Menopause can be described as a phase where menstruation stops happening for 12 consecutive months and there is no possibility of getting pregnant in the future. It is most common in women between the ages of 45 and 55, but it can occur before or after this age range depending on a variety of factors. The health of the person, the nature of the menstrual cycle, lifestyle, and so on have an impact on the menopause process.
While dealing with the concept of menopause, it is important to understand the pre-menopausal symptoms and post-menopausal symptoms along with the treatments made available for women. You can refer to our menopause symptoms list to learn about the different kinds of menopausal symptoms commonly experienced by women.
When does menopause begin?
Menopause begins around the age of 45–55, which can vary from person to person. Signs of early menopause are also seen in women, which can start earlier than the normal time. Menopause is a natural biological process and can happen at any time during your 40s and 50s. It comes with certain physical and emotional symptoms. Various premenopausal symptoms can be seen a few years before beginning of menopause, which happens mostly in your 40s. The beginning and end of menopause vary as it depends on various factors concerning the individual. The menopausal transitions seen in women determine the overall duration of menopause, where naturally declining reproductive hormones and other changes also have a huge impact.
Duration of Menopause
The duration of menopause is normally 7 years, which can go up to 14 years based on your lifestyle, health conditions, and so on. The process of menopause involves 3 stages, which include perimenopause, menopause, and post menopause. Each phase happens in an orderly manner where the symptoms of each phase determine the extent of the duration of the whole menopause process. Menopause happens after the final menstrual cycle of a woman, which signals the end of the body’s ability to reproduce. The symptoms of menopause can last for an average of 7.4 years after the final period, which varies based on the individual. Unusual menopause symptoms are also seen in some women, which can change the duration of menopause from the normal situation.
The Causes of Menopause
While dealing with the reasons for menopause, it is important to note that menopause is not limited to certain reasons as every woman in their 40s and 50s experiences menopause. The first signs of menopause can appear at any age, even before the age of 40, depending on some triggering factors that have a significant impact on the overall process. This natural biological process can occur before the age of 40 for a variety of reasons, such as therapy, hormone deficiency, and so on. The important reasons for menopause are the following:
- Declining reproductive hormones
One of the main reasons for menstruation is the decline in levels of reproductive hormones, which include oestrogen and progesterone. It is a known fact that reproductive hormones are required for menstruation to happen smoothly and regularly. The decline in such hormones induces menopause signs and symptoms, resulting in an immediate stop to the menstrual cycle.
- Ovary removal surgery
As the ovary produces reproductive organs i.e the egg cells or ova. These regulate the menstrual cycle. After ovary removal surgeries are performed, menopause happens immediately. Different menopausal symptoms and signs can be seen in the circumstances of immediate menopause. The sudden change in hormone levels caused by the removal of the ovary results in various symptoms and signs of menopause at an earlier stage.
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
The therapies used for cancer treatment are also another important triggering factor for menopause, which comes with symptoms like hot flashes. As such therapies involve the use of different kinds of chemo drugs and other components, it can be seen that hormonal changes happen in the bodies of women.
- Ovarian insufficiency
Premature menopause happens commonly in women having issues concerning their ovaries where menopause can happen before the age of 40. Failure of the ovary to produce an adequate number of hormones affects the whole process of menstruation and menopause.
The Top 5 Signs of Menopause
The 5 Signs of Menopause infographic
The signs of menopause can vary for each person based on different factors. As menopause puts an end to menstrual cycles, your body can react in different ways based on your health, lifestyle, etc. The emotional and physical signs that come with menopause are found to be disturbing by most women in their 40s and 50s. Most signs concerning menopause can make you uncomfortable as the hormonal changes and other changes happening in your body can have a huge impact. The top 5 signs of menopause are the following:
- Menstrual cycle irregularity
As your body gets closer to menopause, it is common to see irregularities in the menstrual cycle, which is one of the important signs of menopause. Even though irregular periods become a major concern for women, it is normal to find this irregularity while approaching menopause.
- Vaginal dryness
Another important sign of menopause found in the majority of women is vaginal dryness, which can be seen in 1 out of 3 women during the pre-menopause period. This sign of vaginal dryness can be seen even after menopause, which makes the vagina lining thinner and less elastic. During the menopausal transition, along with vaginal dryness, there can be burning and itching in the vagina, which is normal and common during the transition.
