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15 Menopause Symptoms That Not Only Women Should Know About

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  • 15 Menopause Symptoms That Not Only Women Should Know About



    Menopause is a natural period in a woman's life when there is the passing away of her reproductive and menstrual functions. The time of onset of this condition is very individual for everyone, on average it occurs after 45 years.

    Hormonal adjustment directly affects a woman's well-being, delivering a lot of "surprises" in the form of various symptoms of menopause. How do these symptoms affect a woman's life and health?

    Even 10-15 years ago, the onset of menopause was perceived by most of the fair sex as a kind of sunset of femininity and sexual activity.

    Fortunately, times have changed — today, the symptoms of menopause mark only a new stage in a woman's life, during which, if desired (and with the assistance of modern medicine and pharmacology), she can continue to live a full life without regard to age and physiology.




    Menopause symptoms



    1. Decreased Sex Drive

    According to statistics, about 80% of women aged 50 to 60 years remain sexually active. However, it should be noted that a decrease in sexual desire is one of the most common symptoms of menopause.

    There are both physiological and psychological reasons for this. Menopause symptoms such as vaginal dryness have already been mentioned.

    The mucosa becomes sensitive, thinner, and less elastic, so sexual intercourse gives unpleasant sensations, pain, and irritation. Intimacy becomes almost impossible. Another reason is chest pain, which is caused by hormonal changes during menopause.

    Decreased sexual desire is one of the most common symptoms of menopause.





    2. Hot Flashes

    Hot flashes are not just the first and most famous symptom of menopause, they are its calling card. Approximately 80% of women of menopausal age face so-called hot flashes or, as this condition is also called, "hot flashes".

    Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat in the face, neck, chest, and arms, which is accompanied by fever, sweating, and a feeling of lack of air.

    The skin may turn red or become covered with red spots. This can often be accompanied by dizziness, nausea, and tachycardia (rapid heartbeat). Flashes are usually short in duration. They last from 30 seconds to 2-3 minutes.

    By the way, men also have flashes. As a rule, they appear against the background of a sharp decrease in the level of the hormone testosterone. For example, after removing the testicles or as a result of taking certain medications.





    3. Nocturnal hyperhidrosis

    Strong night sweats, in principle, are considered one of the manifestations of flashes that occur during sleep. Again, the problem is a lack of female sex hormones, which have a direct impact on the center of thermoregulation, located in the hypothalamus.

    This part of the brain receives false signals that the body is overheated. As a result, mechanisms for releasing excess heat are activated and sweating occurs.

    It should be noted that hyperhidrosis during sleep can be a symptom of not only menopause but also some diseases.

    Nocturnal hyperhidrosis is one of the main symptoms of menopause.





    4. Brittle Nails, Thinning Hair

    Like most menopausal symptoms, hair loss is caused by a hormonal imbalance in the body. This is a fairly common problem faced by 50-75% of women of menopausal age. But not only hair suffers from a lack of estrogens. During this difficult period for the female body, nails can become layered, brittle, and dry.

    Brittle nails and hair loss — these troubles often bother women with the onset of menopause. It's all about the lack of female hormones estrogen.





    5. Heart Problems

    A natural decrease in the level of the female hormone estrogen can cause heart disease in menopausal women. The fact is that estrogen has a positive effect on the walls of blood vessels, helping to maintain flexibility and elasticity, which ensures free blood flow through the arteries.

    Postmenopausal women make up about half of all patients with hypertension. And many of them first encounter this problem during menopause.





    6. Osteoporosis

    One of the most dangerous symptoms of menopause. After the onset of menopause, the total bone mass decreases, and the bone tissue becomes porous. This leads to a risk of fractures, especially in the wrists, thighs, and spine.

    When densitometric examination in accordance with the criteria of the World Health Organization, osteoporosis is detected in more than 30% of women aged 50 years and older.

    As a rule, this disease proceeds unnoticeably. But it is still possible to note some of the manifestations of osteoporosis. This increases with exercise and walking pain in the sacrum and lumbar region, general weakness, increased fatigue.




    7. Urinary Incontinence

    Impaired bladder function is a fairly common symptom of menopause. A deficiency of female sex hormones can lead to a weakening of the pelvic muscles responsible for controlling the bladder, which leads to unpleasant consequences such as urinary incontinence.




    8. Mood Swings

    Changes in the hormonal background lead to a violation of the psycho-emotional state. There are such symptoms of menopause as tearfulness, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, even aggression.

    Mood swings can be compared to riding a roller coaster. A minute ago, the woman was happy and cheerful, when suddenly tears come to her eyes.

    For many women, such emotional outbursts are typical in the period before the next menstruation, the so-called premenstrual syndrome (PMS). During menopause, these manifestations are more pronounced.

