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Menopause is the name of the transition period when the female body loses its reproductive capabilities. Usually, this change begins when a woman is in her mid-40s. As the body's chemical balance alters, hormone levels fluctuate. The process is generally long, and a woman can experience menopause for years before experiencing her final period. In the meantime, period length and regularity vary widely. In addition to physical changes, menopause affects emotions. Many women find that this is of the most challenging times in their lives, but with a better understanding of what is happening, it becomes a little easier to handle. Here are some common menopause symptoms.

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1. Irregular Periods

Women who are entering menopause often have irregular menstrual cycles. The duration of a period may be longer than normal, or the period may be much shorter or even skipped altogether. Pregnancy is one common reason for this irregularity in earlier years, but by the time the mid-40s is reached, menopause becomes a leading cause of variations in period heaviness and length of time. A reduction in the levels of the estrogen and progesterone hormones changes the body chemical balance that the woman became accustomed to during her child-bearing years. Disruptions to the menstrual cycle are often the result of these changes in balance.

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