When women reach the age of 40 their hormone levels drop. That includes estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, the three main hormones in how a woman’s body functions. When a woman goes through menopause it means that she is no longer fertile, that she cannot have children any longer. So between 40 and 50 years old is when most women begin experiencing the onset of menopause symptoms. Here is a list of the four most common symptoms of menopause that you will experience once you hit the “menopausal age”.
There are many reasons why a woman could experience an irregular period, but once women reach their 40s and 50s, menstrual irregularity is usually one of the first signs of menopause. This can come as a surprise to women who have gotten their periods like clockwork for the past 20 or 30 years. Even while periods are irregular, the body is still fertile. Women do not reach menopause until they have not had a period for 12 months.
2. Hot Flushes
Hot flushes are one of the most common symptom women report during menopause. According to one study, the typical age at which hot flushes appear is between 45-49 years old, while smaller numbers of women experience them when they are older than 50 or younger than 40. In general, the earlier hot flushes set in, the more years a woman will experience them.
Vaginal dryness is an extremely common symptom of menopause, typically occurring sometime between 40 and 55 years of age. The common symptoms include: itching, burning, soreness, pain, or light bleeding during intercourse and urinary frequency and urgency. Vaginal dryness is caused by a drop in hormone levels, namely estrogen. By
maintaining normal vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity, and acidity, estrogen keeps vaginal tissue healthy. Each of these factors helps maintain a natural defense against urinary tract and vaginal infections.
This symptom usually occurs alongside vaginal dryness, around ages 40-55. While a loss of libido does not need to be treated if it is not viewed as a problem, it can result in relationship difficulties. Talking with your partner is the best way to work through this symptom so that you can come up with a compromise that will please both of you in the end.
If a woman has had a full hysterectomy, she may experience “surgical menopause”, which can happen before age 40. Otherwise, the experience of these symptoms before age 40 should be discussed with a doctor.