Menopause is a phenomenon that naturally occurs with women. It typically happens when a woman hasn’t had periods all year long (12-month period) and can no longer conceive a child. It usually kicks off between the ages of 46 and 56 but can begin prior or after this average menopause age, based on your overall health. Menopause is a normal part of maturing as female estrogen levels reduce.
There are a few uncomfortable common symptoms of menopause, such as reduced sex drive, irregular periods, hot flashes, vaginal dryness, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, moodiness and loss of scalp hair. Female bodies are different, and treatment may vary. Read on to discover everything you should know about menopause!
How will you know if you are about to transition to menopause?
The majority of women start experiencing menopause symptoms approximately three or four years before their final period. Symptoms often accompany women until the last ovulation.
Some women have menopause symptoms for up to 12 years prior to the last menstrual period. Statistically, 1 in 10 ladies experience menopausal symptoms for a decade after their last period.
The average age for menopause is 51-52, however it might start approximately a couple of years earlier for Black and Hispanic women. There are not enough studies to understand this phenomenon.
There are many constituents that help find out when you’ll start, including genes and ovary health. Perimenopause occurs before menopause. Perimenopause is a menopause transition period when your hormones begin to diversify in adoption for menopause.
Perimenopause can last anywhere from a couple months to a few years. The majority of women experience perimenopause sometime around 45-46 years old, while others skip perimenopause and transition to natural menopause unexpectedly.
Only 1 percent of ladies begin menopause prior to the age of 40. This phenomenon is named premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. On average 5 percent go through menopause between 40 and 45. The term is called early menopause.
The differences between perimenopause, menopause and post menopause.
Throughout perimenopause, menstruations become erratic. Your ovulations can be delayed, or you can completely skip one or more periods. You may experience menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) or hypomenorrhea (light periods).
To be precise, menopause is an absence of ovulation for 12 months.
Postmenopause is a life span following the period when ovaries stop producing hormones.
What are the 34 symptoms of menopause?
Hot flashes are the most common sign of menopause, and impact around 80% of menopausal women. Hot flashes normally appear as an increased red glowing on the face and neckline. Usually self-diagnosable.
Fundamentally, night sweats refer to excess sweating during your sleep at night that disrupts normal and healthy sleep and causes you to wake up.
As menopause relates to the end of the reproductive years (between ages 12-51) your periods will begin to deplete as your hormone production lowers. These can, consequently, become very irregular; for instance, premenstrual syndrome with no bleeding.
Research shows that mood swings affect 30% of menopausal women. They can become excessive and all-consuming. Contact your doctor if it interferes with your daily life. Remember getting daily dose of physical exercises and great sleep can help to minimize your mood changes.
Your natural wetness is taken care of by your estrogen levels (the primary female sex hormone), so as these begin to decrease, you may notice a lack of vaginal lubrication. You might experience discomfort during intercourse. Don’t forget to lube up!
It’s normal that the levels of your primary sex hormone – estrogen (or oestrogen) will drop during menopause, which affects your libido.
Headaches are normally more ordinary for women who experienced them during their regular ovulation. If your headache symptoms escalate and turn into cluster, migraine, severe tension or sinus you should see your health provider.
Breast pain and tightness
Once in a while when female hormones significantly change, women may develop these symptoms; usually during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause. In addition, women can feel breast tightness due to a tight bra, clothing, breast feeding or heavy weight lifting.
Burning mouth syndrome
Be aware that reduced levels of saliva during menopause can lead to the widely known term as ‘burning mouth syndrome’. The whole mouth area is usually affected by this mouth syndrome.
Not all stiff joints can signal osteoarthritis, arthritis, muscle strain, fibromyalgia, bursitis but menopause is a common time for women to have those symptoms.
Female digestive system is one of the most delicate systems in the whole body and is one of the first things to get affected due to any significant shifts in female bodies (change of hormones, new drugs, change of diet, nervousness).
Due to fundamental changes during menopause, you might notice that your body more frequently reacts to electrical flows.
This can often be closely linked to prolonged sitting, lying down, drugs side effects, stress and anxiety and appears as a feeling of tightness in the muscles, like a strain. Try gentle stretching and professional massage as a self-treatment, and if it doesn’t help – call your physician.
