Imagine sitting at work when all of a sudden a whoosh of heat races through your body, causing you to perspire and your heart to race. The first time this happens, you may attribute it to anxiety, poor dietary choices or lack of sleep. Chances are, however, that it will happen again and you may start to question if you’re entering menopause.
Menopause is the phase of a woman’s life where ovarian functions begin to shut down. As this happens, her period comes to an end and she is no longer able to conceive children. It is a perfectly natural change that happens to women around the age of 50, although it may start as early as 35 or as late as age 60. A woman has officially gone through menopause once she has gone 12 months without having a period.
Of course, the changes that take place in a woman’s body during this time do not happen all at one time. This often results in erratically timed menstrual cycles and a variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms that are driven by the changing hormone levels in a woman’s body. This is known as perimenopause. While in perimenopause, it is important that women continue to be careful during intercourse, because their bodies are still capable of becoming pregnant.
Each woman experiences perimenopause and menopause differently, but the most frequently talked about symptom is known as “hot flashes” or “night sweats”. This happens when the changing hormones make it difficult for the body to regulate its temperature, resulting in a flush of heat that can last anywhere from seconds to a few minutes. That said, there are actually 34 potential symptoms that a woman may experience during this time in her life, ranging from panic attacks and hair loss to bloating and trouble sleeping.
Because menopause is a significant and potentially confusing life change for women, September has been identified as Menopause Awareness Month. This awareness month is intended to help women better understand what is happening to their bodies during menopause, and to be able to realistically manage related symptoms.
If you believe that you are beginning to show signs of menopause, Any Lab Test Now offers quick, confidential, tests like the Menopause Screening Panel or the Comprehensive Female Panel. These tests will help you understand whether your body is nearing or going through menopause so that you can have a more informed discussion with your doctor about any symptoms that you’ve been experiencing.