9 Not-So-Subtle Signs that Menopause Has Started for You

Menopause: it’s fair to say that most women aren’t exactly jazzed about the idea of entering this tough phase in life. And while the prospect of not suffering through that dreaded “monthly visitor” is the light at the end of tunnel for most, we’re sad to report that things tend to get worse before they get better!

Now, if you are a younger reader, then you may feel that this topic is an issue you won’t be encountering for decades, but as it turns out, some women experience the symptoms of perimenopause (a phase that can last 1-10 years before the official start of menopause), as early as 30!

With that being said, if you are noticing any of these 9 symptoms, it may be time for you to have a discussion with your doctor.

  1. Irregular Periods

    Unfortunately, many women’s menstrual cycles begin to go haywire around the time of perimenopause and menopause. This can mean having multiple periods per month with very heavy flows; simply put, cycles can end up being just plain unpredictable!

  2. Facial Hair

    While plenty of gals deal with facial hair well before this time, higher DHT (dihydrotestosterone) levels during menopause have been shown to contribute to the sprouting of countless unwanted ‘staches and beards.

  3. Mood Swings

    When it comes to menopause, there is nothing more frequently discussed than the topic of mood swings. Similar to puberty, it’s a time when the body is undergoing drastic hormonal changes, which definitely messes with emotions. If you find yourself breaking down, flipping the bird to a pushy motorist, or frequently losing patience with your spouse, you may be suffering from this symptom.

  4. Sleeplessness and Fatigue

    Because experiencing hot flashes and night sweats are common complaints, some experts have noted that menopausal women rarely get as much sleep as they need. While there is a variety of over-the-counter medications to treat these specific symptoms, some doctors turn to HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) to help their patients get the rest they need.

  5. Weight Gain

    Though not every woman experiences weight gain during or after menopause, the lack of estrogen has been known to wreak havoc on the metabolism. That’s why doctors urge pre-menopausal women to practice healthy eating and exercise habits before they enter the phase.

  6. Hot Flashes

    Yet another “classic” symptom of menopause that can, unfortunately, last well over 10 years! Although hot flashes are part of life, researchers at the Mayo Clinic say that they tend to be worse in women who smoke or are obese.

  7. Hair Loss

    This can mean different things for different women. Some may notice more shedding, while others suffer from large bald spots. Either way, the problem can be helped by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If the sight of seeing your locks disappear is too much for you to handle, your doctor may choose to prescribe a medication that helps.

  8. Loss of Breast Fullness . . .

    …or that dreaded “sagging”, as many women refer to it. Usually this progression happens slowly over time, and tends to be more dramatic in women who have had children. If you want to slow down or lessen the process, be sure to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.

  9. Memory Loss

    Quite possibly the most frightening point on our list, menopause has been attributed to giving some women what is affectionately referred to as “brain fog”. Menopausal gals may have trouble focusing, but if you are noticing that your memory loss is becoming more and more severe, it’s definitely time to see a doctor.

Geez. It ain’t easy being a woman, is it?!

Have you entered perimenopause or menopause? If so, what has your experience been like? Have you found any special ways to help alleviate the symptoms?