How to Recognize the Signs of Menopause
If you’re between 45 and 50 years old, you have to get yourself ready for menopause. This is the period when your ovaries secrete less estrogen and testosterone than normal. There are many physiological and psychological changes when you reach this period. It’s important to be aware of them. Here are a few signs to watch out for.
Changes in your menstrual cycle. As you approach your menopausal stage, you will notice your cycle either comes early or late. This is because of the hormonal imbalance your body is experiencing.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Most women experience PMS before their menstrual cycle. As you reach your menopausal period, this group of symptoms intensify.
Headaches and cramps are usually common during the initial stages of menopause but you can experience them throughout your menopausal years.
Hot flushes. Since your body is experiencing hormonal imbalance, it tries to normalize your body’s condition by increasing its metabolism. You feel warmer than usual when your metabolism is increased.
Vaginal changes. Your vaginal wall becomes dry and thin due to low estrogen levels. Because of this, there will be less lubrication in that area.
Water retention and weight gain. As your body tries to adapt to the hormonal imbalance, your cells are not able to excrete water properly. This causes weight gain.
Hair growth on different areas. Women have both testosterone and estrogen in their body. Testosterone controls hair growth. When estrogen levels decrease, There is nothing to balance the effects of testosterone anymore, so most menopausal women experience either hair growth on strange areas or hair loss.
Night sweats. This is the result of hot flushes.
Altered sleep pattern. Hot flushes and night sweats are uncomfortable for most women. This is why most of them can’t sleep at night. Other causes of sleep pattern changes are mood swings, depression and hormonal imbalance.
Chronic fatigue is due to lack of sleep and depression. Most women find it hard to accept the changes menopause brings. The inability to adapt to these changes may sometimes lead to depression. They feel like they are always tired even when they are not doing anything.
Mood swings. Hormones affect our moods. When there is hormonal imbalance, you experience sudden mood changes. Depression is the most common psychological effect of menopause. You may also feel irritated or aggressive.
Decrease sexual drive. This happens because of the changes menopause brings. Depression, lack of sleep and fatigue will make you not want to have sex. The act can also be painful because you don’t have enough lubrication anymore.
Vaginal infection. The normal flora of the vagina is greatly altered during your menopausal years. This would make you prone to infection and other diseases.
These are just some of the early signs of menopause. When you’re experiencing any of these signs frequently and you’re near the menopausal age range, it’s best to consult your doctor.
The changes menopause brings shouldn’t stop you from having a great outlook in life. As they say, life starts at 40. It shouldn’t stop because of menopause.