normally happens between the ages of 48-55 - the Australian average is 51-52 years - trust me to not be average I'm 54 this July. Then I read it can sometimes blow out to 60 - whoopee.
20% of women have no symptoms, 60% have mild symptoms and 20% have severe symptoms - good odds for me as so far I have had very little in the way of symptoms - fingers crossed.
Your period becomes irregular - can be longer, shorter or just totally irregular - that would be me - 5-6 months free then wham - here it is again
Bleeding can become lighter or unpredictable and heavy - yep the last one for me too.
Eventually they will stop - but you need to not have one for 12 months to assume they have stopped and you have achieved menopause - remember my post about that?
Common signs and symptoms:
Hot flushes and night sweats - minor for me so far
Aches and pains - lots of those but then I have arthritis and dish so what's new.
Crawling or itching sensations under the skin - mild for me
Headaches - so far so good although had a doozy the other day but sure it was sinus
Vaginal dryness - not a problem so far (TMI for my kids)
Reduced sex drive - also not a problem (yes I know TMI)
Urinary frequency - nup still got the old bucket bladder
Tiredness - oh yeah that one - lots of that one
Irritability - none - what do you mean I'm kidding myself
Depression - no not really apart from wanting to beat the dog next door to a pulp because of its barking - oh but maybe that is anger - oops
Sleeping difficulty - mild but yes but again put that down to arthritis
Lack of self esteem - but I've had that all my life so nothing new there
Forgetfulness - ah the old menopausal brain - getting more of that one - and a good excuse as well.
Here's some helpful information if you want to find out more.
Then there are the things they don't tell you :
extra hair - yep - on my toes - eewwhh - a couple on my jawline - but I've seem some women get super hairy faces and my legs have got hairier too!!
loss of bladder control - the old cross the legs when you sneeze and cough routine - but maybe that is due to the four big babies I've had
'Going South Syndrome' - you know everything heads south - your boobs and skin in particular
personality changes - I've read and believe that sometimes menopause causes women to have more than just mood swings but actually changes their personality. But maybe rather than change their personality it somehow gives them the chance to become who they always would have been. Maybe this is partly empty nest syndrome as well after all menopause and your children leaving home quite often happens at around the same time. Now you will have to ask my family if that is happening to me - I feel just the same, but maybe I am also learning to stand up for myself more.
So for all you women out there going through menopause, like me, embrace it and for those who still have it in their future - just chalk it up to us being the stronger sex - we can deal with periods, child birth, and menopause - and now the men are trying to jump on board and claim they have it too - I don't think so.