What is Menopause?
Menopause is the time when most women’s menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to bear children. It is a normal part of life and is not considered as the disease. The menopause is sometimes called ‘the change of life’ as it marks the end of a woman’s reproductive life. At menopause, ovulation no longer occurs and production of estrogen and progesterone ceases.
Menopause is defined as having no menstrual period for one year. The age you experience it can vary, but it typically occurs in your late 40s or early 50s. The process of menopause does not occur suddenly it occurs gradually. This so-called perimenopausal transition period. Each woman has the different experience about it.
Common perimenopause symptoms include:
- The hot flash is an intense feeling of warmth that can last a few seconds or several minutes. Generally, it happens while you are sleeping, it’s called night sweats. During a hot flash, you’ll likely feel your body temperature rise. Hot flashes affect the top half of your body, and your skin may even turn red in color or become blotchy.
- Difficulty in sleeping may happen due to night sweats.
- Stress incontinence: The tendency to leak urine when exercising or sneezing. Some women struggle to hold their urine between bathroom breaks. Estrogen protects the health of the bladder and urethra, and as this hormone declines, it affects urinary function.
- Conditions related to your heart may arise during menopause, such as dizziness or cardiac palpitations. Decreased estrogen levels can prevent your body from retaining flexible arteries. This can impact blood flow.
- Changes in your hormone levels may cause you to gain weight. However, aging can also contribute to weight gain.
- Menopause leads to bone loss. This condition called osteoporosis. This is due to the loss of estrogen. In fact, women may experience as much as a 20 percent drop in bone density in the five to seven years after menopause.
- Mostly females suffer from mood swings in this time. These may be due to shifting hormone levels. Some women experience anxiety or depression during this time.
- Muscle loss and fat gain can also occur during this time. Women may lose muscle mass and gain excess weight around the waist.
Note: Some women experience these symptoms during perimenopause, while others don’t experience them until after they’ve stopped menstruating.