What Causes Fatigue During Menopause
Like so many symptoms, menopausal fatigue is due in a large part to hormone changes and the downstream effects.
The levels of estrogen and progesterone are changing all at once and these interact with the endocrine hormones associated with energy from the adrenal and thyroid. This instability can be hard for the body and can lead to crushing fatigue.
Your brain has a lot of estrogen receptors, and when estrogen declines, so does some of the regulation that it provides. For example, estrogen helps control cortisol, the stress hormone. When that regulation is weakened, the increased stress response can result in crushing fatigue.
And feeling tired goes hand-in-hand with another common perimenopausal symptomtrouble sleeping. When youre waking up frequently at night or have trouble falling asleep, its little wonder that the next day you feel drained.
Can Menopause Affect My Sex Drive
Yes, menopause can affect your sex drive but it doesnt mean your sex life is over.
Dealing with the physical and emotional symptoms of menopause can make you feel less sexual desire. The symptoms can also affect your sleep and lower your energy which might make you not so into sex. Vaginal dryness and decreased sensation can also feel like a turn-off. Its also normal to feel a range of emotions, including anxiety, sadness, or loss while going through menopause.
If you lose interest in sex during this time, itll probably come back when your symptoms stop.
A pretty common symptom that can affect your sexual desire is vaginal dryness, which can make sex uncomfortable or even painful.
For symptoms that affect your sex life, trying one or more of these things can help:
Use water- or silicone-based lube when you have sex. You can buy lube at most drugstores or online.
Give your yourself more time to feel aroused. Moisture from being aroused protects sensitive tissues.
Have sex and/or masturbate more often. This increases blood flow to your vagina, which helps keep;your vaginal tissue healthy.
Some people may actually find that they want to have sex MORE after menopause, because they dont have to worry about getting pregnant. This may give you a sense of freedom to enjoy a renewed and exciting sex life.
Menopause is a natural biological process. And while it marks the end of your ability to get pregnant, it definitely doesnt have to be the end of your sexuality.
Menopause Fatigue Can Be Mental And Physical
During menopause and perimenopause many women may experience an on-going and persistent lack of energy and feelings of tiredness and weakness. You may be surprised to find yourself feeling exhausted in a way that is unexplainable. The signs of menopausal fatigue include decreased wakefulness, lowered attention span, mental fuzziness, irritability;and memory lapses. You may find that you are lacking your usual zest for life.
Also Check: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Does Menopause Cause Extreme Fatigue
Our body relies on estrogen and progesterone during menopause. Its important to keep their delicate balance, but it is tricky to do so.
Estrogen dominance is common in perimenopause. It happens when you have an imbalance in the estrogen to progesterone ratio. Progesterone is the first hormone to decrease during menopause. As a result, estrogen becomes the dominant hormone.
Too much estrogen is bad for our bodies. It creates a cascade of symptoms and causes a ripple effect on our whole body. Without the calming progesterone, nothing can stop the negative effects of too much estrogen.
With ED, your metabolism slows down, so energy production decreases. Your gut becomes sluggish, and absorbing nutrients becomes a challenge. Your adrenal glands notice these changes, and it will release stress hormones. Excessive stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, suppress some body functions.
In all these hormonal changes, your body works hard to bring back balance. But over time, it runs out of energy.
Estrogen and progesterone also relax the body. For this reason, sleep and rest depend on these hormones. Low testosterone may also contribute to extreme fatigue. This is because the hormone is an energy booster.
When Does Menopause Occur
Menopause;occurs;between 45 and 55 years of age;for almost all;women, with an average age of 51. Menopause that;happens;between the ages of 40 and 45;is known as;early menopause and;the menopause;that;happens;before the age of 40;is called;premature menopause.
