How do I know if my menopause has started?
I’m 44 this year, my menstrual cycle is usually prompt. However I missed my cycle this month. I also find myself perspiring easily, even in an air-conditioned room. How will I know if my menopause has started?
Strictly speaking, menopause only starts once you have missed a period for one year so technically you are not menopausal yet so don't worry as you have only missed one month.
Perimenopause however is the period around the menopause in which women can experience menopausal-like symptoms (hot flush, night sweats, mood swings, irritability, etc) along with episodes of irregular menses.
This can go on for a few years before the final onset of menopause due to hormonal fluctuations. the normal range of menopause is 45-55 years old so if you have not had a period by next year when you turn 45, then menopause officially starts then which is early but still within the normal range.
One way to determine if you are perimenopausal would be to test your female hormones.
At the same time, other causes of missing a period can also be excluded with additional blood tests (thyroid hormone abnormalities, pregnancy, raised prolactin hormones for example) and a pelvic ultrasound scan.
Hope this helps!
Dr Christopher Ng
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist