1. Hot Flushes And Night Sweats
The causes of hot flushes are complex and not completely understood. It seems lower oestrogen levels affect parts of the brain that provide the thermostat for body temperature. Many studies show stress and anxiety can influence the frequency and intensity of hot flushes and sometimes certain foods or alcohol can also have an impact.
Hot flushes generally start in the chest area and spread to the upper chest then the neck and to the face but can be over the whole body. They have been described as a burning, overheating sensation with reddening of the skin and different degrees of sweating.
Each woman experiences hot flushes differently. You can have hot flushes that are mild and quick, and you can have one a day or more than 20 a day.
2. Irregular Periods
Irregular periods are most common in the mid 40s, as menopause approaches
Most women will experience absent, short, or irregular periods at some point in their lives. A wide range of conditions can cause irregular periods, though during perimenopause the most common cause is hormonal imbalance. Periods may come earlier or later than before; bleeding may be lighter or heavier than usual; and periods may be brief or go on for what feels like an eternity. Skipping periods and “spotting” – bleeding between periods – are also common symptoms of hormonal imbalance.
Menstrual irregularity is most common in a woman in her mid-40’s as she approaches menopause; the most likely cause of this is hormonal imbalance caused by decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone. Irregular periods could also be caused by other medical conditions or even pregnancy.
3. Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is the lost of moisture inside the vagina. Vaginal dryness occurs when the usually moist and soft feeling of the lining of the vagina disappears, bringing about symptoms such as itchiness and irritation. When estrogen levels drop during perimenopause, the vaginal tissue becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. Lack of lubrication leads to sex becoming uncomfortable, and the vagina is frequently itchy, easily irritated, and more prone to infections.
An extreme version of vaginal dryness is atrophy of the vagina, where it becomes smaller in width and length. This symptom may appear due to a sudden drop in estrogen during menopause, be it natural, premature, or surgical. Vaginal dryness can be one of the most emotionally distressing menopause symptoms, and it is important to seek treatment for this condition if it begins to affect quality of life.
4. Bloating And Diarrhea
With perimenopause can come digestive problems such as bloating and diarrhea, similar to those felt by many women during their menstrual period. These will usually decrease as hormones find their new balance.