Around;1;%;of Australian women;possess;spontaneous premature menopause. Premature menopause;may also;take place;if your ovaries are removed surgically,;or in case;you have;certain;kinds of;chemotherapy or radiotherapy for;cancer problems;that can;harm;your ovaries.;At times;when dealing with these;cases menopause occurs;suddenly instead of;slowly and steadily;which can be;upsetting;for those who have;not prepared;themselves.Criteria;associated with early and premature menopause include: being a smoker;
- Family history
- Metabolic disorders
Also Check: Intrarosa Pros And Cons
Finding Effective Treatment For Fatigue During Menopause
Though many women try to wait it out and do notseek treatment for menopause symptoms, this could mean years of discomfort.Whats more, addressing these symptoms may be easier than many expect. Today,there is a wide variety of lifestyle modifications and treatments that maypositively impact fatigue and the cluster of related symptoms so common duringmenopause.; These include:;
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy remains the gold standard of treatments for menopausal symptoms since it directly addresses their root cause: changing hormone levels. Thus, HRT may effectively treat fatigue and the symptoms that can exacerbate it. In particular, estrogen replacement is considered the most effective treatment for the vasomotor symptoms that tend to occur in concert with fatigue and can be instrumental in restoring energy levels. In one small study, progesterone therapy was also shown to have a positive effect on insomnia in peri- and postmenopausal women. The specific type of hormone therapy, point of initiation, and duration of treatment will vary case by case, but the key to successful treatment is finding a knowledgeable practitioner who can help you weigh the risks and benefits and provide a personalized treatment plan.
With this broad range of treatment options, youcan address menopause-related fatigue in a way that makes sense for you.
Partnering with an Expert for the Best Results
Symptoms Of Crashing Fatigue
Crashing fatigue has distinct symptoms which differentiate it from other types of fatigue, e.g. chronic fatigue syndrome. These symptoms usually follow one after the other in succession.
- Muscle fatigue, where the muscles suddenly feel very tired and weak.
- After eating, where there is exhaustion and lower energy levels, as well as weakness in the body immediately after a meal.
- Drowsiness, where there is a strong urge to sleep that is almost impossible to ignore.
- Lower attention level, where it becomes difficult to pay attention for a length of time. This could be paying attention to a book one is reading, to a presentation or to a task at hand.
- Apathy, where there is a lack of enthusiasm and excitement, where the person feels indifference, especially to things, people and tasks that she previously cared for.
- Irritability, where the person is easily angered or annoyed.
- Memory lapses, where a person easily forgets important details.
Don’t Miss: Perimenopause Dizzy Spells
Have A Healthy Routine For Sleep
If youre not sleeping well, youre obviously more likely to struggle with staying energized throughout the day. Setting yourself up for a restful night requires good sleep hygiene. First of all, try to wake up and go to bed at the same times each day. This helps train your body to know when its time to rest. Reduce your screen time at night, trying to avoid use of your devices one hour before hitting the hay blue light exposure from screens can literally trick your brain into staying up! And lastly, keep your thermostat set low to reduce night sweats. The Sleep Foundation suggests a temp of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
Joint Pain And Muscle Tension
Oestrogen and progesterone level fluctuations can be responsible for the aches and pains women feel as they transition through the menopause. There are oestrogen and progesterone receptors all over our bodies including joints, and as oestrogen and progesterone levels fall, this can cause joint inflammation.
Don’t Miss: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Menopausal Fatigue And Depression
Some symptoms of menopause, such as night sweats, can cause a woman to have disrupted sleep, which may lead to fatigue. Women are also at a higher risk for mood swings, anxiety, and other mental health problems during menopause, and these things can lead to depression. There are also many aspects of a woman’s life, such as the death of a loved one, stress at work, relationship problems, or another problem, that may increase a woman’s risk for depression.
You Feel Beyond Your Years
Hormone interruption has many women suffering joint pain, which really adds insult to injury, leaving you feeling like you cant enjoy the activities you like to do.
