12 menopause symptoms 45-55-year-old women need to know about


It’s no secret that 85% of women in the United States have experienced menopause symptoms. Believe it not, close to 50 million women have experienced hot flashes and vaginal dryness, and those are just two of the symptoms. 

Menopause is undoubtedly the elephant in the room for many women, just as erectile dysfunction is the elephant in the room for men.  That elephant is what makes them uncomfortable discussing their symptoms and asking for help. 

Asking for help is a big deal.

You miss every shot you don’t take.

Not asking for help is missing the shot to gain support and learn how to better cope with this transition instead of attempting to go at it alone the long way. It can even lower the chances of one getting the menopause treatment they need.

The Real Problem

Let’s face it.  Asking for help isn’t the real problem….

There’s no doubt that asking for help regarding menopause is a challenge with the way society regards it.  The media portrays it as a problem instead of a process and a part of life.  Not to mention, there is a lack of available support.

That’s why I am working to be a part of the solution on helping support women experiencing menopause symptoms by creating awareness around the subject and opening a space where they can talk about it freely and seek the help they need. 

I hope that men will benefit from this information as well by learning how to support the women in their lives who are transitioning through menopause.

I Am Sherman Mathis

Before I go into this article, I want to introduce myself and explain why I’m qualified to talk about women and menopause.

My name is Sherman Mathis.  I am a functional nutritionist, mental performance coach, and fitness consultant.  My experience ranges from physical therapy, fitness training, meal planning, and transitional health.  My goal has always been to show my clients how they can take care of their minds and bodies to live their best quality of life.

I have experience with men and women from the age of 18 to the age of 65. 

I started as a personal trainer and over the years, created trusting relationships with my clients, which has helped me evolve into my current roles. 

If you want to know more about me or what I do, feel free to follow me at transitionalfitnesscoach@gmail.com.

You can also subscribe to the Transitional Fitness Coach blog and receive notifications of new ebooks and blog posts. 

Now that you know a little bit more about me, we can get back to our scheduled program.

Menopause Early Signs

Two questions that I always get are….

What are the signs of early menopause?

What happens during menopause?

Whether you are curious about menopause early signs, experiencing symptoms, or looking to support a loved one who has it, there are 12 menopause early signs and symptoms that women experience.

Irregular periods

Irregular periods are menopause early signs. It marks the beginning of a woman’s transition into menopause.  I have seen this happen as early as age 37, but most of the time, it starts during the early to late 40s.  The same applies to all symptoms. 

For some women, their menstrual cycles become shorter.  For others, it can become longer.  This happens as a result of ovulation becoming unpredictable. 

This can be hard to decipher as many women experience irregular periods.  The best way to determine if an irregular cycle is a menopause symptom is if it has been 60 days or more since the last cycle.

Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness is another menopause symptom.  It happens as a result of the vaginal tissue becoming thin over time. Sex tends to exacerbate the thinning of these tissues. This phenomenon causes the body’s natural estrogen level to decrease, resulting in pain during sex and a decline in sexual desire.

Vaginal dryness is a sensitive subject for many clients as they feel they are less desirable because of it.  Some women have even admitted to an increase in depressive and anxiety symptoms related to the negative impact it has on their relationships. It warrants the need for support and understanding regarding the matter.

Loss of Sex Drive

As mentioned before, lower levels of estrogen result in a lack of libido or sex drive.  It is important to understand that all women don’t experience a low sex drive. 

In fact, some experience an increase in their libido.  How it impacts each woman will be different.  At the same time, if a loss of sex drive and vaginal dryness becomes a problem, it is essential to seek guidance from your specialist to determine the best next steps for you.

There are ways to naturally combat low sex drive, such as eating a diet high in omega-3’s and probiotics, herbal remedies, and regular exercise.

Trouble Focusing

You’ve heard of “pregnancy brain,” but I bet you never heard of “menopause brain.”  Many women experience trouble maintaining focus.  It mainly impacts short-term memory and concentrating.

This is another symptom that happens as a result of the drop in estrogen levels.  When estrogen levels drop, the energy in the brain drops as well.  

In other words, the brain isn’t working as hard as it used to. An excellent example of this is the luteal phase (after ovulation, the days between ovulation and menstruation) a woman experiences each month when the fertilization of an egg doesn’t happen.  Estrogen and progesterone levels decrease, and many women experience fatigue, trouble focusing, and an enhanced appetite. 

Hot Flashes

Hot flashes are one of the most common symptoms of menopause.  They seem to happen randomly.  Once they subside, one may experience chills. 

If the hot flashes are mild, they can be managed by keeping cool, relaxing, and avoiding caffeine and spicy foods.  The worst part of the actual symptoms seems to be excessive sweating.

