Many women are not sure of the age of menopause and whether or not the plaguing symptoms are indicators of the change of life. Health care professionals do not always have the answer to the question, "What age does menopause start?" The truth is that every living physical body is as unique as every individual's personality and there are no specific age or time when the body begins the process of hormone reduction to terminate the child bearing phase of life.
However, there are generalities that can be applied to the physical time clock and there are definite indicators that will let a woman know that her hormone production is decreasing. It will be very important for each woman to discuss the changes in her body with a doctor and make no assumptions. Doctors will also need to listen carefully to a woman's concerns, never assuming that she may be too young for menopause or that the change of life is the reason for a middle aged woman's physical or emotional concerns. Too many other illnesses mirror menopausal symptoms and it will be necessary to obtain a complete physical examination when any of the following symptoms occur.
A woman can begin to suspect that she is entering into perimenopause
, (which is the beginning stages of the change of life), when she skips a period for no apparent reason. There are other factors that can contribute to monthly irregularity, such as stress, diet, and extreme exercise, but once these other factors have been ruled out, a woman should speak with her doctor about the possibility of perimenopause. Knowing the answer to "What age does menopause
start?" can help guide women in speaking with her doctor. Irregular monthly cycles can differ greatly between women for example some women begin at the age of thirty five while others don't start until their late fifties. There are some signs like hot flashes, mood swings, tender breasts that can be symptoms of menopause and of course missing periods all together (erratic periods) but not every woman will skip periods, some will continue with their cycles, yet demonstrate other symptoms. This can make it difficult to determine what exactly is happening in the body and oftentimes, there is misdiagnosis. The symptoms can come on several years before you go through menopause, however, so consult with a doctor who could better inform you of what stage you are in. Other causes of these symptoms could be pregnancy, thyroid issues, a hormonal imbalance or stress.
However, because the age of menopause is generally between forty-five and sixty-five, patients and medical professionals can use age as a determining factor but again it varies with each woman.
This does not mean that every depression episode experienced during this fifteen year span can be contributed to the change of life. Nor does it mean that depression experienced before the age of forty-five indicates early menopause. Again, each symptom must be evaluated by a professional medical personnel.
Early menopause is a term that is used to describe the change of life as it occurs in women under the age of thirty-five. Often, this early condition is attributed to heredity. If a female's mother experienced the change of life in her thirties, then the chances that her daughter will begin this process at the same age increase. Though it is very unusual, some women have even experienced the change before their thirtieth birthday. Beyond monthly irregularity, other physical signs that women can watch for are hot flashes, leg cramping, heavy bleeding, restless sleep, and night sweating. Unstable emotions can be signs, as well. No matter the age of early menopause, all women experience the adverse effects of hormone reduction.
Hormones affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally and all three areas of life are challenged when there are imbalances. Women may find that they are depressed or feeling blue for no reason at all. They may become easily irritated and short tempered. Normal everyday activities can be overwhelming and thinking can be fuzzy. Some women who experience early menopause even complain of forgetfulness.
All of these symptoms can be a bit consuming when happening all at once. This will be a time when great patience is exercised between doctor-patient and woman and her family. Women may also want to investigate natural remedies used in alleviating some of the symptoms. Apart from birth control pills and synthetic hormones, there is not much that can be done about monthly cycles, but hot flashes and mood swings can be addressed by natural herbs and supplements. When the age of menopause occurs in young women, regulating a cycle may be a good approach.
In conclusion, when asking "What age does menopause start?” one can never know the right answer. And, one should never make assumptions about any ailment or symptom. If any of the signs discussed in this article are currently being manifested in your body, then call a doctor for a complete physical evaluation. Discuss the different approaches to addressing the discomforts and concerns.
A woman’s body is important, and needs to get the best care during this physically difficult time in life.
Menopause & weight gain
Most women gain weight as they age, but excess pounds aren't inevitable. To minimize menopause weight gain, step up your activity level and enjoy a healthy diet.
As you get older, you may notice that maintaining your usual weight becomes more difficult. In fact, the most profound weight gain in a woman's life tends to happen during the years leading up to menopause (perimenopause). Weight gain after menopause isn't inevitable. However, you can reverse the course by paying attention to healthy-eating habits and leading an active lifestyle.
What causes menopause weight gain?
The hormonal changes of menopause may make you more likely to gain weight around your abdomen, rather than your hips and thighs. Hormonal changes alone don't necessarily trigger weight gain after menopause. Instead, the weight gain is usually related to a variety of lifestyle and genetic factors.
For example, menopausal women tend to exercise less than other women, which can lead to weight gain. In addition, muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, your body composition will shift to more fat and less muscle — which slows down the rate at which you burn calories. If you continue to eat as you always have, you're likely to gain weight.
For many women, genetic factors play a role in weight gain after menopause. If your parents or other close relatives carry extra weight around the abdomen, you're likely to do the same. Sometimes, factors such as children leaving or returning home, divorce, the death of a spouse or other life changes may contribute to weight gain after menopause. For others, a sense of contentment or simply letting go leads to weight gain.
Have you noticed your father, brother, or partner acting strangely lately? Does he forget things, seem lethargic, or wake up sweating? If so, he may be suffering from male menopause. While this likely sounds unbelievable to most women, more and more people are suggesting that male menopause really does exist. Like female menopause,
menopause in men seems to involve a drop in hormone levels around middle age. Often referred to with contempt as the "mid-life crisis," men may really be suffering from a documented illness. So grab the man in your life and make him aware of what he may be facing when he reaches middle age.
Male menopause, also called andropause, refers to a gradual decline in a man's testosterone levels. Not all men will go through andropause and it is unknown why those that will, do. Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is responsible for creating and releasing sperm, initiating sex drive and providing muscular strength.
Hormone levels tend to peak around the ages of 15 to 18 in most males. Sometime during his mid to late 20s, a man's hormone levels will begin to drop slowly. Usually, these hormone levels will remain at a healthy level, but some men will see their testosterone levels drop significantly by the time they are 40. By age 50, half of all men will experience a significant reduction in testosterone levels, causing a variety of uncomfortable ailments.
Causes of Male Menopause
Male menopause can occur naturally in some men. More often than not, though, andropause is triggered by illness, depression, dementia, and obesity. Certain diseases that attack the heart and lungs also seem to affect the production of testosterone. Men who have had autoimmune diseases or cancer seem to be at an increased risk for low testosterone levels.