What Are Common Menopause Symptoms
Some common menopause symptoms are:
Irregular periods: Periods becoming shorter, longer, heavier, lighter. Skipping periods.
Hot flashes: A hot flash is a sudden, sometimes intense feeling of heat that rushes to your face and upper body. Hot flashes can be really uncomfortable, but they usually only last a few minutes. They can happen a few times a day, a few times a week, or a few times a month.
Night sweats: Hot flashes that wake you up in the middle of the night.
Sleep problems: You may have insomnia trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. You may also start to wake up much earlier than you used to.
Vaginal changes: The lining of your vagina may become thinner, drier, or less stretchy. This can cause dryness or discomfort during sex.
Urinary or bladder infections: You may have to pee more often or get more frequent urinary tract or bladder infections.
Mood changes: Hormone changes can make you feel anxious, irritable, and tired. Your sex drive might change, too.
Weaker bones: Your bones will probably weaken during menopause. If its really bad, it can lead to osteoporosis after menopause. Getting plenty of calcium and vitamin D, and exercising for at least 30 minutes most days of the week can help you maintain bone health.
Some people may have a long and difficult perimenopause, up to 1012 years. But most people find that the common menopause symptoms are temporary and only last 35 years.
Your Nails Are In Sad Shape
Cracking, breaking, peeling, or soft nails? Estrogen is essential for producing keratinthe protein your nails are made of.22 Try stepping up your hand-and-cuticle moisturizing game and treat yourself to a gel manicure. Beautiful nails can be a great distraction from a sweaty face, extra weight, and any chin hairs your tweezers may have missed.
Choice Of Hormone Therapy
For women who have had a hysterectomy, estrogen is used alone. Oral, transdermal , or vaginal forms may be used. Treatment should start with the lowest dose the dose is increased every 2 to 4 weeks as needed. Doses vary by preparation. Low doses include
0.3 mg orally once a day
0.5 mg orally once a day
0.025 to 0.375 mg a day released by a patch applied to the skin once or twice a week
Women who have a uterus should be given a progestogen in addition to estrogen because unopposed estrogen increases risk of endometrial cancer. The progestogen is taken with estrogen continuously or sequentially . The dose is
Medroxyprogesterone acetate: 2.5 mg for daily use and 5 mg for sequential use
Micronized progesterone : 100 mg for daily use and 200 mg for sequential use
Bleeding due to progestogen withdrawal is less likely with continuous therapy, although irregular bleeding can occur during the first 6 months of therapy.
Combination products of estrogen and a progestogen are available as
Stress urinary incontinence Types Urinary incontinence is involuntary loss of urine some experts consider it present only when a patient thinks it is a problem. The disorder is greatly underrecognized and underreported. Many… read more
The risk of endometrial cancer is higher in women who have a uterus and are given unopposed estrogen therapy. Nevertheless, any vaginal bleeding in a woman on hormone therapy should immediately be evaluated to rule out endometrial cancer.
Recommended Reading: Can Menopause Cause Dizzy Spells
What Is Premature Menopause
Menopause, when it occurs between the ages of 45 and 55, is considered “natural” and is a normal part of aging. But, some people can experience menopause early, either as a result of surgical intervention or damage to the ovaries . Menopause that occurs before the age of 45 is called early menopause. Menopause that occurs at 40 or younger is considered premature menopause. When there this no medical or surgical cause for premature menopause it’s called primary ovarian insufficiency.
Understanding The Menopausal Transition
Menopause is a point in time 12 months after a woman’s last period. The years leading up to that point, when women may have changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms, are called the menopausal transition or perimenopause.
The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of estrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly.
The menopausal transition affects each woman uniquely and in various ways. The body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily. You may experience changes in your bone or heart health, your body shape and composition, or your physical function.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Menopause Apron
How Does Menopause Affect Heart Health
People are more likely to develop heart disease after menopause. Lower estrogen levels may be part of the cause. It also could be that other health issues that are more common as people get older. These include gaining weight, becoming less active, and developing high blood pressure or diabetes. You can reduce your risk of these health problems by eating a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich foods. It also helps to stay active and maintain an appropriate weight.
What Conditions Cause Premature Menopause
Your genes, some immune system disorders, or medical procedures can cause premature menopause. Other causes include:
- Premature ovarian failure. When your ovaries prematurely stop releasing eggs, for unknown reasons, your levels of estrogen and progesterone change. When this happens before youâre 40, it’s called premature ovarian failure. Unlike premature menopause, premature ovarian failure isnât always permanent.
