I did follow my mom's pregnancy history (no morning sickness), but not her menopausal history. Looking back now, I know my symptoms started when I was about 46, but because my mom's periods just kind of dried up with no other signs, I had no idea peri-menopause would make me a monster, a foggy-headed, dull, foggy-brained, emotional monster. Finally figured out after the damage was done that I wasn't going crazy, after all. Thankfully, I have a wonderfully resilient family.
For about two years (50-51) I had irregular, scary, HEAVY periods to the point I was faint from so much blood loss. Never did see the doctor (no insurance, no money), but I did start on some iron. Now I've been 9 mos w/o a period and keeping my fingers crossed, so to speak, to hold out for three more months. A friend started up again after eight months, with a period to make up for all the ones she had skipped, and I just do NOT want that. With the iron and better eating I am feeling human again now.
I read recently that menopausal women are more prone to yeast and UTI's, and I seem to be one of them. I'm thankful for internet, because without insurance I have to find solutions other than the doctor's office. They're out there.