Common symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, and increased anxiety or irritability, states WebMD. The most common symptom is irregular periods or going without a period for several months. Some women may not experience any symptoms before or during menopause.
Since not all women experience menopausal symptoms, the easiest way to determine if menopause is occurring is to look at menstrual cycle patterns. Typically, menstrual cycles become less frequent until periods have ceased for one year, which signals the onset of menopause, according to WebMD.
In the months leading up to menopause, a time known as perimenopause, some women experience menopause symptoms such as mood changes, weight gain, slowed metabolism, dry skin, thinning hair and loss of breast fullness, according to Mayo Clinic. However, these symptoms vary from person to person.
Women over the age of 40 experiencing these symptoms are likely going through menopause, according to WebMD. However, if these symptoms are present in younger women, another condition or even premature menopause can be to blame. Any woman experiencing menopausal symptoms at any age needs to visit a health care professional. A doctor can help women control their disruptive menopausal symptoms. They can also administer important preventative health care tests to catch potential issues that impact women during and after menopause, according to Mayo Clinic.