What is Menopause?
Table of Contents
Menopause is the name given to the process by which the female reproductive system shuts down as a person passes through middle age. The ovaries stop producing estrogen and menstruation ceases. Once this happens the body goes through a period of adjustment to the reduced hormone levels, which is why some women experience symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings.
Ages affected by Menopause
The onset of menopause usually occurs between the ages of 40 to 60 and lasts anywhere from six to thirteen years with diminishing symptoms as time passes.
According to statistics, Menopause can happen to females as young as 20 years old, but are the most common in older ages as you can see below:
Symptoms of Menopause
Here are the 4 major symptoms that tell a woman she is approaching menopause:
The first menopause symptom is the change in the menstrual period. As from the age of 35 or 40, a woman may find out that her period becomes irregular, or scanty. The flow may be excessive or prolonged. The period may come bi-monthly instead of monthly, or it may come every two weeks. All of these are signs and symptoms that should remind women that they cannot be fertile forever, that they are nearing menopause, even though in some cases it may be 10 or 12 years away.
Hot Flashes (Heat rashes)
Hot flashes, this symptom is one of the most painful and annoying one in this list.
You can be sleeping peacefully in your bed, suddenly you wake up, or you can be outside talking to someone and suddenly you feel a heat wave on your chest and face.
Your body feels so hot that you think it’s on fire. You begin to sweat profusely as if you have been running a marathon. You feel like stripping yourself naked or lock up yourself in a freezer. When you lie in your bed, the sheets are soaked with sweat. If you experience all or some of these symptoms, you are at menopause. These experiences can be disturbing to many women. Hot flashes at night result in insomnia. Women need to understand these menopause symptoms so as to adapt properly to them.
This is one of the most serious menopause symptoms that may cause marital problems if proper care is not taken. One effect of estrogen shortage is that the vaginal walls become dry and stiff. The walls become thin and lubrication diminishes or disappears altogether. The skin around the vulva becomes thin and dry and easily irritated. As time goes on, the vagina becomes shorter and narrower like that of a little girl. Sexual intercourse becomes very painful if not impossible.
Aches and Pains
Pains and aches all over the body are other symptoms that a woman is entering the menopausal stage. Some women have aches and pains before, but during menopause the pains increase. This is because of the decreased estrogen. Estrogen is the hormone that nourishes and strengthens the body tissues, especially in the female genital track and the breasts. With the decline in estrogen, the tissues become weaker and prone to infections. They become stiffer causing aches and pains to arise.
It often happens that at menopause, a woman begins to experience some sensations all over the body. Some feels as if ants are crawling all over their body. Some women feel sweats trickling down from their head to their cheeks, but when they reach to wipe it off, they feel nothing. Some feel tingling sensations in the face and prickles and tingles running around the body. The decreasing estrogen causes all these. If you are a health worker, you will notice that most of the women who complain of these signs and symptoms are between the ages of 40 and 50.
Menopause is one thing that must come in the life of every woman. Therefore, women should be armed with necessary menopause treatment information that will enable them stand firm when symptoms set in. It is also important to note this condition is usually diagnosed by symptoms alone, but a blood test can also be preformed to confirm the diagnosis. If you suspect the onset of menopause you should consider using supplements like Menopace to ease off the symptoms and maintain the hormone levels.
Like all health matters, being well-informed about the sorts of symptoms you might experience allows you to physically and mentally prepare. Indeed, some women do not even realize they are going through menopause because they simply lack the information to explain what they are feeling! It’s not until they research and explore the signs that they make the connection. And it’s no wonder, given that the list of potential symptoms is so long and diverse.