Menopause is a stage which indicates the absence of menstruation for one year.
Menopause is a condition which occurs due to the decline in the function of the ovaries and due to the decrease in the production of female hormones – estrogen and progesterone.
Menopause brings about a whole lot of changes in the body and also in the mind. Few women are symptomatic while few experience no symptoms at all.
The symptoms differ from person to person. Some of these are…
The age for menopause varies but it generally occurs in the late 40s to early 50s. Some of the changes associated with the onset on menopause are…
1. Irregular periods
- Irregularities in the menstrual pattern are the first noticeable symptoms of menopause.
- Menstrual cycles may not appear as regular as it used to be. The bleeding may be heavier or lighter than usual and occasionally spots too.
- The duration of menstrual cycles may be shorter or longer in duration.
2. Hot flashes
- Hot flashes are an intense feeling of warmth experienced by the women, either in the upper portion of the body or all over the body.
- It may last a few seconds or several minutes.
- Intensity of hot flash may range from mild to very strong. They gradually lessen in intensity over a period of time.
- The face & neck may turn red and the woman may feel sweaty.
- Hot flashes may continue even after attaining menopause.
3. Night Sweats
- Night sweats are severe hot flashes that are accompanied by intense bouts of sweating during sleep.
4. Vaginal dryness
- Occurs when the natural moist feeling of the lining of the vagina disappears. Vaginal dryness is due to decreased production of female hormones, estrogen and progesterone which affects the moisture that coats the vaginal walls.
- Vaginal dryness may further lead to itching, irritation and tendency to infections.
- Vaginal dryness may further lead to painful intercourse.
5. Vaginal Atrophy
- Vaginal atrophy is caused due to the extreme thinning of the tissues, where the vagina becomes smaller in length & width.
6. Weight Gain
- Weight gain is another common sign of menopause. Regular exercising is the key to manage the extra weight gain.
7. Bone density loss
- Rapid bone loss occurs during the perimenopausal years leading to thinning and weakening of the bones, resulting in osteoporosis.
- Joint pains are commonly experienced during this phase.
8. Frequent urination/urinary incontinence
- Constant urge to urinate.
- Painful urination.
9. Urinary tract infections
- Increased chances of urinary tract infections due to decreased levels of estrogen.
10. Decreased libido
- Reduced interest in Sex due to reduced levels of estrogen.
11. Depression and Mood swings
- Alterations in the levels of hormone production affect the moods of women during menopause. Irritability, depression, anxiety and mood swings may be experienced.
12. Hair Loss
- Decreased estrogen may lead to hair loss or brittleness and dryness of the hair. For more…
13. Nail Changes
- Variety of nail changes occur during menopause namely, brittle nails, spoon-shaped nails, infection of nail bed and cuticles.
14. Tissue Changes
- There are tissue changes seen in skin, hair, and other tissues.
- May experience constant feeling of weakness and lowered energy levels.
16. Difficulty in Concentration
- Women may experience mental fog, mental blocks or difficulty in concentrating.
17. Memory Loss
- Often complaints of loss of memory & memory lapse.
- During menopause, the sleep pattern is disturbed.
- Women may tend to find difficulty in falling asleep or might wake up earlier than they wish.
19. Breast Changes
- Women may experience changes in the shape of the breasts.
20. Gum Conditions
- Menopausal hormonal changes can lead to various gum problems such as bleeding and inflammation of the gums