Menopause can be termed as the absence of a menstrual cycle in women for 12 months. Like the menstrual cycle, each woman may experience the symptoms of menopause differently. Some may experience no symptoms – physical and mental while some may experience most of the symptoms mentioned in this article. The intensity and severity of these symptoms also vary from case to case.
So, let’s dig deeper with Perfect Health Magazine and know about the menopause symptoms in detail:
#1 Hot Flashes
This is the most common symptom amongst women close to menopause. It is a feeling of warmth that spreads in the entire body and is often more severe in the chest and head. These flashes can last for a few seconds or several minutes.
Although the reason behind these hot flashes is not yet known, it is believed that a combination of biochemical fluctuations and hormones reduces the estrogen level, which causes hot flashes.
No one can predict when these hot flashes will begin and end. About 40% of women who menstruate regularly get hot flashes in their forties. Also in 80% of women such hot flashes last for more than 2 years. Sometimes hot flashes cause night sweats, which lead to awakening and finding it difficult to sleep again.
#2 Irregular Vaginal Bleeding
A woman can experience irregular bleeding when she reaches menopause. Some women may experience minimal bleeding while reaching close to menopause, while others may experience excessive and unpredictable bleeding.
Menstrual periods may become more frequent or go farther and farther before stopping. Premenopause has no normal bleeding pattern, and it varies from woman to woman. It is always better to get in touch with your gynaecologist to discuss your case personally and make them aware of symptoms such as irregular vaginal bleeding.
#3 Dry Vagina
As the level of estrogen in the body falls, vaginal tissues become thinner, less elastic and dry. In such a situation, a woman may feel vaginal dryness, irritation or itching, painful intercourse etc.
Such vaginal changes increase the possibility of vaginal infection. It has been found that 10-40% of women faces vaginal probelms during menopause and among them 20-25% of women seek medical attention for this.
#4 Urinary Symptoms
The urethra (a tube responsible for carrying urine from the bladder to discharge it outside the body) also shows symptoms similar to the vagina due to lowered estrogen in the body. It becomes dry, thin and less elastic. This increases the chances of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). A woman may feel the urge to urinate frequently in such a condition or leak urine sometimes.
In case you contract a UTI, seek doctor’s advice immediately.
#5 Emotional and Cognitive Symptoms
In many premenopause, women undergo emotional changes like mood swings, memory problems, fatigue etc. Such emotional changes are so common that it is difficult to determine whether they are because of menopause or any other reason. The night sweats in perimenopause can also result in fatigue and tiredness.
#6 Other Physical Changes
Some women may gain weight during menopause. The fat distribution may change; body fat gets deposited more in the abdominal and waist area. During menopause, the body produces some male hormone testosterone, hair growth on the chin, chest, lips, or abdomen is common in some women.