On the other hand, if women are experiencing more intense hot flashes that cause night sweats, accompanied by a rapid heartbeat and feelings of anxiety, it’s time to seek menopause treatment. 

There are many treatments available for hot flashes, such as supplements, alternative therapies, and medications.

Sleep Problems

Disruptive sleep is a significant menopause symptom.  The mental drain from experiencing symptoms can cause restlessness. 

A goods night’s rest is essential for overall health, especially for women experiencing menopause.  Not getting enough rest can lead to the onset of other problems such as a weakened immune system,  weight gain, and other symptoms of menopause.

Getting a good night’s rest is vital for the mind and body.  It also gives the body the opportunity to heal naturally by detoxing the liver and kidneys and performing cell and hormone maintenance.

For more on the importance of a good night’s rest, check out 9 Reasons A Lack of Sleep Hurts Your Overall Wellbeing.

Weight Gain

The hormonal changes women experience during menopause may cause them to gain weight precisely around their stomach, hips, and thighs. 

This is the time where muscle mass diminishes, and fat tends to increase.  Losing weight is much more challenging because of a slowed metabolism. 

The intensity of this will depend on genetics, diet, exercise, or a lack thereof. 

However, I want all women to know that they can avoid the “middle-aged spread” by adopting a healthy lifestyle. 

Extra weight is a risk factor for chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes, which all can be avoided with good rest, a healthy diet, and regular exercise.

Thinning Hair

The hormonal imbalance in menopause can cause hair to thin out or to grow in odd places.  Some women report hair thinning on their heads and hair growing on their face or other parts of their body such as their back or chest.

Estrogen and progesterone enhance hair growth.  The decrease in these hormones causes the rate of hair growth to slow and thin.  However, most women experience hair thinning, not bald spots.

When estrogen and progesterone decrease, androgens increase.  Androgens are male hormones that can cause hair to grow on the face and other body parts. 

Decrease in Breast Fullness

Another sign of menopause is a decrease in breast fullness.  This happens when glandular tissue begins to shrink.  The result is sagging breast. 

One thing I tend to appreciate about women is no matter the changes they experience,  they still have the power to love themselves no matter what. 

If sagging breasts aren’t a problem for you, that’s great!

If you want to firm them up and prevent as much sagging as possible, workout with hand-held weights.  Exercise won’t technically firm up your breast, but it will build the muscles underneath, which will lift them up. 

If you need a workout program for this, please contact me at transitionalfitnesscoach@gmail.com.

Dry Skin

Estrogen regulates collagen and oils in the skin.  The lack of estrogen negatively impacts the skin’s ability to hold onto moisture. 

It doesn’t seem to be honed into one area.  Dry skin can exist anywhere on the body, the face, elbows, feet, back, chest, genitals, and the t-zone and smile lines.

This is the time to protect the skin as much as possible by wearing sunscreen and eating healthy fats such as avocado, salmon, algae oils, and even supplementing with omega-3’s.  Antioxidants found in berries and artichokes can help as well.

Staying on top of dry skin will help manage it.  My number one recommendation is the Kuza 100% Pure African Shea Butter.  It can easily be melted and added to any regular moisturizer.

Urinary Incontinence

Another symptom of menopause is urinary incontinence.  It is a result of none other than, you guessed it, decreases in levels of estrogen. 

This happens as a result of the thinning of the lining of the urethra.  Couple that with the weakening of pelvic muscles, and your risk of urinary leakage has increased.

It is a bothersome issue, especially when it happens a lot or during sex.  It creates stress and embarrassment around intercourse, making women feel like they can’t enjoy making love to their partners.

Mood Changes

Mood changes are a severe symptom of menopause.  The reason being is that constant bouts of irritability, sadness, anxiety, and a lack of motivation will leave one drained from all of the tension. 

Constantly being in a stressed state can onset depression.  There is no doubt that the symptoms mentioned above are factors in these mood changes.  But it is so crucial during this time to manage stress and learn how to relax during a mood swing.

For example, practicing breathing exercises, medication, or doing a nature walk can help combat changes in mood.  It is also good to harbor good friendships and find other women who are experiencing the same symptoms or have in the past.

I know that it’s not easy for women to deal with menopause symptoms.  Also, please note that not all women will experience these symptoms.  Regardless, I want you to know that you are not alone.  Now that you know what signs to look out for, it will be easier to prepare or understand that there is a next step to feeling better. 

Fellas, you now have some insight into what the women in your life may be dealing with.  So when she’s feeling symptoms, it’s time to love, not become selfish and worry about what you are not getting.

For You

I’ve created a free guide on how to manage all of these menopause early signs naturally. 

Click here to download the free guide and learn how to stay on top of your menopause symptoms.

Remember you have everything you need to take care of your body.  You only get one.