Menopause is a period that every female has to encounter when they are in their 40s or 50s. (1) It occurs when women fail to see their menstrual period. There is a permanent cessation of menstruation that results in ovarian activity halt. This stage marks the end of a female’s reproductive year. As a woman, you will experience some signs and symptoms that make you aware of menopause. There are common signs of menopause that you should look out for to get yourself prepared.
10 Signs And Symptoms Of Menopause
1. Heavy Or Light Period
A woman’s period is an assurance that she can still reproduce. Menopause is a stage in a woman’s life where she is no longer able to reproduce. The very first sign that informs a woman of menopause is her menstrual period, which becomes light or heavy. The period becomes unstable and only occurs every two or three weeks.
The woman stops seeing her period altogether. Sometimes she can experience pre-menstrual syndrome, and there will be no bleeding. Yet, visit your doctor if your periods resume after no bleeding for more than a year. To make sure there are no problems or complications.
2. Hot Flashes
Hot flashes are also known as hot flushes or night sweats if they occur at night. Hot flashes are a common sign of menopause and can last a few years after menopause. They occur when you start feeling hot in your body’s upper part, such as your chest, neck, and face. Part of the body becomes red, sweaty, and overheated.
Hot flashes can be very mild or very strong to cause discomfort. It usually lasts between thirty seconds and ten minutes. Sometimes, it’s followed by intense shivering, which can occur several times an hour.
Some people also do experience it a few times a day, or just once or twice a week. (2) Get yourself checked if you experience any of these symptoms.
3. Vagina Dryness
Another common sign of menopause is that the vagina becomes dry too often. Vagina dryness makes sexual intercourse uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Vagina Dryness usually lasts for an average of 7.4 years after the last period.
Some of the vagina Dryness symptoms are burning, soreness, or pain inside the vagina. People also experience itching, burning, or soreness around the entrance to the vagina. There are lots of lubricants and moisturizing cream that you can use to treat it. (3)
4. Lack Of Sleep
When women get to midlife, many find it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep can occur during menopause. It is usually caused by night sweats, anxiety, and an increased need to urinate. When you finally get to sleep, you end up waking very early.
Exercising and avoiding heavy meals and excess caffeine before bedtime can help. Taking sleeping tablets can also help curb the lack of sleep. But, you should see a doctor before taking medication.
5. Mood Swings
Some women experience mood swings during their period. These sets of people are more likely to deal with signs of menopause. Even if you have never had a mood swing during your period, you will experience it during menopause. Tiredness, irritability, and sadness are common feelings during menopause.
Night sweats resulting in lack of sleep can also cause mood swings. Having an adequate amount of sleep is a way to curb mood swings. When you start experiencing mood swings, avoid too much stress. You should also find positive ways to relax and connect.
6. Hair Loss
Estrogen and progesterone hormone helps hair grow faster and stay longer. A low production level of these hormones during menopause causes hair loss. A lot of women experience hair thinning, which can occur on the front, top, or sides of the head. These are called bald spots. Hair in large clumps can fall off during showering and brushing. Other factors that contribute to hair loss are illness and lack of certain nutrients. Hydration, exercise, and medications from your doctor can help treat hair loss.
As a result of your fluctuating hormones, you may experience bloating in premenopause. After menopause, there is less estrogen and progesterone, which reduces bloating. Bloating makes you feel extreme tightness, swelling, or fullness in your abdomen. Also, other parts of your body may ache, which can cause discomfort.
For some women, there is swelling in the stomach caused as they bloat. A person may also experience temporary weight gain during this period. Avoiding fatty foods and dairy products can help reduce bloating. You may also try exercising, hydrating, and avoid smoking and alcohol to feel better.
8. Physical Changes In The Body
For some women, when they reach menopause, their waist becomes larger. They lose muscles and get overweight, and their skin could get thinner. Some women even experience memory loss and joints and muscle sore. Some also experience frequent body aches and pains, headaches, and heart palpitations.
The feelings of a fast-beating, pounding, or flickering heart are a delicate situation. Fluctuations in the hormone levels vary across women. So the effects would not always be similar. Bodily changes are one of the signs of menopause that you should call your doctor and check out.
9. Variations in Sexual Feelings
Menopause has lots of effects on different women. While some women lose interest in sex, finding sexual activity uninteresting and unappealing, others develop a higher interest in sex. This set of people feel very free and sexy during menopause, making them want to have sex than usual (4). Regardless of how menopause affects women’s sex drive, they are still at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (STD).
10. Development of Digestive Issues
The control of cortisol (a stress hormone) is dependent on estrogen. During menopause, there is a fluctuation in the estrogen level. When this happens, it affects cortisol levels. When there is a decrease in estrogen levels, the production of cortisol will increase. And this hurts the digestive system.
Digestive issues are among the top signs of menopause that people should take seriously. Diarrhoea, weight gain, constipation, nausea, and constipation are associated with menopause.
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Sara Leandro is a certified health coach who helps others feel their best through individualized lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. She covers topics ranging from health and productivity to relationships.