Menopause is simply the part of a woman’s life when menstruation stops and she is no longer able to become pregnant. The average age for menopause in the United States is 51 according to the National Institute of Aging. However, about 20% of women experience menopause before the age of 41. Menopause is not a disease or a condition but it is a normal part of every woman’s life just like puberty.
Perimenopause and Post-menopause
The period before the actual menopause stage is called perimenopause. This is a time of transition wherein the ovaries start to slow down the production of certain hormones. This may occur when a woman is in her 30s or later on. When symptoms begin, actual menopause may still be a few years away. Take note that no two woman’s experiences during this stage are exactly the same.
Theoretically speaking, post-menopause is the phase after menopause until the woman dies. Somehow, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is the time when you no longer need to worry about your menstrual period or getting pregnant. During post-menopause, many of the symptoms of menopause start to disappear. However, the very low level of estrogen increases risk for a couple of health conditions like osteoporosis, bladder problems and heart disease.
About 75 to 85% of menopausal women in the United States experience hot flashes. It is simply a sudden sensation of warmth that spreads over the body particularly in the upper body and face. This is the most common and most distressing symptom of menopause.
Hormone imbalances during menopause can cause menstrual irregularities including absent, short and irregular periods. This is a common symptom experienced during the stage before menopause.
Loss of Libido
Low libido is common because of the low levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. This can also cause vaginal dryness that makes sexual intercourse painful. Thus, the woman usually loses interest in sex. The declining testosterone level during menopause is also indicated to cause low sex drive according to some researches.
One minute you’re happy then the next minute you’re sad. It is just like a human roller coaster. Premenstrual syndrome usually causes this symptom. Contact your health care professional for the appropriate treatment.
It may be periodic increases in the retention of fluids or abdominal distension. The different changes in the menopausal woman’s body can cause abdominal discomfort like gas. If it lasts more than three days, you need to contact your doctor for the appropriate treatment.
Aside from hot flashes, weight gain is another very common symptom of menopause. It is mostly due to the changing hormone levels. Some studies indicate that this is due to the metabolism slowing down. Changes in your diet and exercising regularly can prevent this problem. Alternative supplements can also prevent weight gain and other symptoms of menopause.
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