I had 'flooding' - incredibly heavy periods gushing through clothes when I stood up, a couple of times - in my mid forties. Periods stopped at about 48 or 49. I was in a new long term rel and my dad had a stroke and was in a care home and died 10 months later so I had a lot on my mind any way. I also had a uterine polyp that bled after my period stopped (bled after sex so I suspected something) and I needed an exploratory op in case it was malignant and couldn't have it straight away because they found my blood pressure was sky high and had to be brought down with medication. It all worked out and polyp was benign but it was a worrying time. Not to put the wind up anyone but do have your BP checked as sometimes the hormone changes seem to lead to raised BP.
I didn't have any hot flushes and assumed I wouldn't but they kicked in abouit 4 years later when I was 53 ish. I still have them very occasionally and I'm 64. Perhaps they are fading out at last.
I welcomed the changes generally. But I did have sopme emotional effects which I was very reluctant to put down to menopause because of misogyny and stereotypes. But I think:
I was easily angered and felt 'outraged' at work and on public transport. Had great difficulty not flying off the handle. I never hsd HRT (all kinds of risks plus I've had a thrombosis already aged 17). It has gone now and I feel calm.
I was impatient in meetings and always had masses to say and real difficulty containing it. Had problems 'suffering fools gladly' which you often have to do in meetings
. This too has gone. Now I fall asleep in meetings if someone is doing a boring presentation LOL. Back then I would have been _burning_ with irritation.
I was reluctant to discuss these things as menopausal because of the idea of women at the mercy of their hormones and people saying 'she's going through the change poor thing'. But I can see how different I was from beforev and now, after. I wish in some ways I had claimed my menopause rage and celebrated it as a wild and crazy witchy energy. It was not easy though and I regret to say I have lost my temper eg with bus drivers who did not stop when I rang the bell.