- Induced menopause. This happens when your doctor takes out your ovaries for medical reasons, such as uterine cancer or endometriosis. It can also happen when radiation or chemotherapy damages your ovaries.
You May Like: How Long Does Surgically Induced Menopause Last
What Are The First Symptoms Of Menopause
By | Submitted On July 10, 2008
Although women vary as to which symptoms they exhibit, most women have the following symptoms as the first sign of menopause:
Change in periods: This is the most common sign that menopause has arrived. Women’s menstrual cycles become less regular. For most, the periods will be lighter and shorter, but some women have heavier bleeding than normal and this is a common symptom. A change in a woman’s cycle could also be that it happens less than three weeks from the previous one or one that lasts ten days or more. You should always check with your doctor to ensure that there is no underlying medical causes for these changes.
Hot flashes: Hot flashes occur when a woman suddenly feels extreme heat in her upper body. Her face and neck can show flushing so that it looks obvious to others. Red blotches can appear too on her arms, chest and back. Heavy sweating sometimes follows the hot flashes followed by cold shivers. Some women feel the hot flashes more severely than others. For some the hot flash is a slight blush of pink and then it is gone as quickly as it arrived. The length of time a hot flash lasts varies between 30 seconds and five minutes. Most women stop getting hot flashes five years after menopause starts.
Vagina changes: Due to changes in women’s estrogen levels, the vagina becomes thinner and drier which can make intercourse painful. It is very common to get urinary tract infections at the onset of menopause.
Tingling Or Numbness In Your Limbs
You may start getting pins and needles in your hands or feet during menopause. Tingling or numbness known as paresthesia can affect any part of your body, although youre most likely to get it in your hands, arms, legs and feet.
As your oestrogen levels go down during menopause, your central nervous system is affected, which, in turn, can cause tingling or numbness. These sensations may be unpleasant.
There are lots of other possible causes of tingling or numbness, including conditions such as diabetes. So its best to see a doctor if youre getting it constantly, it keeps coming back, or you notice other unusual symptoms with it, including pain or suddenly finding it difficult to move.
To help relieve these sensations, try simple lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly to help with circulation and relieve tension, and following a healthy, balanced diet, which can help prevent any vitamin deficiencies. Avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol and quitting smoking can help prevent certain causes of tingling, too.
Recommended Reading: Can Menopause Cause Dizziness And Lightheadedness
Signs Of Menopause That Might Surprise You
The menopause when you stop having periods can cause various symptoms. Hot flushes and night sweats are 2 of the most common, but there are also several less well-known signs of the menopause.
Read on to find out about the the more unusual signs and symptoms of the menopause, and how you can deal with them.
When To See A Doctor About Unusual Menopause Symptoms
You should call an ambulance or go to an emergency department if you:
- feel confused, drowsy or have trouble speaking
- have numbness or tingling that started suddenly and isnt going away
- also have sudden weakness in your arms or legs, or your face droops on one side
- have loss of or blurred vision that starts suddenly
- feel numbness or tingling around your genitals, or have trouble controlling peeing or pooing
You should see a doctor as soon as you can if:
- youre losing weight without meaning to
- you become clumsy or have trouble moving your hands, arms or legs
- you have numbness or tingling and also pain
Also see a doctor if:
- your unusual symptoms arent getting better with self-care measures, they keep coming back or theyre affecting your daily life
- you also have other symptoms you’re not sure about
- your nails have changed in colour, shape or texture this could be a sign of an infection or another condition
- youre losing hair suddenly or unexpectedly, it falls out in clumps or you have bald patches, or your head burns or starts to itch
- you feel anxious or low in mood
- you have tinnitus in only one ear, or you also have deafness or dizziness
Read Also: Does Menopause Cause Dizzy Spells
Oral Contraceptives And Vaginal Treatments
Oral contraceptive pills
Oral contraceptive pills are another form of hormone therapy often prescribed for women in perimenopause to treat irregular vaginal bleeding. Women in the menopausal transition tend to have considerable breakthrough bleeding when given estrogen therapy. Therefore, oral contraceptives are often given to women in the menopause transition to regulate menstrual periods, relieve hot flashes, as well as to provide contraception. They are not recommended for women who have already reached menopause, because the dose of estrogen is higher than that needed to control hot flashes and other symptoms. The contraindications for oral contraceptives in women going through the menopause transition are the same as those for premenopausal women.
