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First Signs of Menopause: How To Know If You’re At Your Second Spring

First Signs of Menopause: How To Know If You’re At Your Second Spring


Hot flashes? It’s not you; the AC is too warm. Science says so!

Moodiness? Puh-leez. It’s the morons around you.


At some point, menopause creeps up on all women. For some of us, symptoms are severe; for others they are more gradual and less pronounced. Either way, it’s there to stay. 


Symptoms of menopause


Okay, okay. We know we just said everyone’s experience is different. 


But an estimated 75 percent of women experience hot flashes during menopause. Some call them “power surges,” others call them “bouffées de chaleur” (why is it some things just do sound better in French?!).


But, as Shakespeare so eloquently said, “A rose sweating its petals off is still a rose undergoing a hot flash.” (Okay. The Bard didn’t say that. But Anne Hathaway, his wife; not the actress, probably did when she was menopausal.)


Apart from hot flashes, symptoms of menopause include the following:


  • insomnia - especially beware of perimenopause insomnia
  • vaginal dryness
  • weight gain - we’ll discuss menopause weight gain in detail later
  • anxiety and depression - if you’re wondering what’s up - menopause and anxiety go hand in hand
  • memory problems and low concentration
  • a lowered sex drive
  • increased urination
  • headaches
  • urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • painful or stiff joints
  • reduced bone mass
  • hair thinning or loss, and increased hair growth in other body parts 


What are the causes of menopause, anyway?

Menopause is a completely natural process that occurs as the ovaries shift into maturity and produce less reproductive hormones. In some cultures, it’s even celebrated. Menopause means becoming your truest self, after all, and that’s nothing to shy away from. 


These include -


  • estrogen
  • progesterone
  • testosterone
  • follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • luteinizing hormone (LH)


How is menopause diagnosed?


If you’re experiencing some of the menopause symptoms listed above, and are 45 years of age (sometimes younger), your healthcare provider might suggest getting a test. Healthcare providers can diagnose your menopause based on symptoms, medical history, and menstrual information or blood tests to determine your thyroid activity, liver and kidney function, and hormone levels.

The PicoAMH Elisa diagnostic test was recently approved by the FDA to help determine whether a woman has entered menopause or is getting close to entering menopause.


Two-minute takeaway


We get it - things change and change isn’t always comfortable. But spring is still a do-over. It’s important to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel as you go down this path, as well as embrace the path itself.


As author Lisa Jay Davis said ,“When I was suddenly thrust into what everyone calls menopause (Orchids) earlier than my body planned, I decided someone needed to take charge on so many levels. It was time to not only change the vernacular, but to speak up and say "Hey! This isn't an old lady's disease! We aren't old! We are strong and dammit, we are beautiful and sexy too!”


We’ll get into a menopause reading and podcast list later. What we want you to focus on for now is this - you’re not old because society says so; you’re wiser and maturer with well-worn skin. And there’s a comfort that comes with that.


Are you going through menopause? Have you already tended to your orchids? Tell us in the comments below. We want to know - really. 





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