If you are female and in your late 30’s to early 40’s and you are noticing some changes in your menstrual cycle, it may be time you learn what the symtoms of menopause are.

The first thing you will notice is that your periods will start to become irregular. They may get shorter or longer and the bleeding lighter or heavier. Some months you may even skip a period. Premenstrual symtoms may get worse, also.

Other early symtoms you may notice are insomnia and night sweats. You may have trouble falling asleep or find you are awake often throughout the night. These are forms of insomnia and you should talk to your doctor about it sooner rather than later. Do not wait until you are completely exhausted. You need your rest, just like everybody else, and when you don’t get it you could get sick or have a serious accident.

Night sweats may not seem like a big deal and in the grand scheme of the symtoms of menopause you will experience, they may not be. But, it can be disconcerting to wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat and have to get up and change your pj’s and the linens on your bed.

You need to know that perimenopausal symtoms can last for as long as ten years before you are actually considered ‘in menopause’. Menopause is when you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months.

You would think that all the symtoms would be done then, wouldn’t you? Not so at all, you will still experience the hot flashes, the nausea, the mood swings, the food cravings, the decreased interest in sex and the fun doesn’t stop there. No, the further you get into menopause then you have to worry about vaginal dryness and vaginal atrophy.

Every woman is different and so are the symtoms she will experience. Some of you may just sail through menopause completely unscathed, while others will have severe symtoms and need assistance in finding effective treatments.

I know we all used to laugh at our mothers when they had hot flashes, we thought it was so funny. Now we wish we hadn’t laughed quite so hard…payback is a b****!

A few other symtoms that you may or may not experience are headaches, weight gain, and anxiety. Weight gain is common in menopausal women but there are things you can do to combat the battle of the bulge like eating right and getting some exercise every day.

You will no doubt be looking for ways to treat your symtoms and there are several natural ways to start. Herbal supplements are big weapons in the war your hormones are waging on you. Things like Black Cohosh and Valerian Root help with hot flashes and help you sleep better. St John’s Wort can help with the mood swings.

Talk with your doctor and find out what they recommend. Your doctor will probably talk to you about Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT. While HRT is the most common treatment for symptoms of menopause, it can increase you risk for heart attack and stroke, breast and ovarian cancer.

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