Menopause is one of the most difficult phases in a woman’s life. Menopause is essentially a period from the ages of 45 to 55 years which marks massive changes in her body. It is the end of her reproductive years and the end of periods. When a woman hits menopause, her ovaries stop releasing eggs for fertilization. There are several hormonal changes in the body. There’s a drop in estrogen and progesterone levels. While 45-55 years is usually considered a normal age for menopause, a number of lifestyle habits can actually make it come sooner. These include an unhealthy diet, smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. There could also be some medical reasons or hereditary factors responsible for the same. Early onset of menopause spells trouble. A number of studies have linked it to an increase in the risk of heart disease, stroke and even depression. Here are some common symptoms of menopause that every woman should know:Also Read - What is a Hormonal Belly? 3 Vital Signs That Your Hormones Are The Reason Behind Your Belly Fat

Irregular periods: This is one of the first noticeable symptoms. Your periods can get irregular – in terms of the flow as well as the frequency. On some days you might get a heavy flow and on some, there will be less bleeding. Sometimes, the periods may come too soon or too late. Also Read - Like Women, Men Hit Menopause Too - All You Need to Know

Night sweats: Menopausal women can experience excessive sweating at night for no apparent reason. This is due to the many hormonal changes in the body. This can lead to disruptive sleep which can then lead to other health problems including irritability and fatigue. Also Read - Israeli Scientists Discover Oxygen Beauty Treatment That Can Make You Look 25 Years Younger - All You Need to Know

Hot flashes: Your body can suddenly start feeling hot throughout. You may also start to sweat. This can uncomfortable and make you feel uneasy.

Anxiety: With a significant drop in estrogen and progesterone levels, you can start experiencing mood swings, anxiety and anger.

Vaginal dryness: The vaginal lining becomes thinner which can cause problems like itching, dryness and even pain during sexual intercourse.

Weight gain: Ever noticed how middle-aged women tend to be fatter around their abdomen? Weight gain around those areas is common. Even though it is difficult to get rid of this weight, with proper diet and exercise one can manage to lose weight at this age.

Water retention: One of the reasons for weight gain is water retention which is commonly observed in menopausal women. Water retention can lead to gas, bloating and cramping too.

Headaches and migraines: Frequent migraines can occur in some women because of the rapid changes in hormonal levels. Medication can help alleviate headaches.