Going Through Early Menopause

Menopause may not sound like something a woman in her 30s should be worrying about, but my mother started going through it in her mid to late 20s and had gone the whole nine yards by 34. I can recall much of this time period quite well, because she was absolutely nuts during it. Of course, the doctors had no idea what was wrong with her, which only added to the stress of the situation, so I reckon I can sympathize with her. Personally, I seem to have been more fortunate than my mother in that I am only just slightly gray at the temple at 35 (she was fully silver by 34) and I haven't had the same hormonal issues yet -- but I have been experiencing night sweats and hot flashes for about a year so I suppose it's not too far round the corner. If you're going through early menopause, here are the symptoms you should be on the lookout for. Where possible, I've listed my own personal experiences as well.

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Changes in menstruation

Missed, irregular, late periods. Not just a one off, but frequent disturbances in the menstrual cycle. Of course, these things can also be caused by stress or changes in diet, so don't assume you're going through early menopause just because you've skipped a period or two.

Hot Flashes

These are exactly what they sound like, and they are not pleasant. I actually had a thermometer in my mouth when one hit me, and it registered at 103.7 F -- 5 minutes later when I rechecked and it was only 99.0 F, which is my normal body temperature. But the temperature shoots up and drops so quickly that I don't think you'd be able to get check it fast enough unless, like me, you're already in the process of checking. They can be scary the first few times you experience them because it can take a bit to figure out what the hell is going on. But once you're used to them, you just kind of learn to ride them out and wait. IME, they come and go over the course of half an hour, and fortunately I only experience them a few times a year.

Mood Swings

Most women notice that they get progressively more emotional as they age, particularly when their periods are due. Well, when you're going through early menopause, that gets a lot worse. You can get that 'on edge' feeling at just about any time. Lots of fun, let me tell you. The thing that makes you feel crazy is that you know there is no rational reason for why you should be crying over a Doritos commercial, but there you have it.

Insomnia or other Sleep Disturbances

You might have trouble sleeping if you're going through early menopause. I often wake up with night sweats, which are rather unpleasant. Nothing like waking up and feeling like you're having a wet hot flash. And then getting back to sleep can be just as annoying, as you have to ignore the fact that you really want to take a shower to cool down properly. It's quite nasty, really.

Dry Skin

Skin elasticity can start to decrease when you're going through early menopause. This is the time when you want to pay special attention to those moisturizers and take good care of your skin -- be sure to hydrate from the inside by drinking plenty of water, too.

Decreased interest in boudoir acrobatics

Hard to imagine that all these crazy feelings could make a girl less interested in bedroom performances, but that's how it often is. Not always, but often. Of course, this can come back... talk with your doctor about your options if this is an issue.


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