The symptoms of menopause vary from one woman to another, although they should be known in advance. We will tell you everything you need to know about it in the next article.
Menopause symptoms are uncomfortable for most, but can be addressed with relatively simple measures. Its manifestations and intensity vary from one woman to another, so it cannot be generalized when treating them.
Typically, this process is the result of normal aging of the body. However, it can also occur as a result of disease or medical treatment. In those cases, it can take place long before the usual age.
The symptoms appear, basically, by the progressive absence of estrogen. This hormone is used by different parts of the body and, therefore, its decrease causes manifestations that can lead to discomfort.
Let’s go deeper.
What is menopause?
Menopause is a biological process in women, which takes place between 45 and 55 years of age. This stage begins, as we have already mentioned, when the ovaries stop producing estrogen, while reducing the production of other reproductive hormones such as progesterone, among others.
This modification makes the menstrual period stop and it is no longer possible to have children. However, there are certain factors that can cause an early appearance of menopausal symptoms, such as smoking, according to a team from the University of Santiago de Compostela(Spain).
Menopause comprises three basic stages: premenopause, perimenopause, and postmenopause. Let’s see in detail what each one of them consists of:
- Premenopause. It is the previous phase and is characterized by the menstrual periods becoming irregular. Other symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings and hot flashes, may occasionally occur at this stage.
- Menopause. Its main characteristic is the disappearance of menstruation for a period of up to a continuous year. That is, if there is occasional bleeding during that period, it is considered normal and means that premenopause still exists.
- Postmenopause. It is the phase after the stopping of the menstrual cycle and in which the symptoms of menopause appear with greater amplitude and severity.
Main symptoms of menopause
Some of the symptoms of menopause are as follows, as reported by the US National Library of Medicine:
- Metabolic changes. They mainly have to do with the increase in body fat. In some women, this manifests as weight gain, as stated in this study carried out by Monash University(Australia).
- Hot flashes. They are one of the most characteristic symptoms of menopause. There are sudden hot flashes, with sweating and palpitations. Hot flashes often occur mainly at night, which can affect the quality of sleep.
- Osteoporosis. With menopause, the decalcification of the bones increases, as well as the reduction of bone mass. This increases the risk of fractures and injuries in general.
- Vaginal dryness. The decrease and subsequent absence of estrogens leads to a weakening of vaginal lubrication. For this reason, there may be discomfort during sexual intercourse.
- Incontinent. Many women report a decrease or loss of bladder control. This leads to them having a hard time holding their urine before reaching the bathroom.
Taking care of emotional health is essential
It is common for women to have mood swings during menopause. Although there are no certainties about it, everything indicates that this is due to the emotional impact caused by this sign of aging.
Body changes also create instability in individual identity. Various feminine traits become less accentuated and this leads to bewilderment. Also, this stage usually coincides with the departure of the children and the loss of certain loved ones, such as parents.
It is also normal that there is a decrease in sexual desire, precisely because all these changes are sometimes perceived as overwhelming or because there is pain during intercourse.
If these symptoms are very marked, it is best to go to psychological therapy to build a healthier perspective on this new stage of life.
This process can be very enriching in several respects, so keep your optimism high. We can handle it!