the women in my family get it early. in fact, we slowly seem to each be arriving at menopause progressively earlier than the last generation.
my mother started it when she was between 30-35. by about 40 she was all messed up. her period wouldn't come regularly, but she still got it & the doctors she saw refused to believe she was in menopause despite the fact that my grandmother before her started it at 40.
so mom got the run around for a few years when she could've been a lot more comfortable.
doctor disbelief resulted in about 4 D&Cs due to her missed periods being unexplainable & ignored between times since "this time they'll go back to normal for you".
she eventually found a doctor to believe her once she got a few years older & had all of this past medical history to throw at them lol. now she's doing much better, her period came once in a great, great while very lightly (and may have stopped by now, i haven't asked her about it.. it's just not something that comes up) & her hot flashes are much better under control... low hormonal supplements & just having a doctor believe her has been a big help.
as for crankiness... can't speak for other than her, of course different people different effects, but she was terrible. i'm so glad i wasn't there to see it (i'd moved out by the time it got into full swing & only caught the first few lesser years of it). on mom's calmer moments she'd admit that she was being a erm, a very cranky woman, to my sister & that she was surprised my step-father hadn't left her she was so bad.
and privately, for fear of The Wrath, they both admitted the same lol.
i guess she was quite the shrew for a few years there.
but, as with the hot flashes & other physical symptoms, after getting help from a doctor she's doing ok. some problems still as her body is still adjusting, but much much better.
given my personality w/out the additional hormone flux, i just wonder what my husband & i are going to go through when it comes my time.... if the progression in my family continues as it has, i should start the very beginnings within the next 5 years. if i'm still around, will be sure to pop in & give personal updates
some women my mom's friends with have her acutely jealous as they simply slipped into menopause with barely a flinch... her best friend had a couple years of feeling a bit more moody & some period irregularity and that's all.
we're all so different while going through the "same" thing...
[This message has been edited by RumpusParable (edited 07-30-2003).]