The changes in the body during menopause are less intense and visible if you adopt a healthier lifestyle consistent with those transformations. Currently, menopause is not the gateway to old age, but to the middle age of life.
There are big changes in the body during menopause, but they are not the same in all women. Not to go too far, a study published by the British magazine Climateric points out that there are differences between Latinas and Asians, with respect to European and North American women.
According to that publication, menopause occurs at 48.6 years, on average, among Latinas. In Asian women, it generally occurs between 42.1 and 49.5 years. For North American women, the average age is 50.5 to 51.4 years. Finally, European women usually start menopause between 50.1 and 52.8 years.
What does happen very frequently in all of them is that the changes in the body during menopause generate instability and, in many cases, apprehension. It doesn’t have to be this way. With the current life expectancy, menopause is not an entrance to old age, but to the middle of life.
What is menopause?
Menopause is simply the passage from the fertile to the infertile stage of a woman’s life. During this transition an important hormonal change takes place. That is the main reason why so many changes occur in the body during menopause. The central fact of this process is the disappearance of the menstrual cycle. This usually does not happen suddenly. The period begins to be irregular and somewhat chaotic: it disappears and then returns, without any particular pattern. This happens for a time, until it is permanently interrupted.
Only 12 months after menstruation has stopped is a woman considered to have entered menopause. Sometimes this change is caused by external factors, such as the removal of the ovaries or uterus, as well as a consequence of some diseases.
During puberty, with the first menstrual cycle, great changes occur in a woman’s anatomy. The same goes for the body during menopause. Both the one and the other involve physical and psychological transformations that are determined by hormones.
Changes in the body during menopause
Hormonal modifications lead to massive changes in the body during menopause. It is very common for the first signs of these changes to begin to be detected before the menstrual cycle stops. They include typical symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats.
Likewise, effects begin to appear in the brain, bones, muscles and skin. When estrogen production ceases completely, the impact on the bones is even greater. These tend to become noticeably weak and make women more vulnerable to fractures.
In the skin there is a decrease in collagen and this causes dryness and loss of smoothness. The distribution of body fat is also modified. At this stage it is common for the silhouette to become a little thicker. It is common for fat to accumulate more in the stomach and legs, especially in sedentary women.
Another change in the body during menopause has to do with decreased genital lubrication, which leads to vaginal dryness. Because of this, sex can become uncomfortable. Alterations in the functioning of the bladder are also common.
Other data of interest
Most of the females of the animal kingdom do not present these types of changes. They are fertile all their life. Only humans and killer whales, plus some other cetaceans, go through this change. It is an evolutionary fact. After a certain age, the risk of producing defective eggs increases and nature prevents this from happening.
Women during menopause are also at higher risk of developing cardiovascular and circulatory problems. However, this and other changes can be adequately circumvented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. This includes eating healthy and exercising regularly
Although all these changes in the body during menopause can cause you some level of restlessness, the truth is that they could also represent changes that can work in your favor. Once you adapt and manage the symptoms, things can be positive for you.
Menopause is a call to take better care of yourself, which is very positive. It also strips you of the instabilities that come with menstruation and PMS. Also, the absence of fertility gives you greater sexual freedom, if you wish. It is a new stage that can be interesting and enriching.