    Scientists conducted a study at Massachusetts Hospital, which involved more than 3,000 women aged 50 to 79 years. According to the survey, almost 28% of patients suffered from panic attacks to some extent.

    Thus, scientists have confirmed that a mental disorder such as panic attacks is considered a characteristic symptom of menopause.





    9. Muscle and Headaches

    Very often, a symptom of menopause is a headache. It can be the result of changes in the tone of blood vessels (vasomotor disorders), as well as weakness that occurs in connection with hot flashes, insomnia, and stress.

    Another unpleasant symptom of menopause is muscle tension caused by a violation of calcium metabolism in the body.





    10. Memory Problems

    Women of mature age often complain of memory lapses and inability to concentrate. This is a fairly common symptom of menopause, also associated with a decrease in estrogen levels.

    According to statistics, two-thirds of women of menopausal age suffer from such" whims " of memory. All problems pass as soon as the hormonal fluctuations are smoothed out.

    The inability to concentrate on work and "blackouts" in memory will recede as soon as the hormonal background normalizes.





    11. Irregular Menstruation

    The gradual decline of ovarian hormonal function leads to the fact that monthly periods become less prolonged, irregular, and sparse. The interval between periods increases and can be from 40 to 90 days, or even more.

    This period is called the premenopausal women. Over time, the monthly period stops. If they do not make themselves felt for at least a year, it means that the menopause has come.





    12. Vaginal Dryness

    With age, our body slows down metabolic processes, reduces the elasticity and moisture content of tissues, and intimate areas are most sensitive to these changes. The walls of the vagina become flabby, cracks form in them, and there is a tendency to droop and fall out of the pelvic organs.

    One of the symptoms of these changes is the sensation of a foreign body in the vagina. With age, all these troubles only increase. Before the age of 45, only 15-30% of women know them, and after 50 years - already 40%.

    Symptoms of menopause may first appear for a couple of months or even years before the last menstruation and make themselves felt for several years. The main reason is a decrease in the amount of estrogens (female sex hormones) in the body.





    13. Weight Gain

    An increase in body weight often accompanies the approach of menopause. However, extra pounds are not always a direct symptom of menopause. Various factors play a role. For example, incorrect eating habits and a love of fat, high-calorie food.

    Some women develop insulin resistance as they age, which causes the body to store calories rather than burn them. Another important factor is that as the body ages, muscle mass decreases, and fat layers increase.

    With the onset of menopause, a woman needs to be very careful about her health. And be especially careful to monitor the weight.




    14. Allergy

    It is proved that women of menopausal age are especially susceptible to the development of allergic reactions and more often than others face an exacerbation of existing allergies.

    The endocrine and immune systems are closely linked, and the immune system can respond to hormonal changes with the appearance of new allergic reactions (most often, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and dermatitis).





    15. Insomnia

    Sleep problems during menopause are quite common. The same female sex hormones are to blame for this. Lack of estrogens, which is the cause of hot flashes and night sweats (which interfere with restful sleep), is also accompanied by a violation of the absorption and exchange of magnesium – a mineral that is responsible for muscle relaxation.

    And the lack of another hormone - progesterone -leads to insomnia. After all, progesterone is a natural relaxant, it calms and adjusts sleep.

    Most often, insomnia is caused by hot flashes. A few seconds before them, the woman wakes up, and after the attack passes, she can not sleep for a long time. In addition, the thought that you will not be able to sleep increases anxiety and nervousness.





    Three tests for menopause


    You can find out about the onset of menopause not only by the main symptoms but also by using the following tests:


    1. Blood test for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone is produced by the pituitary gland and is responsible for the production of female sex hormones.

    With the onset of menopause, FSH continues to be released, but the ovaries no longer respond to this by producing estrogen in response. So an increase in the level of FSH indicates menopause.



    2. Blood test for estradiol, which is the main estrogen in the reproductive age. Accordingly, the termination of ovarian function, which is characteristic of menopause, leads to a decrease in the level of estrogen in the blood.


    3. Blood test for luteinizing hormone (LH). This hormone stimulates the final maturation of the follicle, its rupture, and ovulation. During menopause, the level of luteinizing hormone in the blood is increased.

    The beginning of menopause is a difficult and inevitable period in the life of every woman. And of course, the symptoms of menopause are significantly more than we were able to mention in one article.

    And yet, the approach of menopause, in any case, should not frighten or greatly alarm a woman. Yes, the body will undergo a serious restructuring, which will make itself felt by unpleasant symptoms.

    However, with timely access to a specialist and the correct selection of hormonal therapy, the manifestation of almost all the symptoms of menopause — no matter how many of them - can be reduced to a positive minimum. And live, as they say, a full life, without regard to age and physiology!

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