Menopause Early Symptoms, Signs & Solutions
Think you’re approaching menopause? Early symptoms can help you decipher your body’s signals that ‘the change’ is on its way. However, early symptoms of menopause can be subtle and easily confused with other changes in your body.
In this blog, we look at the signs that menopause is on the horizon as well as some helpful solutions to the challenges it brings…
What Is Menopause?
Just like the hormone influx your body experienced during puberty, menopause causes a change in your hormonal balance.
It’s a natural biological process that sees a drop in your body’s production of oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for releasing your eggs each month (ovulation) and your period (menstruation) so when they decline, your monthly cycles come to an end.
This might sound like a good thing – no more periods! However, the process can bring with it some challenges and changes to your body and how you feel.
The onset of menopause can last anywhere from a few months to many years – it’s often referred to as perimenopause. It happens around your 40s, which is the typical age to experience menopause.
Early symptoms can be subtle, so being aware of your cycle can help spot any changes.
What Are The Early Signs Of Menopause?
Your body will start readying itself for menopause, so you will start to see and feel some changes. If you are attuned to your body and your monthly cycle, it will make it easier to pick up on hormone shifts.
So, what are menopause early symptoms? They can include;
Irregular periods are one of the most common signs that your hormones are lowering. However, those changes are unpredictable! Some women find that they can go months without a period, while others find that they menstruate more frequently.
It’s not just timing that can be altered, your flow can differ too. You may have an unusually light flow over just a couple of days or you may experience heavy periods.
Much like puberty can make you break out in spots, so can menopause. Adult acne is very common in perimenopausal women, with spots appearing on the forehead, chin and chest.
It’s no surprise that with all that’s going on with your body, it will affect your temperament. You may find that you feel more anxious, you’re quickly frustrated or that you feel more emotional.
Studies show that 23% of women said they felt increased stress, worry, nervousness and anxiety during perimenopause and menopause.
You may joke about ‘senile moments’ when you misplace your phone or glasses, but there is another culprit – perimenopause! It’s thought that up to 60% of women with menopause early symptoms list forgetfulness and ‘brain fog’ as one of them.
It’s thought that your fluctuating levels of oestrogen and testosterone can affect your cognition.
Headaches are also connected to a change in your hormones. Some women find that they suffer from headaches during their period and that the tailing off of menstruation actually reduces the pain.
Others, however, find that the drop causes hormone-related headaches. These range from mild headaches to debilitating migraines.
Constant night waking and insomnia are commonly experienced during the early stages of menopause. 40% of women in their 40s and 50s suffer from poor sleep, which increases during the transition to menopause.
Oestrogen is linked to your sleep-wake cycle, so the variance in levels can affect your sleep quality.
Menopause Early Symptoms – What Can You Do?
Menopause really is a rollercoaster, but you can manage your symptoms to help make it less of a turbulent experience.
Acne can make you feel self-conscious or shy, so getting the right treatment is important for your self-esteem. There’s lots of helpful advice in our adult acne blog post here, but if you want to see a quick result, the HydraFacial is one of our most effective treatments for managing skin conditions. Not only will it target problem zones, but it’s also relaxing and refreshing so you can destress at the same time!
Lift your Mood
Having your emotional state blamed on hormones can be frustrating, especially if uttered by the opposite sex. However, if you are transitioning to menopause, early symptoms do include irritability and heightened sensitivity. Knowing that you are quicker to react to situations can help you prepare for them.
Mindfulness is a great way to gain control over your knee-jerk reactions. Through calm, gentle breathing exercises you can navigate high stress, worry and anxiety. Mindfulness has proven to be so powerful, even the military is using it to support personnel.
The best way to manage ‘brain fog’ is to keep your brain both active and rested at appropriate times. During the day, try to get some gentle exercise. Things like yoga and dance require you to use your brain to execute moves and holds, which can help to focus your concentration.
Brain training games can also be useful, a few minutes spent on a crossword or sudoku aids memory and information retention. It’s also a great way to relax!
A Pain In The Head
Ongoing headaches can make day-to-day living hard, especially if you suffer from migraines. While over the counter pain relief can ease a throbbing head, there are some natural remedies you can try too.
Some of the methods above will also help with headaches – a regular sleep pattern, daily exercise and reducing stress will all reduce the impact of a headache but the most important thing you can do is make sure you drink enough water. Aim for 1.5-2 litres every day.
A good night’s sleep underpins your overall health and wellbeing. If you’re struggling with falling asleep or find you are waking throughout the night, you will find all of your other menopause early symptoms are exacerbated.
Instilling a good sleep routine can help your body and brain unwind at the same time each day – reading or journaling half an hour before sleep can help you create a calm, cosy environment.
You can also try;
- A humidifier with a few drops of lavender oil in the water adds a relaxing scent.
- Listening to an audiobook, soothing music or white noise.
- A heavier duvet or quilt in winter. The pressure helps your body to feel secure.
- Clean sheets. A study found that nearly 20% of people who washed their bedding regularly slept better than those that don’t.
‘The Change’ And Moving Forward
Finding that you are approaching menopause can have a significant effect on your mental wellbeing, as well as your physical state, as noted in the menopause early symptoms mentioned above.
Although you may feel anxious or overwhelmed at the thought of your impending menopause. Early symptoms can help you plan how you want to manage your treatment.
At Elite Aesthetics, we have supported many women through their menopause with a more natural alternative to HRT. Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT) uses a plant extract that has an identical molecular structure to those in your body.
Because the make-up is so similar, BHRT can offer you a more balanced treatment than synthetic hormone treatment. You can read more about BHRT and how it can ease your menopause symptoms here.
Want To Discuss Your Menopause Early Symptoms?
If you’d like to talk to us about your menopause journey, and how we can help, just contact us.
During your consultation, we will discuss your lifestyle, what your symptoms are and how we can tailor treatment to suit you. We can even establish what hormones are unbalanced using a blood test.
To be proactive about menopause, all it takes is a visit to our clinic in Greenhithe in Kent – we’re just 10 minutes from Dartford and Gravesend station, 15 minutes from Maidstone and 20 minutes from London. We hope to see you soon!