Menopause Symptoms: When Will They End
Going through menopause can seem like a never ending battle. Just when you think youre over the worst of it, the symptoms come back stronger and knock you back down. It can be demoralizing and many women wonder whether the battle will ever be over. Read on to discover the truth about menopause symptoms, and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
What Symptoms Are Caused By The Reduced Levels Of Estrogen In My Body
About 75 percent of women experience hot flashes during menopause, making them the most common symptom experienced by menopausal women. Hot flashes can occur during the day or at night. Some women may also experience muscle and joint pain, known as arthralgia, or mood swings.
It may be difficult to determine whether these symptoms are caused by shifts in your hormones, life circumstances, or the aging process itself.
What Are Hot Flashes And How Long Will I Have Them
Hot flashes are one of the most frequent symptoms of menopause. It is a brief sensation of heat. Hot flashes arent the same for everyone and theres no definitive reason that they happen. Aside from the heat, hot flashes can also come with:
- A red, flushed face.
- A chilled feeling after the heat.
Hot flashes not only feel different for each person they also can last for various amounts of time. Some women only have hot flashes for a short period of time during menopause. Others can have some kind of hot flash for the rest of their life. Typically, hot flashes are less severe as time goes on.
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Trouble Focusing And Learning
In the lead-up to menopause two-thirds of women may have difficulty with concentration and memory.
Keeping physically and mentally active, following a healthful diet, and maintaining an active social life can help with these issues. For example, some people benefit from finding a new hobby or joining a club or a local activity.
How Does Menopause Affect Iron Levels In My Blood
If you are still having periods as you go through menopause, you may continue to be at risk of a low iron level. This is especially true if your bleeding is heavy or you spot between periods. This can lead to;anemia. Talk with your doctor about the amount of iron thats right for you. Good sources of iron include spinach, beans, and meat. Your doctor may also suggest that you take an iron supplement.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Menopause
You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
These symptoms can be a sign that the ovaries are producing less estrogen, or a sign of increased fluctuation in hormone levels. Not all women get all of these symptoms. However, women affected with new symptoms of racing heart, urinary changes, headaches, or other new medical problems should see a doctor to make sure there is no other cause for these symptoms.
What Are The Stages Of Menopause
- Perimenopause;typically occurs 3-5 years prior to the start of menopause. This stage occurs when your estrogen levels begin to drop and your body begins the transition towards menopause. You can still get pregnant during perimenopause.
- Menopause;is confirmed to have started after youve missed your period for 12 consecutive months. Though every woman is unique and will experience this transition differently, most women enter menopause when they are 51 or 52.
- Postmenopause includes the time after menopause. Estrogen levels continue to decline during this stage, which can cause some menopausal symptoms to linger.
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How To Manage And Treat Hot Flashes
There are several approaches women can take if their hot flashes become unbearable and severe.
The following methods for handling hot flashes will help keep them at bay temporarily and promote overall endocrine system health for long-term relief:
- Adjust your environment. Keep your house and bedroom cool. Exercise indoors so as not to overheat. Avoid staying outside in hot weather for extended periods of time.
- Recognize your triggers. Many women find that spicy foods, hot drinks, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, or certain stressful situations can provoke a hot flash. Avoid them for optimal hot flash prevention.
- Exercise. Research shows that exercise training can reduce the frequency of menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes, depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Incorporate a dance class, cycling, or a daily walk at lunch into your routine.
- Eat foods rich in phytoestrogens. Soy, legumes, flaxseeds, chickpeas, nuts, lentils, cherries, and other fresh fruits and vegetables all contain phytoestrogens, estrogen-like compounds that can help you regain hormonal balance.
Likewise, for optimal results, women may directly combat the root cause of hormonal imbalance through natural and effective hot flash treatments, which focus on a combination of above-mentioned lifestyle changes alongside the use of alternative medicine.
Natural Lifestyle Changes To Combat The Emotional Swings Of Menopause
Many of the emotional symptoms associated with perimenopause and menopause, especially feelings of sadness and irritability can be managed by making a few;lifestyle changes such as:
- Eating a healthy diet, free of sugar and caffeine
- Regular exercise
- Utilize self-calming practices such as rhythmic or deep breathing, yoga, meditation, tai chi, etc.
- Avoid the use of alcohol and other tranquilizers
- Nurture relationships by staying connected with friends, family, and community.
- Engage in creative activities that you enjoy and provide you with a sense of achievement.