Local hormone and non-hormone treatments
There are also local hormonal treatments for the symptoms of vaginal estrogen deficiency. Local treatments include the vaginal estrogen ring , vaginal estrogen cream, or vaginal estrogen tablets. Local and oral estrogen treatments are sometimes combined for this purpose.
Vaginal moisturizing agents such as creams or lotions as well as the use of lubricants during intercourse are non-hormonal options for managing the discomfort of vaginal dryness.
What Happens And How Does It Feel
For some women this loss of reproductive ability may be deeply felt, and for all women the menopause is a personal experience, not just a medical condition. However, the diminishing release of oestrogen from the ovary as women advance into their 40s is often the cause of symptoms which can be distressing and may need medical attention.
Hot flushes are the most common symptom of the menopause, occurring in three in every four menopausal women. Other common symptoms include night sweats, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, irritated skin, more frequent urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections, low mood and a reduced interest in sex. Symptoms vary hugely in duration, severity and what impact they have on women.
All the common symptoms of the menopause are associated with a decrease in the bodys production of oestrogen. Oestrogen lack can affect many parts of the body, including the brain, causing changes in emotional well-being, and the skin, influencing its elasticity and thickness.
There is also some evidence that oestrogen deficiency is the cause of some chemical changes in the body which make women after the menopause especially vulnerable to heart disease and stroke.
You May Like: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause
Feelings Of Anger Perimenopause Rage
Research has shown that irritability is the most common perimenopause symptom for up to 70% of women. But you may find you go beyond feeling irritated to suddenly feeling a lot of anger, bordering on rage. This is sometimes called perimenopause rage.
These kinds of mood swings are a common symptom of menopause. This is because oestrogen plays an important part in the production of serotonin, often known as the ‘happy hormone’, which helps control your mood. As your oestrogen and serotonin levels decline, it becomes harder to manage your emotions.
It’s important to be kind to yourself and recognise that your body is being affected by hormones you cant control. Stress management, mindfulness meditation and other relaxation techniques can help manage your mood. Chatting to someone a friend, partner or counsellor can often help, too.
Read more about what can help with menopause mood swings.
Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause
Most women will experience symptoms of menopause and many women will experience early symptoms while still having periods.
Menopausal symptoms can begin months or even years before your periods stop and can last for years after.
If you go through the menopause because of surgical or medical treatments, you are likely to experience the symptoms of menopause much less gradually.
Don’t Miss: Sweet Potatoes And Menopause
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.
Mood And Memory Effects
Menopause-related cognitive impairment can be confused with the mild cognitive impairment that precedes dementia. Tentative evidence has found that forgetfulness affects about half of menopausal women and is probably caused by the effects of declining estrogen levels on the brain, or perhaps by reduced blood flow to the brain during hot flashes.
Also Check: What Is The Male Version Of Menopause
Menopause And Complementary Therapies
Some women can benefit from using complementary therapies for menopause. But it is important to remember that natural herb and plant medications can have unpleasant side effects in some women, just like prescribed medications. A registered naturopath may provide long-term guidance and balance through the menopausal years.Herbal therapies can often be taken in conjunction with hormone therapy. It is important to let both your doctor and naturopath know exactly what each has prescribed, and to consult your doctor before taking any herbal treatments or dietary supplements for menopause. Some natural therapies can affect or interact with other medications you may be taking.
Is Menopause Dangerous
Essentially menopause is not dangerous. However, some of the symptoms can be if they are left unattended to. A woman entering menopause will generally experience the following:
- Suffering from chronic hot flashes
- Experiencing night sweats
- Having regular bouts of insomnia
- Feeling dryness and thinning of the skin, which can be especially bad in the vaginal area
- Feeling a diminished sex drive and loss of sensitivity to stimulation
- Noticing early signs of hair Loss
- Dealing with serious anxiety
- Feeling forgetful, which can be warning signs that you may have an increased risk of Alzheimers disease
- Having depression and other mood changes
Most of those are not inherently dangerous, yet a combination of depression and anxiety is a potentially lethal. This and the fact it can also lead to Alzheimers is a reason to get a medical diagnosis as soon as is possible. How is menopause treated?
Recommended Reading: Perimenopause Dizzy Spells
Your Hair Is Different
The hair on your head is falling out, getting thin, going gray and changing texture. Your body hair is disappearing. At the same time, whiskers are appearing on your chin.15 Female Pattern Baldness is a thing, and it may have to do with menopause, it may be genetic, or it could be related to stress, thyroid disease or a medication youre taking. Those chin hairs though? Hormones.16