- Broken sleep
Apart from the emotional signs seen in women, including feeling moody, repetitive instances of broken sleep are also considered a major sign of menopause. The trouble you feel during sleep and crankiness is common, as there are both physical and mental changes during menopause. Expert opinion and advice from doctors can be sought if the situation gets worse or if the difficulty becomes unbearable.
- Hot flashes
Hot flashes are one of the first signs of menopause seen in most women, which can range from mild to severe depending on the individual. During a hot flash, you may feel a sudden warmth throughout your body, along with mild sweating, which happens mildly in most women.
- Painful sexual intercourse
After menopause, sexual intercourse becomes painful due to the decreased level of oestrogen in your body. As vaginal tissues become more fragile, which can result in bleeding, it can make sexual intercourse painful, cause vaginal pain and vaginal swelling. Vaginal dryness is one of the major reasons for this problem of painful sexual intercourse. You can learn more about painful sexual intercourse also known as Dyspareunia, with our detailed guide which explains the causes and treatments that could cause you to experience painful sexual intercourse.
How can menopause symptoms be treated?
You can take advice and approach doctors for treatment of menopause symptoms if they get severe and affect your daily life. Early perimenopause symptoms seen in women can be treated based on the severity of the problem to provide comfort during the menopause period. In most women, it can be seen that symptoms are mild and bearable, but in certain cases, treatments become necessary to mitigate issues concerning menopause. The list of post menopause symptoms varies based on the duration and effect of menopause, which happens naturally in women.
When severe symptoms of menopause are seen, it is always better to take the required treatments to avoid any future difficulties or problems. Women’s Healthcare is one of the best clinics focused on providing safe healthcare concerning pregnancy and other gynaecological medical conditions in women. In most instances, it can be seen that the symptoms happen without much difficulty. But in recent times, the symptoms have become severe due to unhealthy food habits and the use of harmful substances. Such aspects need to be analysed and studied to take the required precautions and measures to prevent and reduce the risks associated with them. The methods adopted for menopause symptom treatment vary based on the person, and the apt method has to be used for better outcomes. Various tips to treat menopause symptoms are the following:
- Use of medications
Most doctors suggest medications such as antibiotics and other tablets to reduce the problems of recurrent UTIs, hot flashes, and so on. Such medications have to be taken only after consulting a doctor and only if they are required for your health condition. Unnecessary medications will result in worsening the situation, and hence proper care has to be taken in this regard.
- Hormone therapy
One of the effective treatments suggested for women under the age of 60 is hormone therapy, which helps in the management of issues like hot flashes, night sweats, and flushing. This therapy can be used when symptoms get severe and become a problem for carrying out normal processes in day-to-day life.
- Non-hormonal vaginal moisturisers
As vaginal dryness is one of the common signs seen in women going through menopause, the use of moisturisers will help to reduce the difficulties due to the same. The itchiness and burning in the vagina can also be managed through the use of apt vaginal moisturisers to help you manage the difficulties in a better manner.
- Sleep medications
Sleep disturbances and insomnia problems seen in many women during the pre-menopause and post-menopause periods can be reduced with the use of appropriate medications. Sleep medications and tablets that help in reducing problems of sleeplessness and trouble with sleep are recommended by doctors and can be taken based on your condition.
The menopause period symptoms and treatments provided for such important symptoms vary based on the age of the person, existing conditions, and various other factors that keep changing. As menopause is seen in women between the ages of 45 to 55, there might be instances where you might be having other health problems or issues. In such cases, it might be difficult to manage symptoms of menopause, which can be reduced to some extent through the use of apt medications, lubricants, and therapy. If you face any severe symptoms of menopause, it is important to consult an expert or doctor to get the required treatment for the particular problem. As menopause and the menstrual cycle form an integral part of women’s lives, it is important to understand the overall importance. The existing conditions can result in various alterations to the normal situation, which needs to be managed using effective guidance and help from experts.
Menopausal health checks are provided at one of the best menopause clinics in London, Women’s Healthcare, where required guidance and help are provided with the help of specialists.
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