Many women are concerned that this is not normal but perimenopause actually affects most women at some stage in their lives. If you are suffering, youre not alone and it is worth asking for help. It may be as simple as revisiting contraception choices or it may be worth exploring gentle and appropriate hormone replacement therapy . Talking about it is the first step to taking back control of your quality of life.
Contact us about perimenopause treatment
Fill in the form below and we’ll get back to you within one working day. If it’s urgent, you can call us on 0300 123 6200.
You May Like: How Long Between Periods During Menopause
Menopause Fatigue: Understanding Why You Are So Tired
As your body adjusts to its new hormonal status, its not uncommon to experience fatigue and tiredness during the menopause. Understandably, dealing with exhaustion can be hugely wearing and interfere with your day-to-day activities.Here, we explore the possible explanations of menopause tiredness, as well as outlining solutions that can help you to beat fatigue.
Alternative Treatments For Crashing Fatigue
Herbal supplements are some of the most popular options for women suffering from sudden crashing fatigue. These supplements either introduce hormones into the body – phytoestrogenic supplements – or stimulate the body to produce its own, as is the case with hormone-regulating supplements, ultimately battling not only crashing fatigue, but other menopausal symptoms as well.
Other alternative methods that can be implanted to bring women relief include aromatherapy, meditation, or massage therapy. Talking to a counselor or therapist may also help if you think your crashing fatigue may be triggered by stress, anxiety, depression, or another psychological problem.
Nevertheless, little research has been done on crashing fatigue. So, it is difficult to say how well any of these treatments will work. Choose options that you feel are best for you and your body.
Recommended Reading: Menopause And Dizzy Spells
Other Menopausal Sleep Disruptors
At this stage of life, women can also develop sleep disorders such assleep apnea, which may come from a loss of reproductive hormones like estrogen andprogesterone. These can go undiagnosed because women often attributesymptoms and effects of sleep disorders to menopauseitself.
Postmenopausal women are two to three times more likely to have sleepapnea compared with premenopausal women, Pien says. Before we becomemenopausal, we’re fairly protected, but the protective effect of hormonesseems to be lost with menopause. Furthermore, women often have more subtlesymptoms of sleep apnea than men. Thus, they may be less likely to seekevaluation for sleep apnea. Their health care providers may also be lesslikely to recognize sleep apnea as a possibility, further delayingevaluation and diagnosis of sleep apnea.
What Is The Perimenopause
The period from when you begin to get menopausal signs and symptoms to when your periods ultimately end completely is called the perimenopause. Throughout the perimenopause the ovaries begin to function erratically and slowdown in work. Your periods will become irregular and can become lighter or heavier than regular periods. You might also have signs and symptoms of estrogen shortage, such as hot flushes, vaginal dryness and sweats.
The perimenopause;can last;about 4 to 8 years;on an average, until a womans;final;period.;You are;considered to be;postmenopausal once youve had 12;continuous;months of no periods.
Also Check: Light Headedness And Menopause
How To Improve Fatigue In Menopause
Like so much else in perimenopause, fatigue is likely temporary, but that temporary can be years long. Here are some ways to feel more energized in the meantime.
Get moving. Its probably the last thing that you want to do, so start with just a simple walk. Being physically active raises your energy levels and helps you sleep better . It can also boost the feel-good hormones that may be in short supply at this time. And you dont have do a body-drenching workout. Yoga and tai chi have been found to help with menopausal fatigue, according to research in the journal Maturitas.
Hydrate. Even low levels of dehydration can leave you feeling drained. I slam two big glasses of water in the afternoon to fight fatigue, says Laura Boulay of One Million Women Walking. And then, not surprisingly, she goes for a walk. Water is your best choice for hydrating. In addition, eating more fruits and veggiesmany are over 80 percent watercan add some serious fluids along with important nutrients.
