If you’re a woman in your 40s, you know menopause is on the horizon. But many of our patients at Kelly Morales, OB/GYN in San Antonio, Texas, aren’t sure how to separate menopausal symptoms from the more familiar PMS ones, and when to start looking for them.
Dr. Morales specializes in helping women of all ages enjoy excellent reproductive health — including women in perimenopause and menopause. The best way to learn what stage of life you’re in is by meeting with Dr. Morales for a one-on-one consultation.
Our team also knows that knowing how menopause works can be extremely helpful in alleviating your concerns. To that end, here’s a helpful guide to understanding when menopause symptoms usually begin.
When women talk about the symptoms of menopause, most of the time they’re actually referring to perimenopause. Perimenopause describes the time of life when your body begins the transition away from an ability to bear children.
Menopause, on the other hand, is the time of life after you’ve stopped menstruating for at least 12 consecutive months. Women usually experience about 4 years of perimenopause before entering menopause.
It’s important to say that every woman is different, and there’s no set time for perimenopause to begin. Much depends on your genetics, family history, medical history, and lifestyle. Extreme stress or trauma and certain medications, like chemotherapy, may trigger this change at any age.
For most women, however, symptoms of perimenopause begin sometime in their late 40s. However, some women experience symptoms as early as their late 30s, and in very rare cases, women may experience menopausal symptoms in their 20s. The average age women enter menopause in the United States is 51.
Just like there’s no set age for perimenopause and menopause, the symptoms associated with the transition vary from woman to woman. This is because the symptoms are associated with the changing levels of estrogen in your body, and everyone reacts differently.
Overall, however, many women experience a range of the same symptoms. Some may only have mild issues while others find their symptoms intolerable.
Here are the most common symptoms:
Have more questions about when menopause symptoms begin or wondering if you’re in perimenopause? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelly Morales by calling our San Antonio office at 210-570-7277.