Early symptoms of menopause include irregular periods, lower fertility and vaginal dryness, states Medical News Today. Other symptoms include moodiness, urinary problems, hot flashes and night sweats.
Irregular periods is normally the first symptom, making some women fail to have a period for months and others have a period every two to three weeks, notes Medical News Today. Despite these menstrual pattern changes, pregnancy is possible, and women should determine whether they are pregnant if they miss a period during this episode, advises Mayo Clinic.
During perimenopause, estrogen levels may drop significantly, lowering a woman’s fertility and chances of becoming pregnant, says Medical News Today. Reduced estrogen can also cause decreased libido, such as slow or absent orgasmic response and a delayed clitoral reaction time, details Healthline.
Women may also experience vaginal dryness and discomfort, reports Medical News Today. Decreased estrogen may cause vaginal atrophy, a condition in which the vagina becomes inflamed due to the shrinking and thinning of the tissues. This condition can make sexual intercourse painful, lowering the interest in sex, stresses Healthline.
In some women, hot flashes is a primary menopause symptoms, a condition characterized by a sudden feeling of heat in all or upper portions of the body, states Healthline. Other symptoms include urinating more frequently and increased susceptibility to urinary tract infections, such as cystitis, short-term memory problems and difficulty falling asleep, says Medical News Today.