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What Are The Hormonal Changes During Menopause
The traditional changes we think of as “menopause” happen when the ovaries no longer produce high levels of hormones. The ovaries are the reproductive glands that store eggs and release them into the fallopian tubes. They also produce the female hormones estrogen and progesterone as well as testosterone. Together, estrogen and progesterone control menstruation. Estrogen also influences how the body uses calcium and maintains cholesterol levels in the blood.
As menopause nears, the ovaries no longer release eggs into the fallopian tubes, and youll have your last menstrual cycle.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Do my symptoms indicate that I might be going through menopause?
- My menstrual cycle is irregular. Could it be caused by something other than menopause?
- Im uncomfortable and/or dont feel well. Is there a way to safely treat my symptoms?
- Ive heard that soy products or herbal supplements may help. Are these effective? Are they good options for me?
- Am I a candidate for;hormone;replacement therapy?
- What are the risks and benefits of hormone replacement therapy?
- Am I at risk for heart disease or;osteoporosis?
- Do I need any tests, such as bone density screening?
- Now that Im going through menopause, what changes, if any, should I make to my;diet;and exercise?
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Higher Risk Of Heart Disease
The end of menopause means that your age becomes solid. It causes certain health problems and heart disease is one out of the list of when is menopause over. This problem also derives from low levels of estrogen and so, induces various complications from the part of the cardiovascular system. Commonly, this issue can be averted if you follow a healthy lifestyle. Its vital to consult a specialist in this field to define the necessary preventive measures.
Hrt And Other Medications
Your GP can also talk to you about hormone replacement therapy , which replaces oestrogen. Its the most effective treatment for hot flushes. Theyll explain the risks and benefits of taking HRT.
If you decide not to take HRT, or if its not recommended for you, there are other non-hormonal medications available. Dont suffer in silence. If hot flushes are affecting your day-to-day life, talk to your GP about what might work for you.
If youre struggling with menopause symptoms, or want to support someone who is, were here to help. Theres lots of information, expert advice and signposting on the menopause pages;within our Womens Health Hub, and you dont need to be a Bupa customer to access any of it.
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Insomnia Or Problems Sleeping
For optimal health, doctors recommend adults get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. But during menopause it might be hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep. You might wake up earlier than you wish and have trouble going to back to sleep.
To get as much rest as you can, try relaxation and breathing techniques. Its also important to exercise during the day so that youre tired once you hit the sheets. Avoid leaving your computer or cell phone near your bed as lights can disrupt your sleep. Bathing, reading, or listening to mellow music before bed may help you relax.
Simple steps to improve sleep hygiene include going to bed at the same time every night, taking steps to stay cool while sleeping, and avoiding foods and drinks that alter sleep like chocolate, caffeine, or alcohol.
Changes You May Notice
Your periods become irregular.
This is the classic sign that you are on your way to menopause. Your periods may come more often or less often, be heavier or lighter, or last longer or shorter than before.
When you’re in perimenopause, it can be hard to predict when, or if, your next period may come. It’s also harder to gauge how long your period will last or if your flow will be heavy or light. It’s harder to get pregnant during this phase, but it’s still possible as long as you have periods.
You have hot flashes and night sweats.
Like so many symptoms of menopause, hot flashes and night sweats can vary a lot from woman to woman. They can last 1 minute or 5 minutes. They can be mild or severe. You can have several an hour, one a week, or never have them.
For some women, these symptoms go on for years or decades after they’ve stopped their periods — into the time called postmenopause.
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What Are Some Of The Treatments Offered For Menopause After A Hysterectomy
There are various treatments that can be given to ease the symptoms of menopause. For vaginal dryness, a vaginal moisturizer is recommended by doctors while for hot flashes and other related symptoms menopause hormone therapy can be administered.
Its also advisable to lead a healthy lifestyle by changing your diet and exercising regularly. Additionally, joining a support group consisting of women who have undergone the same surgical procedure will help in alleviating the psychological effects.
What Is Perimenopause Its When Menopause Symptoms Begin
Perimenopause or pre-menopause is a word that means around menopause. Perimenopause describes what happens to your body leading up to menopause. This stage typically starts about four to eight years before menopause.
When you enter perimenopause youll probably start to notice some early menopause symptoms like changes to your period or mood shifts. These changes happen because your bodys estrogen and progesterone levels are starting to naturally decline. As your ovaries produce lower amounts of these hormones, your body adapts. Its basically the reverse of what happened to your hormones as a teenager.
