How do I know if I am starting Menopause?

The onset of menopausal symptoms can be gradual – the occasional hot flush, some change in your menstrual cycle or perhaps increased mood changes. It can be quite difficult to know if the changes that you are experiencing are the start of the period referred to as Perimenopause – the time between the start of menopausal symptoms and your last menstrual period.

Sometimes a woman will have symptoms for a short time and then they will disappear only to reappear weeks or months later. Some of the symptoms can be caused by other medical and psychological issues and may not be due to hormonal changes at all.

If you’ve had surgery or medical treatment that has led to a sudden decrease in your oestrogen level then your menopausal symptoms may occur more suddenly and be more severe.

Although the average age of the last menstrual period is 51, any time after age 45 is considered to be normal. Premature menopause is having your last period before the age of 45 or starting to have menopausal symptoms earlier than this. This is always a reason to seek medical advice to investigate the cause, manage the symptoms, and lessen any long-term health consequences.

You will find a lot of excellent accurate information on Menopause at The Jean Hailes Centre www.jeanhailes.org.au and there are many fact sheets on The Australian Menopause Society website www.menopause.org.au.

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