Menopause is a time when women stop having their monthly menstrual cycle. Some women do not have any unpleasant symptoms, while others suffer from menopause symptoms that are debilitating. Read on to know more about menopause symptoms that you should be on the lookout for.
Menopause, in simple terms, refers to the time period when women stop menstruating. There is a steady decline in the production of estrogen as well as the function of ovaries as you age. The average age at which most women stop menstruating is 51 years, however, there is a small percentage that experience menopause as late as 60 years. Statistics also show that women who smoke have a tendency to go through menopause earlier than the women who don’t smoke.
Menopause means a whole lot more than just the end of fertility for a lot of women. You can suffer from a variety of menopause symptoms like hot flashes and sleeping problems that can be difficult to cope with. The experience of menopause symptoms are different for different women, some report mood changes, while others experience night sweats. If you know what menopause symptoms to look out for, it becomes easier for you to work with the doctor to find the ideal way to manage these changes. Some of the menopause symptoms are:
- Irregular Periods
Many women experience short, irregular, or absent periods at least once in their lives. There are a variety of reasons that can cause irregular periods, however, during menopause the main culprit is hormonal imbalance. Your periods may be heavier or lighter than usual, may last for numerous days or be brief, and may come later or earlier than usual. You may also experience ‘spotting’, which is nothing but bleeding between your periods. This is one of the menopause symptoms that is caused because of hormonal imbalance that is a result of decreasing levels of progesterone and estrogen.
- Hot Flashes
Around 75 percent of women going through menopause experience hot flashes. Hot flashes are when you feel a sudden sensation of heat that spreads all over your body. These flashes usually create redness and flushing that is very noticeable, especially on your face and your upper body. The hot flashes that you experience during menopause is your body’s reaction to the decreasing levels of the hormone estrogen. Some women experience fewer hot flushes because of the gradual decrease in estrogen, while for the rest it may seem like a rollercoaster ride because there is an abrupt stop to the production of estrogen.
- Vaginal Dryness
One of the other menopause symptoms that is a direct result of the decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone is vaginal dryness. This symptom occurs when the soft and moist feeling that you usually associate with the lining of the vagina wall disappears. Some of the signs that you are suffering from vaginal dryness include itchiness, stinging, and burning in your vagina. This dryness can also make sexual intercourse extremely painful, so be sure to use a vaginal moisturizer or a lubricant.
- Sleep Troubles
It is recommended that you sleep for around seven to eight hours each night for optimal health. However, you may experience difficulty sleeping when you are going through menopause. If you do manage to fall asleep, you may wake up earlier than usual and may not be able to go back to sleep. One of the ways to fall asleep quickly and to stay asleep is to engage in exercising during the day so that it tires you. You may also benefit from listening to music, reading, or bathing before bed.
One of the most common symptoms of menopause, fatigue is described as the persistent feeling of lowered energy levels, weakness, and tiredness. It is often characterized by decrease in the attention span, irritability, and even apathy. During menopause, the energy levels drop along with the decrease in the estrogen levels. When you experience this symptom for a long period of time, it can drastically reduce your quality of life by affecting your work productivity and your relationships. The only way to cope with this symptom is to treat the underlying hormonal imbalance.
Some of the other menopause symptoms include night sweats, mood swings, hair loss, loss of libido, weight gain, dizziness, and bloating. It is imperative that you are on the lookout for these menopause symptoms because when you identify them early on, you have a chance to work out the best plan that helps you cope with the changes. When you know about the different menopause symptoms, you will be prepared and better able to deal with them.