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Awaiting moderation 493 Article

Early symptoms of the menopause

        EARLY SYMPTOMS OF THE MENOPAUSE
Most women probably know about hot flushes, unpredictable moods and loss of sex drive, but what else might there be?
The consequences of low or falling oestrogen are grouped in three categories: (a) early symptoms that, for most women, last between about six months and two years, (b) rather later symptoms that tend to become more noticeable as the years go by, and (c) conditions that may not start for many years and then get steadily worse.
These symptoms occur during the early months (or years) of the menopause when periods are erratic and unpredictable, but haven't yet stopped. Typical symptoms at this time are:
• hot flushes
• insomnia
• night sweats
• mood changes
• anxiety
• forgetfulness
• irritability
• poor memory
• loss of self-esteem
• loss of confidence
• difficulty in making decisions
• feelings of unworthiness
• loss of interest in sex
• headaches
• formication
• genital itching
Most of these symptoms will last for a comparatively short time, but they can go on for many years and can greatly reduce a woman's quality of life.

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