Hot flashes, irregular bleeding and loss of libido are common changes that occur in the years leading up to the big change—menopause. While none of these are enjoyable, it's natural to write them off as normal perimenopausal symptoms. And that's exactly what they are, at least most of the time.

In some cases, the very same symptoms that are often caused by natural hormonal fluctuations can instead be signs of dangerous, even life-threatening, health issues. Here's a look at what else these changes might signal and how to sort it out.

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