If you are near the age of 40 and experiencing irregular periods, it is more than likely that you are in perimenopause. Irregular periods are one of the first signs that indicate to a woman that she nearing menopause. Menopause is a natural transition from fertility to infertility. Read on to learn more about menopause and irregular periods at 40.
Why Am I Having Irregular Periods?
Most women begin perimenopause in their late 40s or early 50s. The menopausal transition is different for everybody. Some go though it quite quickly with few or no symptoms, while others experience symptoms for years leading up to and following menopause. During this time, women's bodies experience a hormonal imbalance which can lead to many of the common symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and irregular periods.
The fluctuating levels of the reproductive hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone disrupt the menstrual cycle. This can cause infrequent periods, too frequent periods, heavy or light blood flow, longer periods, and painful cramping.
If I Am Menopausal Should I Be Experiencing Other Symptoms?
You should not be surprised if you experience irregular periods when you are 40 because they are extremely common at this age. However, having irregular periods doesn't necessarily signify that you will experience any of the other menopausal symptoms. Not all women experience symptoms, and not all suffer from them during the entire menopausal transition. So, it is possible for you to have irregular periods at 40 and not experience any other signs and symptoms of menopause.
Are There Other Causes of Irregular Periods?
The average age at which a woman hits menopause is 51. If you are between 40 and 60, then you are likely to go through this natural transition soon. Your irregular periods may then be attributed to menopause.
There are other possible reasons as to why you have irregularities with your menstrual cycle. These can include lifestyle habits or more serious conditions. Talk to your doctor to identify the cause of your irregular periods and to address any concerns.
Listed below are some of the health conditions that can trigger irregular periods:
• Eating disorders
• Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
• Uterine abnormalities
• Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
• Recent birth or miscarriage
• Liver disease
• Thyroid disorder
• Significant weight gain or loss
• Poor diet
• Drug use
• Excessive consumption of caffeine
• Excessive use of alcohol
• Increased stress
More Information about Irregular Periods
If you are concerned about your irregular periods you should always talk to your doctor. However, your irregular periods are probably a sign that you are starting perimenopause and should not be of too much concern. To find out more information about irregular periods and the other symptoms that might follow, click on the links below.
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