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Menopause symptoms

Menopause is the period of women life when menstrual cycles are stopped and women don’t have periods anymore. The menopause is the name given to the end of menstruation (periods). In general menopause could come at 50-55 but sometimes women could have early or late menopause. At menopause age women’s ovaries are not producing eggs anymore, levels of female hormones are decreasing and as a consequence – women are not having periods anymore. If woman (after 48-50) did not have menstruation (period) during one year – it means she is entering to the menopause period. Menopause symptoms appear after perimenopause.

Actually it is the end of menstrual cycles. As a result of these hormonal changes, many women experience both physical and emotional symptoms.

If the menopause occurs in a woman who is under 45 years of age, it is known as premature menopause. The period of life leading to menopause called perimenopause.

Most women reach the perimenopause and menopause without seeking medical support and/or advice. But sometimes treatment is needed. However, modern treatments are available that can ease menopausal symptoms which are severe or distressing.

Menopause Symptoms

Menopause symptoms

About 75-80% women mention different menopause symptoms (with different intense). Some 40-45% women found menopause symptoms very disturbing and they seek an intensive medical treatment. First symptoms of perimenopause are disturbances of the menstrual cycle – usually at the beginning menstrual cycles becoming long and periods are coming every 3-5 months and later periods are not coming anymore.

The project AWARE (1997-2008) developed the list of common symptoms that occur during perimenopause and menopause. This list was developed from the real-life experiences of hundreds of women. All symptoms were experienced by numerous women:

  • Hot flashes, flushes, night sweats and/or cold flashes, clammy feeling;
  • Irregular heart beat;
  • Irritability;
  • Mood swings, sudden tears;
  • Trouble sleeping through the night (with or without night sweats);
  • Irregular periods; shorter, lighter periods; heavier periods, flooding; phantom periods, shorter cycles, longer cycles;
  • Loss of libido;
  • Dry vagina;
  • Crashing fatigue;
  • Anxiety, feeling ill at ease;
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension, doom;
  • Difficulty concentrating, disorientation, mental confusion;
  • Disturbing memory lapses;
  • Incontinence, especially upon sneezing, laughing; urge incontinence
  • Itchy, crawly skin;
  • Aching, sore joints, muscles and tendons;
  • Increased tension in muscles;
  • Breast tenderness;
  • Headache change: increase or decrease;
  • Gastrointestinal distress, indigestion, flatulence, gas pain, nausea;
  • Sudden bouts of bloat;
  • Depression;
  • Exacerbation of existing conditions;
  • Increase in allergies;
  • Weight gain;
  • Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic, or whole body; increase in facial hair;
  • Dizziness, light-headedness, episodes of loss of balance;
  • Changes in body odor;
  • Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head;
  • Tingling in the extremities;
  • Gum problems, increased bleeding;
  • Burning tongue, burning roof of mouth, bad taste in mouth, change in breath odor;
  • Osteoporosis (after several years);
  • Changes in fingernails: softer, crack or break easier;
  • Tinnitus: ringing in ears, bells, “whooshing”, buzzing, etc.

Signs of menopause

Signs of menopause

In general all above mentioned symptoms can finish without any treatment as menopause symptoms are self-limiting, which means that they gradually stop happening naturally. This usually happens 2-5 years after the symptoms start, but some women can experience severe symptoms for many more years.

Only 7-10% of women need medical advice and treatment when they go through the menopause, and many do not need any treatment at all.

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