Symptoms of menopause
The common symptoms of menopause are;
- Irregular periods – Sudden change in periods can be a menopause symptom. The length of time between periods might be longer or shorter periods and the person might also experience light or heavy periods. In some cases, the periods will sometimes be skipped. If the length between periods changes to 60 days, there is a likelihood of being a sign of menopause.
- Vaginal dryness – Vaginal dryness usually happens due to the decline in estrogen levels as a person approaches menopause. The vaginal tissues become thinner and easily irritated. This can be a likely symptom of menopause but it can be caused by other conditions also.
- Hot flashes – Hot flashes are also common menopause symptoms in over 80% of women. A woman will experience a sudden heat sensation in the face, chest, and head followed by flushing. This usually happens due to changes in levels of hormones estrogen and progesterone which then affects the functioning of the hormones responsible for regulating the body’s temperature.
- Chills – Chills and shivering can also be experienced in some cases when the hot flashes fade making the person feel hot and cold.
- Night sweats – If hot flashes occur at night, the person will suddenly experience night sweats. If this symptom is accompanied by vaginal dryness and irregular periods, it can be a sign of menopause.
- Sleep problems – Women usually experience sleep problems when they approach menopause. All this is due to the changes in your hormone levels and as the body tries to cope with the change, the woman will have a likely inability to stay asleep or to fall asleep.
- Mood changes – Mood swings are common menopause signs in most women and it is usually caused by the drop in estrogen levels. Low estrogen levels have been linked to causing irritability, stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
- Weight gain – Hormonal changes as a person approaches menopause can cause weight gain around the abdomen in most cases than around the thighs and hips. The weight is also related to lifestyle, genetic factors, and aging.
- Thinning hair – Hormonal changes when a woman approaches menopause can cause slow growth of hair and thinning.
- Dry skin – Dry skin can also be a symptom of menopause. Oil glands in the skin usually shrink as a person approaches menopause causing the skin to be dry and in some cases wrinkle.
- Loss of breast fullness – Reduction in estrogen levels in menopause can cause the skin and connective tissues of the breast to become less hydrated and lose elasticity thus making the breast lose its firmness and fullness.
- Depression – Decrease in hormonal levels can affect a person’s physical and emotional behaviors.
- Anxiety – Anxiety can also be a symptom of menopause but frequent, troubling with anxiety can be a symptom of something else but not menopause.
- Difficulty concentrating – Difficulty in concentrating can be a sign of menopause but there is no actual scientific study as to how menopause can cause difficulty in concentrating. Aging can be a contributor to this but more research needs to be done.
- Memory problems – Just like difficulty in concentration, memory problems have no scientific proof as to how menopause causes it but aging can be the cause of this. We are still watching out for more research and scientific studies.
- Reduced libido – Reduced libido or sex drive is also common as a menopause sign. This is usually due to reduced hormone levels which then causes the vaginal to be dry and tight. Generally, the symptoms of menopause are the ones that cause a person to experience reduced sex drive.
- Frequent urination – As a woman approaches menopause, she may experience an increased urge to urinate even if the bladder is not full and in some cases, the urination may be painful. This is because during menopause, the vaginal and the urethra thins and loses elasticity and the surrounding pelvic muscles might also weaken.
- Headaches – Fluctuations in hormonal levels as a woman approaches menopause can cause headaches.
- Racing heart – Having a feeling of a racing heart or missing a beat can be a symptom of menopause. Reduction in the female hormone estrogen causes overstimulation of the heart.
- Reduced muscle mass – Decline in estrogen levels in menopause can cause a reduction in muscle mass and strength.
- Painful and stiff joints – Joints pain especially in the hips and knees and associated with heat in some cases can be a symptom of menopause.
- Reduced bone mass –
The above symptoms of menopause can be a sign of a different condition too.
There is a need to observe the symptoms well before concluding if it’s menopause or not or getting advice from a medical professional.
Periods stop during menopause when the ovaries stop producing estrogen and progesterone hormones. These hormones are responsible for menstruation.
Most women stop menstruating when they reach the ages of 48 to 55 years.
YES, reduction in progesterone levels have been found to be able to cause bloating, indigestion, and heartburn. All this symptoms can make a person feel unwell.
Menopause symptoms can in last for 4.5 years after the last period or in some cases it can last 7.5 years.