That first hot flash in the middle of a retail store at the most inappropriate of times is generally how women first suspect they’re on their way to menopause. No different from water breaking in the middle of a public event in the ninth month of pregnancy, menopause shows no mercy when it comes to making its entrance. If you suspect you’re starting menopause, the odds are that you aren’t wrong. Women know their bodies, cycles, moods, and routines well by the time they hit premenopausal and menopausal age.
If your cycles have become irregular or gone missing, you’re experiencing dizziness, and have already figured out the best way to handle a hot flash, read on to be sure you’re in the early stages of menopause.
Navigating Early Signs
While only a medical doctor can make a menopause diagnosis, there are some ways to check if you’re heading in that direction before making a call to your primary care physician. Start with taking a menopause quiz. If you woke up last night with night sweats for the first time or have been experiencing irritability out of the blue, going through this checklist of symptoms might help explain things.
Menopausal women don’t always experience all the symptoms of menopause. Where one woman might struggle most with hot flashes, another might be alerted to this change by lengthy interruptions in her menstrual cycle. An online quiz and some research should give you a good indication of whether or not menopause is upon you. Meantime, it’s important to know that some early signs like mood swings and dizziness don’t necessarily mean you’ll need hormone replacement therapy or estrogen supplements. Some women get through the menopause with no treatment at all.
If you’re really struggling and want help with symptoms or are worried about too much bone loss and estrogen levels, give your doctor a call. They’ll be able to provide you with effective treatment for perimenopausal women that will help give you a better quality of life as you navigate this. If you’re based in Staten Island, for example, schedule a visit to a hospital in Staten Island, NY, and reach out for help if you find that your symptoms are impacting your day-to-day life.
Doctors in women’s health or even general practitioners have a variety of treatments to combat the serious adverse effect of menopause when women are really struggling. For example, for some women, menopause symptoms include serious sleep disruptions. Doctors can make referrals to specialists while treating other symptoms. You could be referred for sleep disorder testing in New Brunswick, NJ, or a sleep clinic in New York the same way you might be with intense restless leg syndrome. The key is getting help early on, so you don’t face years of menopause symptoms alone.
Entering menopause can be scary. If you have a mother, aunt, or sister who’s been there, it might be a great time to reach out and ask them about their experiences. Since it’s not often talked about openly, getting them to open up about their experiences could help them, too. Plus, they’ll be able to give you advice about the ways they dealt with hot flashes and more.
Finding peers who are going through the same things at the same time can help. If symptoms become too much to handle on your own, call your medical provider and ask about hormone replacement therapy, supplements, and other options that might help make them more manageable.
For some women, menopause isn’t bad enough to need extra help with symptoms. For these women, help can come by way of social media, blogs, and vlogs. One way bloggers cope is through the use of humor. If laughing is something you ordinarily use to make yourself feel better in other challenging moments, consider a Google search for bloggers in the same position you are in. Using humor to feel connected and to make sense of things in times of change can be a great way to get through the next hot flash or mood swing. If you’re so inclined, you could start a blog yourself.
Another way to get support is to not only tell your friends and family members what you’re going through but ask your doctor if they know of a formal menopause support group. Bigger hospitals and clinics are often connected to groups that meet regularly in person or online. These groups of women serve to support each other through changes and often offer their own experiences with tricks to combat the negative effects of menopause. Here, you’ll likely stumble across the use of humor as well.
At the end of the day, if you believe you’re entering menopause, the best thing you can do is remind yourself it’s a perfectly normal stage of life. Do your research, learn as much as you can online and with books, and reach out for help if it gets too hard. Remember that there are benefits to being through this phase of life and remind yourself that it’ll be over before you know it.