Common Menopause Signs - But They Don't Affect All Women


You may be among the happy 15-20% of women who hardly notice any menopause signs at all.

For a fair few, the menopause is plain sailing, and the transition goes by without serious problems.

Or maybe you have noticed some, or many, of the normal and natural indications that your body is going through a transtion. Try not to think of these as 'symptoms' of menopause, which imply that you have a disease. You haven't!

Menopause is a normal process experienced by all midlife women. If you can see the menopause signs as just that - signals that a natural bodily process is going on - it can help you to adjust.

What are the menopause signs?

Contented mature woman

The list is many and various, and it does make the menopause sound like some kind of endurance test.

But don't be too alarmed. Few women experience every single one of these menopausal signs. And any that do affect you are likely to wax and wane over the years of the menopause, gradually dwindling away as the transition reaches its end.

Here are the most common signs of menopause:

  • Menstrual cycle changes - lots of variation here. Your periods could become heavier, or lighter; more frequent or further apart.
  • Hot flushes/hot flashes - can be so slight that no one notices except you, or produce a deep blush.
  • Night sweats - you might be able to cool down by putting the bedclothes to one side for a few minutes. Some women sweat heavily, and need to change night clothes and bedding, and this can contribute to menopausal insomnia.
  • Mood swings, menopause depression and menopausal anxiety - it can be hard to determine whether these are merely menopause signs, or whether they also stem from stresses in your life. Learn to recognise the warning signs of depression - if you have these signs and they last for more than a couple of weeks, you could be suffering from depression.
  • Loss of energy - can be made worse by poor sleep, which can also be triggered during the menopause.
  • Menopausal weight gain - you notice that you're developing a fat belly.
  • Forgetfulness, confusion - again, the root cause might lie in a the combination of stress and menopause, plus an overly busy lifestyle.
  • Hair growth on face and body, thinning of hair on the head - yes, the midlife moustache makes its entry. Out with the tweezers!
  • Stomach and bowel upsets, constipation
  • Aches and pains - tender joints, headaches.
  • Vaginal dryness - there are useful products which can help to alleviate this.

Your attitude is SO important

How do you feel about that list of menopause signs? Frightened? Anxious? Or do you take a more philosophical stance, thinking that these changes are part of the complex tapestry of a woman's life, and you'll cope with whatever nature lobs at you?

If you can take a more accepting view, so much the better. Research has demonstrated that women who go into the menopausal years with more positive expectations of how the transition will affect them, have a better experience than those who start out full of dread, braced for the full gamut of menopause signs to strike.

Makes sense, doesn't it? It's well known that the mind has a powerful influence over the body. This is not to say that 'menopause is all in the mind'. It certainly isn't, and there are many physical changes involved. But the way you think about those changes can make all the difference to how much power you give them to have a negative impact on your life.

And there are productive steps you can take to reduce the impact of menopause signs:

  • Make sure you have a good menopause diet and keep yourself well-nourished with good, healthy food.
  • Try natural menopause remedies as an alternative to, or alongside, medications.
  • Take regular exercise to lose weight - it's known to help alleviate hot flushes, improve sleep, counteract anxiety and help to deal with depression, quite apart from helping you to lose weight.
  • Develop a network of friends who understand and can support you - as you can support them - through this time of your lives. Avoid those who lament over every night sweat or chin-whisker. Seek out women who are striving for a positive take on growing older, so that you can help each other.
  • Act to reduce symptoms of stress in your life. Take time to think about yourself, and where you'd like to head in this next phase of your life.

Your body is making important changes to take you healthily into the next phase of life. Work with the menopause signs, rather than against them, and remember, they WILL come to an end, and you'll go into a new phase of life with renewed energy and confidence.

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Facts about menopause

When the menopause is over, you can look forward to what Margaret Mead called "menopause zest" - a time of renewed energy and creativity.

Women in their 50s often feel better than ever before, so hang in there. Menopause doesn't last for ever!


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