What are menopause symptoms?
Many of the menopause symptoms actually happen during the perimenopause stage and some females go through menopause without any complications or unpleasant symptoms. But, there are others that find menopause symptoms debilitating, beginning even during perimenopause and lasting for years.
The menopause symptoms they experience are mostly related to a lowered production of the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone. The menopause symptoms might vary widely because of the many effects that these hormones have on the female body.
The hormone estrogen regulates the menstrual cycle and affects the following parts of the body:
- reproductive system
- urinary tract
- pelvic muscles
- blood vessels
- mucous membranes
Changes in menstrual cycle
The period you have may not be as regular as it used to be and you might bleed heavier or lighter than usual, and occasionally spot. What is more, your period may be shorter or longer in duration.
In case you do miss your period, make sure to rule out pregnancy and if you are actually not pregnant, a missed period could indicate the onset of menopause. If you do begin spotting after not having your period for twelve consecutive months, please make sure to talk to your doctor to rule out any serious conditions, such as cancer.
Many of us complain of hot flashes as one of the primary menopause symptoms. These may be a sudden feeling of heat either in the upper portion of your body or all over. The neck and face may turn red, and you may feel sweaty or flushed.
The intensity of these may vary from mild to very strong, even waking you from sleep and most often it lasts between 30 seconds and 10 minutes, according to the National Institute on Aging. Many of us will experience hot flashes for a year or two after their final menstrual period and may still continue after menopause, but they lessen in intensity over time.
Most of the women have hot flashes during menopause. So, sonsult your doctor if your hot flashes disrupt your life and he can recommend treatment options for you.
Vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse
The dlowered production of estrogen and progesterone can affect the thin layer of moisture that coats the vaginal walls. We may experience vaginal dryness at any age, but it might be a particular problem for women going through menopause.
Some of the signs can include itching around the vulva and stinging or burning. This kind of dryness can make intercourse painful and may cause you to feel like you need to urinate frequently. To fight with dryness, try a water-based lubricant or a vaginal moisturizer.
In case you still feel discomfort, talk to your doctor. Doing sex or other sexual activity involving the female genitals can increase blood flow to that area and this one helps keep the vagina more lubricated and also may prevent the vagina from becoming smaller.
Insomnia or problems sleeping
For best of health, the doctors might recommend adults get seven to eight hours of sleep each night but while in menopause it might be hard for you to fall asleep or stay asleep. You might as well wake up earlier than you wish and have trouble going to back to sleep.
In order to get as much rest as you can, try relaxation and breathing techniques. It’s also quite important to exercise during the day so that you’re tired once you hit the sheets. Try not leaving your computer or cell phone near your bed as lights can disrupt your sleep. Having a bath, reading, or listening to mellow music before bed may help you relax.
Some simple steps to better the 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.
Frequent urination or urinary incontinence
It is not uncommon for women in menopause to lose control of their bladder. You might as well feel a constant need to urinate even without a full bladder, or experience painful urination. This is actually because of the fact that during menopause, the tissues in your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity and the lining thins. The surrounding pelvic muscles might as well weaken.
To combat with urinary incontinence, stay away from too much alcohol, stay hydrated, and strengthen your pelvic floor with Kegel exercises. In case the issues persist, atalk with your doctor what medications are available.
Urinary tract infections
While in menopause, some of us may experience more urinary tract infections (UTIs). Decreased levels of estrogen and changes in the urinary tract make you more susceptible to infection.
In case you feel a persistent urge to urinate, are urinating more frequently, or feel a burning sensation when you urinate, see your doctor. The doctors will most ikely ask that you take a urine test and give you antibiotics.
It is not uncommon to feel less interested in sex during menopause. This is actually caused by physical changes brought on by reduced estrogen. These kinds of changes might include a delayed clitoral reaction time, slow or absent orgasmic response, and vaginal dryness.
Some females might also have more interest in sex as they age. If your desire is decreased related to another problem, such as painful sex, the doctor may be able to prescribe a medication to help prevent pain. If it happens that the decrease in sexual desire bothers you, talk to your doctor.
This one is a condition caused by the decline in estrogen production and characterized by the thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls and it can make sexual intercourse painful for women, which can ultimately decrease their interest in sex. There are some over-the-counter lubricants or prescription treatments that include localized estrogen therapy, such as an estrogen cream or a vaginal ring, and these can treat the condition.
Depression and mood swings
The changes that happen in hormone production affect the moods of women during menopause and some will report feelings of depression, irritability, and mood swings, and often go from extreme highs to severe lows in a short period of time. It is actually quite important to remember that these hormone fluctuations affect your brain and that “feeling blue” is not unnatural.
Skin, hair, and other tissue changes
As you are getting older, you might as we;; experience changes in your skin and hair. Losing some of fatty tissue and collagen will make your skin drier and thinner, and will affect the elasticity and lubrication of the skin near your vagina and urinary tract. The decreased estrogen may contribute to hair loss or cause your hair to feel brittle and dry. So please make sure to avoid harsh chemical hair treatments, which can cause further damage.
What is the outlook for menopause?
The symptoms of menopause can last for months or years depending on the person. Make frequent appointments with your doctor so they can monitor your health and answer any questions you may have about menopause symptoms.