Menopause: Signs and Symptoms
We are all familiar with the term menopause and many women understand that there will come a time in their life where there will have to go through this process. As women our lives seem to be fixated around cycles our monthly period is the first cycle that we are introduces to, and the being in the cycle of our fertility, next there is the interim phase when we are ready to “go forth and multiply” on our ovulation cycle is of utmost importance to us. Menopause is the last stage of this fertility cycle and it ultimately marks the point in a women’s life when she is no longer able to conceive. What many women do not realise is that menopause symptoms do not necessarily stop with the last period. Signs can start 3-4 years before the actual onset of menopause and symptoms can carry on long time afterword in some cases months or years.
Below is a list that has been complied to show you the various signs and symptoms of menopause:
Hot flushes, night sweats in menopause
One of the first things to become seriously mixed up is the temperature-control centre in your brain, and that’s the reason for hot flushes.
Irregular periods during menopause
Very few menopausal women simply suddenly stop menstruating. Before ovulation stops altogether, the menstrual cycle generally becomes more irregular in length.
Vaginal dryness and sexual discomfort
The epithelial lining and the underlying tissues of the vaginal wall may become thinner and less elastic – a condition known as atrophy. This is due to decreased oestrogen.
Urinary incontinence in menopause
A bout of coughing or even a good laugh may lead to an embarrassing little accident - decreasing oestrogen levels can weaken muscles controlling the bladder and urethra.
Weight gain during menopause
Many women dread the menopause because they are afraid that they will gain weight once their bodies stop producing female hormones.
Sleep disturbances during menopause
Insomnia (sleeplessness) can be caused by hot flushes at night which may be accompanied by night sweats.
Moodiness and other psychological changes
Irritability, anxiety, difficulty in concentrating, moodiness, tearfulness, forgetfulness or depression may occur during menopause.
Joint pain in menopause
Many women suffer joint pain as one of their earliest symptoms of menopause.
Decreased libido in menopause
Beginning in peri-menopause (the period before the onset of menopause), some women may experience a gradual decline in sexual desire (libido). However, 60% of women experience no change in libido.