Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods stop permanently. It usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 but can happen earlier or later. There is no one definitive sign of menopause, but here are some major ones:
- A change in menstrual patterns. This is the most common sign of menopause. Your periods may become lighter, shorter, or skipped altogether.
- Hot flashes are sudden feelings of intense heat that can cause sweating and reddening of the skin. They usually last for a few minutes but can persist for hours. You have trouble getting aroused or reaching orgasm. Some women also experience a flushed face and a racing heart during a hot flash.
- Vaginal dryness can make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful, while changes in sexual arousal and response can mean that you’re no longer as interested in sex as you used to be. This can cause discomfort during sex and make it difficult to achieve orgasm.
- Difficulty sleeping. Insomnia is common during menopause, as are frequent awakenings throughout the night. This is because of the changes in your hormones.
- Mood swings and changes in cognitive function. You may feel more irritable, anxious, or depressed than usual, or have difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
- Physical changes. You may start to gain weight, lose muscle mass, have thinning hair, or develop wrinkles. You’re gaining weight even though you’re not eating more or exercising less than you used to.
- Bone loss is a common problem in menopause. You may lose bone density at a faster rate and be at increased risk for fractures. You may lose bone density in your hips, spine, and wrists. This can lead to problems like osteoporosis.
- It’s important to remember that menopause doesn’t mean you can no longer get pregnant. If you’re not ready to stop having children, talk to your doctor about your options.
- Talk to your doctor about how to keep your heart healthy: chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, swelling in your feet or ankles, extreme fatigue. You can make changes to your diet, start exercising, and take medication if needed. If you have high blood pressure or cholesterol, talk to your doctor about how to lower them.
- There isn’t a cure for mood swings during menopause, but there are ways to help manage them. You can try hormone therapy, medication, or lifestyle changes. It’s also important to have a support system during this time. Talk to your friends and family about your mood swings and ask for their support.
- There are several treatments for hot flashes, including medication and lifestyle changes. You can also try hormone therapy if you want to. It’s important to find a treatment that works for you and that you can stick with.
- There are several treatments for vaginal dryness, including medication and lifestyle changes. There are several treatments for vaginal dryness, including medication, lubricants, and hormone therapy.
- You may gain weight in your stomach, hips, and thighs. This is because of the changes in your hormones. There are several treatments for weight gain during menopause, including medication, diet, and exercise.
It’s important to find a treatment that works for you and that you can stick with. Talk to your doctor if you’re having problems during menopause so you can get the treatment you need.