Symptoms and Signs of Menopause


Usually, a woman will begin to experience menopause symptoms around her mid-40's as her body's reproductive capability comes to the end. At this stage many women experience some physical and emotional symptoms because of hormonal imbalance.

November 3, 2017

Usually, a woman will begin to experience menopause symptoms around her mid-40's as her body's reproductive capability comes to the end. At this stage many women experience some physical and emotional symptoms because of hormonal imbalance.
Estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle and affects several parts of the body such as reproductive system, urinary tract, heart, blood vessels, bones, breasts, skin, hair, mucous membranes, pelvic muscles and brain.
Common Symptoms of Menopause include:

Hot flashes:

Hot flashes are also known as hot flushes. These are a sudden, transient sensation of warmth or heat that spreads over the body, creating a flushing, or redness, that is particularly noticeable on the face and upper portion of your body. The intensity of a hot flash can range from mild to very strong, even waking you from sleep. A hot flash generally lasts between 30 seconds to 10 minutes.
When an women approach menopause, the estrogen level decreases naturally resulting in hot flashes. If the estrogen production decreases gradually, it produces fewer hot flashes. But if the ovaries stop estrogen production more abruptly hot flashes can be a rollercoaster ride in those cases. Most women experience hot flashes for a year or two after their final menstrual period. Hot flashes may still continue after menopause, but they lessen in intensity over time.

Night Sweats:

Severe hot flashes that occur during sleep accompanied by intense bouts of sweating is known as night sweats. These aren't actually a sleep disorder, but a common disorder that occurs during sleep in menopausal women. The intensity of a night sweats can range from mild to  intense, and can be caused by hormonal imbalance combined with environmental factors, such as an excessively warm sleeping environment. It may be as severe as to disrupts sleep, and increase irritability and stress in everyday life.
It is important to get to the root of the issue before seeking treatment options as there may me other underlying medical conditions which causes night sweats.

Irregular Periods:

Irregular period is most common in a woman in her mid-40's as she approaches menopause. Hormonal imbalance caused by decreasing levels of estrogen and progesterone is the most likely cause of this.
Irregular periods could also be caused by other medical conditions or even pregnancy.

Vaginal Dryness:

When estrogen levels drop during perimenopause, the vaginal tissue becomes drier, thinner, and less elastic. Usually moist and soft feeling of the lining of the vagina disappears resulting in vaginal dryness with symptoms of itchiness and irritation. Lack of lubrication leads to uncomfortable sex , and the vagina is frequently itchy, easily irritated, and more prone to infections.
Atrophy of the vagina is an extreme version of vaginal dryness in which the vagina becomes smaller in width and length. This symptom may appear due to a sudden drop in estrogen during menopause irrespective of the cause, whether it is natural, premature, or surgical.  It is important to seek treatment for this condition if it begins to affect quality of life.
Over-the-counter (OTC) lubricants or prescription treatments that include localized estrogen therapy, such as an estrogen cream or a vaginal ring, can treat the condition.

Decreased libido:

Decreased libido that could be caused by any of a variety of factors. However, for women going through menopause, this sudden drop in desire for sexual activity or intimacy can be due to hormonal imbalance.  Androgen deficiency can cause low sex drive. Decreased libido can also be caused by other menopause symptoms themselves, such as vaginal dryness or depression, or by prescription drugs including medication prescribed to treat menopause symptoms.

Mood Swings:

Changes in hormone production affect the moods of women during menopause. Some women report feelings of irritability, depression, and mood swings. Often women during this condition can go from extreme highs to severe lows in a short period of time. Mood swings can be sudden and intense, although the experience of them may differ from woman to woman.
Chronic and severe mood swings are a psychological disorder caused primarily by hormonal imbalances. When production of the hormone estrogen drops, the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters also decreases resulting in mood swings. Other menopause symptoms can also have effects on mood, such as fatigue. Therefore, one of the most effective ways of reducing menopausal mood swings is to target the underlying hormonal imbalance.