s, however, the most likely reason is that menopause is on the horizon.

It’s important to remember that even if your periods are like a roller coaster, you still need to use contraception to avoid pregnancy. In fact, you should use contraception for a full year after you eventually have your final period. Dr. Khamvongsa is versed in the most preferred birth control methods for women approaching menopause. 

2. Sleep disruptions: You might find, as you enter into perimenopause, that there are lots of things that can keep you up at night, from hot flashes and night sweats to a diagnosis of sleep apnea, where your breathing is obstructed repeatedly as you sleep. This is due to your throat muscles relaxing while asleep.

It’s important to seek treatment for sleep apnea, since this condition puts you at risk for others, like heart disease and high blood pressure. Remember, if you’re really tired during the day, the cause might not be menopausal. 

3. Vaginal dryness: Your vaginal tissue thins as a result of reduced estrogen and progestin production. This can wreak havoc on your sex life by causing painful sex, and put you at risk for urinary tract infections (UTIs). 

4. Mood swings: The symptoms aren’t all physical as you prepare to enter menopause. You may notice yourself thinking about aging or fretting about the future more, and you’re at higher risk for menopausal moodiness if you have a history of depression or poor overall health, or are very stressed out. 

Believe it or not, estrogen helps to regulate “feel good” hormones, like serotonin, which in turn impacts your emotional state. In addition to changing moods, you may also notice that it’s more challenging to maintain focus and concentration now. 

If you can familiarize yourself with these symptoms and treat them successfully, you’ll be much better prepared for menopause and postmenopause. 

How can my early menopause symptoms be addressed?

Fortunately, there are things that both you and Dr. Khamvongsa can do to alleviate your early menopausal symptoms

Though you can’t do anything about period irregularity, if you’re diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may be prescribed a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, and losing weight can also ease your symptoms. 

It’s important to talk to Dr. Khamvongsa if you’re suffering the discomfort of vaginal dryness or noticing emotional issues, like problems with concentration, anxiety, or depression. 

Dr. Khamvongsa offers hormone replacement therapy for easing perimenopause symptoms, as well as those that happen during menopause. Even though these hormones are man-made, they’re bioidentical, or derived from plant sources, and have the same molecular structure as your own hormones. They can help your body’s hormones return to a balanced state. 

Hormones that are in equilibrium can ease your mood problems, vagina dryness, and sleep challenges.

Think of perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause as a marathon rather than a sprint. During each phase, you learn what home treatments and medical interventions help you the most, and with Dr. Khamvongsa as your teammate, you always have the support and expertise you need.

Call the Miami Institute for Women’s Health office at 786-220-2184 to schedule an appointment or request one online. We’re here to help you glide through menopause and take charge of your symptoms.

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