I'm 44 as of this friday and I had 3 boys 8,5, and 2. My cycles were crazy off for quite awhile after I quit the pill in '95. After the kids the cycles were still off until my physical therapist who has magic hands 'put' energy in the ovary areas and about 3 months later I started to be so regular 28 days exact like I've never been before. My mother also too had a hysterectomy and so I don't know what is my family's normal menopause time. I had heard about peri-menopause that is a period of time, about 10 years that occurs before menopause. I heard also that it's the heavier periods that we should look out for.
I too noticed the warming and felt I could cook eggs on my body. If you're feeling very uncomfortable, you could have a blood work up and thyroid checked too. Alittle blood can offer lots of info.
Good luck and we'll soon find our selves in Crone-hood, but not too soon...