Rediscover naps. Maybe you havent napped since your mom made you, but now might be the time to reinstitute nap time. While you should still take steps to get enough sleep, during this time when a good nights rest may be elusive, a quick snooze during lunch may be the pick-me-up you need. Research shows that naps can improve your energy and mood and increase alertness and performance.; Just keep them to under 30 minutes so youll be less groggy when you wake up.
What Home Remedies Are There For Fatigue
Many menopausal women who suffer from fatigue find relief from simple home remedies:
- Sleep well while this may seem obvious, many people do not realise how much sleep they actually need. Getting between seven and a half to nine hours sleep a night is vital to be able to function properly the next day. If you are having difficulty sleeping our sleep hygiene tips may help
- Stay hydrated dehydration, more often than not, causes fatigue. Remember that certain fluids such as coffee and alcohol have a dehydrating effect and so water is a much more effective substitute
I’d also recommend trying our fantastic Balance Mineral Drink. This contains magnesium, a vital mineral for energy during the menopause. It also contains zinc, potassium, calcium and vitamin D.
You May Like: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Perimenopause: Rocky Road To Menopause
What are the signs of perimenopause? You’re in your 40s, you wake up in a sweat at night, and your periods are erratic and often accompanied by heavy bleeding: Chances are, you’re going through perimenopause. Many women experience an array of symptoms as their hormones shift during the months or years leading up to menopause that is, the natural end of menstruation. Menopause is a point in time, but perimenopause is an extended transitional state. It’s also sometimes referred to as the menopausal transition, although technically, the transition ends 12 months earlier than perimenopause .
Changes To Your Periods
The first sign of the menopause;is usually a change in the normal pattern of your periods.
You may start having either unusually light or heavy periods.
The frequency of your periods may also be affected. You may have them every 2 or 3 weeks, or you may not have them for months at a time.
Eventually, you’ll stop having periods altogether.
Recommended Reading: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Why Am I So Tired During The Menopause
Your hormones play an important role in regulating your energy production . As your hormones fluctuate in the perimenopause, so too will your energy levels. In this, fatigue and lethargy become more pronounced when oestrogen drops sharply.The additional effects of low oestrogen, including night sweats, insomnia, and frequent urination, can also lead to fragmented sleep and increased fatigue.
Perimenopause And Chronic Fatigue
Its not uncommon to feel more tired than usual during the perimenopause. But recent studies have shown there could also be a link between perimenopause and a more extreme type of tiredness chronic fatigue.Women who go through early menopause may be particularly susceptible to a condition called chronic fatigue syndrome . CFS is characterised by long-term exhaustion that doesn’t improve with rest or sleep . Its incredibly important to speak to your doctor if you experience this type of tiredness.
Read Also: How Long Does A Woman Go Through Menopause
Problems With Your Thyroid
It’s a small, butterfly-shaped gland that sits in your neck. It makes a hormone that helps control how you use energy. When your thyroid gland is out of whack, you’re out of whack.
“People with an underactive thyroid are going to feel tired,” Friedman says. “Their cells aren’t working well, they’re sluggish, and their reflexes are slow.”
Understanding Perimenopause And Menopause
Perimenopause refers to the time of transitional before menopause begins. Your periods may become irregular, and your flow may become heavier or lighter.
Production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone usually begins to slow when a woman reaches her 40s. That happens as a woman enters the perimenopausal period. The full transition to menopause can take 4 to 12 years.
Menopause is the time of life when your periods stop, estrogen and progesterone production ends, and you can no longer become pregnant.
During perimenopause, you might start experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes, insomnia, and fatigue. Youll officially be in menopause when you havent had a period for 12 months.
Fatigue can be one sign that youre in a menopause transition. Here are a few of the other symptoms that are common during perimenopause:
- hot flashes
- mood changes, such as feeling sad or more irritable than usual
- night sweats
- vaginal dryness
- weight gain
Talk to your doctor if these symptoms or any others bother you. You can work together to find the best treatment options for your symptoms.
You May Like: Why Does Menopause Cause Hot Flashes