Gum problems or mouth tasting like metal
Gum problems can be not only due to poor oral hygiene, periodontitis, gingivitis, cavity, acute necrotizing, sinusitis, but also menopause (10-40% of women are affected), gum problems are often accompanied by dehydration and a metal taste.
Tingling in hands and feet
Tingling hands, feet, legs are not that common during menopause. Other reasons include: peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, nerve compression syndrome, Grierson-Gopalan syndrome.
Itchy skin (Pruritus)
Decreased estrogen can additionally cause low collagen levels. Collagen is in charge of keeping skin glowy, young-looking and healthy so with lack of it, you may come across with an uncomfortable irritating sensation.
One of the more frequent symptoms of menopause, many women will deal with a feeling of extreme fatigue.
Along with other menopausal symptoms, some women may feel nervous, restless or tense. If you have an extreme feeling of danger, suicidal thoughts, or increased heart rate call your doctor immediately.
Insomnia – persistent difficulties falling and staying asleep. More than 3 million cases are registered in the US due to lack of exercise, depression, unhealthy habits, drugs and alcohol overuse. Insomnia during menopause is a very common sleep disorder, call your doctor if you experience insomnia more than three weeks.
Alopecia or hair loss
Hair loss can affect your scalp or the whole body. Public assumption is that only men have to deal with hair loss while maturing. Women are affected by this change too. For treatment options, women can try hair serums, hair restoration transplants, or call their nearest hair clinic for the most innovative options!
Many women are worried that they are getting an illness like Alzheimer’s. However, memory losses can occur during menopause. Try some cognitive exercises to eliminate this problem.
Inability to concentrate and think clearly
Top reasons of difficulty concentrating are anxiety, menopause, mental health problems, lack of social life and quality food. A regular meditation and yoga sessions may help.
Many women experience weight gain not just due to menopause, but stress, poor sleep hygiene, clinical depression, polycystic ovary syndrome, hypothyroidism. The biggest factor of weight gain is a major shift in hormones.
As your estrogen hormone levels drop you may run into dizziness, lightheadedness and fatigue. Related health conditions include: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Meniere’s disease, Labyrinthitis, migraine, motion sickness.
Bloating can occur not just during your regular menstrual periods, but menopause and could even be one of the first indications you have. If you’re having erratic ovulations, but are constantly feeling bloated, then this could be a sign that your menopause is approaching.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI)
SUI could be more related to maturing than the actual menopausal process. SUI is when urine leaks out when unexpected stress occurs. There are four types of incontinence: stress incontinence, urge incontinence, overflow incontinence, neurogenic incontinence.
Decreased estrogen levels full-body dehydration can leave your nails looking and feeling unhealthy and can make them more fragile. Related health conditions include nail fungus, anemia, hypothyroidism, iron deficiency, iron deficiency anemia.
Post menopause you might develop new irritations, allergies that didn’t bother you in the past. As female bodies go through a lot of changes prior, during and post menopause, including tremendous hormone shifts you might have a new reaction to foreign substances. Symptoms of menopausal allergies vary from mild to severe.
Heartbeat disorders (Arrhythmia)
Decreased estrogen levels can overwhelm the nervous and circulatory systems, which can cause heart palpitations or an Arrhythmia.
As your hormones change, so does your natural scent. If you have an excessive unpleasant smell, try some meds and call your doctor for prescription.
Iterability can be caused by stress, hormone changes, post-traumatic stress disorder, premenstrual syndrome, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, substance abuse. Your hormones play a huge role in contributing to your emotional and mental state.
Depressive disorder or clinical depression
In severe cases, this change in hormones can lead to depressive disorder. Depression is four times more common in women older 45- 50 years old.
If you have a sudden state of fear or anxiety, fastened heartbeat, assumption of an immense threat, instead of a real danger – you have an episode of panic attack. Related health conditions include: stress, anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia.
Bone strength can drop by up to 20% after the menopause, which puts you at risk of osteoporosis. Make sure to visit your doctor and take a bone density test (the only one available) to see if you have osteoporosis. This test will tell you the density of your bones very accurately. Don’t forget to take calcium and other minerals to ensure your bones health.
Don’t be afraid of menopause. Remember, knowledge is power, so be prepared. There is a solution for everything. Women are beautiful at any age. Learn as much as you can, do an annual body exam to ensure wellness and good health.