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Youve Been Getting More Vaginal And Bladder Infections
When your ovaries stop making estrogen, you can experience vaginal dryness, loss of elasticity, and discomfort or pain with intercourse, says Dr. Allmen. According to research, up to 60 percent of women will report vaginal dryness during menopause. This can also lead to an increased risk for vaginal and bladder infections and incontinence, according to the NIH.
If any of the above symptoms have started happening to you, make an appointment with a gynecologist who is well-versed in menopause to learn what you can do to feel better and get back to your life.
Frequent Urination Or Urinary Incontinence
Its common for women in menopause to lose control of their bladder. You may also feel a constant need to urinate even without a full bladder, or experience painful urination. This is because during menopause, the tissues in your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity and the lining thins. The surrounding pelvic muscles may also weaken.
To fight urinary incontinence, abstain from too much alcohol, stay hydrated, and strengthen your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises. If the issues persist, ask your doctor what medications are available.
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When Does Menopause Occur
Although the average age of menopause is 51, menopause can actually happen any time from the 30s to the mid-50s or later. Women who smoke and are underweight tend to have an earlier menopause, while women who are overweight often have a later menopause. Generally, a woman tends to have menopause at about the same age as her mother did.
Menopause can also happen for reasons other than natural reasons. These include:
Premature menopause. Premature menopause may happen when there is ovarian failure before the age of 40. It may be associated with smoking, radiation exposure, chemotherapeutic drugs, or surgery that impairs the ovarian blood supply. Premature ovarian failure is also called primary ovarian insufficiency.
Surgical menopause. Surgical menopause may follow the removal of one or both ovaries, or radiation of the pelvis, including the ovaries, in premenopausal women. This results in an abrupt menopause. These women often have more severe menopausal symptoms than if they were to have menopause naturally.
What Are Phytoestrogens
Phytoestrogens are plant-based substances found in some cereals, vegetables, beans and other legumes, and herbs. They may work in the body like a weak form of estrogen. Researchers are studying whether phytoestrogens can be used to relieve some symptoms of menopause. They are also studying the side effects caused by these substances. Many soy products are good sources of phytoestrogens. These include tofu, tempeh, soymilk, and soy nuts. Some studies indicate that soy supplements may reduce hot flashes after menopause.
However, the results havent been consistent. There is not enough scientific evidence to recommend the use of herbs that contain phytoestrogens to treat symptoms of menopause. This is also true of pills and creams made with these herbs. In addition, not enough is known about the risks of using these products. Herbs and supplements are not regulated like medicines. Some herbs and supplements can be harmful when combined with certain medicines. If youre considering using any natural or herbal products to ease your symptoms, talk to your doctor first.
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Q: What Is A Hot Flash
A:;Hot flashes are the quick bursts of hot skin and often drenching sweat that last anywhere from 30 seconds to about five minutes. Your face and neck may turn red, your heart rate may increase and you will most likely break out in a sweat. Night sweats are the same thing, only youre asleep and are jolted awake by the heat and sweat sensation consuming your body.
These sudden bursts, especially at night, can cause fatigue, irritability and even forgetfulness. For 10 to 15 percent of women, hot flashes are so severe that they disrupt normal functions, such as leading a meeting or sticking to a schedule. If you feel your daily activities are impacted by hot flashes, make sure to speak with your gynecologist.
What Other Life Changes Affect Menopause
Menopause can be a rough time. In addition to the symptoms that may be tough to deal with, a lot of stressful life changes can happen around the same time as perimenopause and menopause.
Some changes you may go through during this time in your life include:
anxiety about illness, aging, and death
anxiety about the future, getting older, and losing independence
anxiety about being disabled
changes in family, social, and personal relationships
changes in identity or body image
children leaving home
getting divorced or losing a partner
having a partner become ill or disabled
more responsibility for grandchildren
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How Do I Know If Changes In My Periods Are Normal Perimenopausal Symptoms Or Something To Be Concerned About
Irregular periods are common and normal during perimenopause . But other conditions can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding. If any of the following situations apply to you, see a doctor to rule out other causes.
- Your periods are changing to become very heavy, or accompanied by blood clots.
- Your periods last several days longer than usual.
- You spot or bleed after your period.
- You experience spotting after sex.
- Your periods occur closer together.
Potential causes of abnormal bleeding include hormonal imbalances, hormonal treatments, pregnancy, fibroids, blood-clotting problems or, rarely, cancer.
What Triggers A Hot Flash
There are quite a few normal things in your daily life that could set off a hot flash. Some things to look out for include:
- Tight clothing.
- Stress and anxiety.
Heat, including hot weather, can also trigger a hot flash. Be careful when working out in hot weather this could cause a hot flash.
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