“The first sign of the menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods”.1

Umbrella
What may the Periods Pattern Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Menopause and Periods
  • Perimenopause Periods
  • Periods Pattern

First Sign of Menopause

How can most women tell if they are approaching menopause?

The International Menopause Society explain:

“Most women can tell if they are approaching menopause when their menstrual periods start changing”.2

In Menopause: Symptoms – Changes To Your Periods the (United Kingdom) NHS (National Health Service) also note:

“The first sign of the menopause is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods. You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods. The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have them every 2 or 3 weeks, or you may not have them for months at a time”.3

Look for A Pattern

How may I Look for A Pattern with my periods?

You may have always kept a record of your periods so you knew when to expect them and perhaps when to tweak your lifestyle with less sugar, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes and stress; and more exercise and sleep. Periods Pattern

It may be in your best interest to choose to continue keeping a record of your periods or begin doing this. The (United States) Mayo Clinic explain:

“To find out what’s normal for you, start keeping a record of your menstrual cycle on a calendar. Begin by tracking your start date every month for several months in a row to identify the regularity of your periods”.4

In Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal, What’s Not – How Can I Track My Menstrual Cycle? the Mayo Clinic also elaborate on:

“If you’re concerned about your periods, then also make note of the following every month:

  • End date…
  • Flow…
  • Abnormal bleeding…
  • Pain…
  • Other changes…”.5

Menstrual Calendar

Where may I find a menstrual calendar to keep a record of my periods?

In MenoNotes the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) include:

Pregnant or Not

Is it possible to become pregnant when skipping periods?

Yes. In Menopause: Symptoms & Causes –Symptoms the Mayo Clinic explain:

“Skipping periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Often, menstrual periods will skip a month and return, or skip several months and then start monthly cycles again for a few months. Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles, so they are closer together. Despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you’ve skipped a period but aren’t sure you’ve started the menopausal transition, consider a pregnancy test”.6

Health Care Provider

What if I would like help to look for a pattern with my periods?

If you would like help to look for a pattern with your periods, it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about your record. Together you can identify any patterns, discuss your options and if required, agree on who may be the most appropriate health care provider to help you.

In Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I am bleeding more often and with heavier periods than I used to. I’m 45 years old. What’s wrong with me? the NAMS explain:

Periods Pattern

“A. …But, it should not be assumed that any abnormal bleeding is simply a part of normal menopause. Most of the time it is, but abnormal uterine bleeding can be a sign of other problems such as fibroids, polyps, infections, and even cancer. It’s always best to be evaluated by a healthcare provider if the bleeding is very heavy or prolonged”.7

In Menstrual Calendar the NAMS also note:

“Call your health care provider if you experience:

  • Periods that are much heavier than usual
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods
  • Periods that last longer than 10 days
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Frequent periods (fewer than 21 days between periods)
  • Any bleeding after menopause”.8

In Menopause, Perimenopause, and Postmenopause: Living With – How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms or Something To Be Concerned About? the Cleveland Clinic elaborate on:

“Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause. But other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes.

  • Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots
  • Your periods last several days longer than usual
  • You spot or bleed after your period
  • You experience spotting after sex
  • Your periods occur closer together”.9

In About the Menstrual Cycle: When To See Your Doctor the (Australian) Jean Hailes for Women’s Health also note:

“There are many reasons you might need to see your doctor about your periods, including:

  • Changes in the pattern of your periods
  • Increasingly heavy periods
  • Long periods of more than eight days
  • Periods that come fewer than three weeks apart
  • Periods coming more than two to three months apart
  • Painful periods that cause you to stay home
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after intercourse
Your menstrual cycle is a normal process for your body. Each woman experiences her menstrual cycle differently, most without any difficulties. If there is any change in your cycle that worries you, see your doctor”.10

Health Topics A-Z

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Sources

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Sources

  1. Menopause: Symptoms – Changes To Your Periods. Page Last Reviewed: 29 September 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 01 October 2019
  2. Women and Menopause: General Information. 2012:1. International Menopause Society http://www.imsociety.org/downloads/world_menopause_day_2012/wmd_general_menopause_backgrounder.pdf Accessed: 01 October 2019
  3. Menopause: Symptoms – Changes To Your Periods. Page Last Reviewed: 29 September 2018. NHS (National Health Service) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/menopause/symptoms/#changes-to-your-periods Accessed: 01 October 2019
  4. Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal, What’s Not – How Can I Track My Menstrual Cycle? 13 June 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186 Accessed: 01 October 2019
  5. Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal, What’s Not – How Can I Track My Menstrual Cycle? 13 June 2019. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186 Accessed: 01 October 2019
  6. Menopause: Symptoms & Causes – Symptoms. 07 August 2017. Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/symptoms-causes/syc-20353397 Accessed: 01 October 2019
  7. Menopause FAQs: Menopause Symptoms – Q. I am bleeding more often and with heavier periods than I used to. I’m 45 years old. What’s wrong with me? North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-menopause-symptoms Accessed: 01 October 2019
  8. Menstrual Calendar. 2015. North American Menopause Society http://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/2015/menonote-menstrual-calendar-english.pdf Accessed: 01 October 2019
  9. Menopause, Perimenopause, and Postmenopause: Living With – How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms or Something To Be Concerned About? This Document Was Last Reviewed on: 25 January 2019. Cleveland Clinic https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15224-menopause-perimenopause-and-postmenopause/living-with Accessed: 01 October 2019
  10. About the Menstrual Cycle: When To See Your Doctor. Last Updated 26 September 2019 — Last Reviewed 10 July 2018. Jean Hailes for Women’s Health https://jeanhailes.org.au/health-a-z/periods/about-the-menstrual-cycle Accessed: 01 October 2019
Topic Last Updated: 01 October 2019 – Topic Last Reviewed: 01 October 2019
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