If you’re a woman approaching midlife and menopause, you already know that this time will bring changes to your body. Menopause brings with it both hormonal imbalance and the beginning of menopause symptoms such as hot flashes. But what are the symptoms of menopause that you should be aware of? If you’re experiencing any or all of these symptoms, see your doctor immediately to be treated for any underlying health problems.
One of the most obvious symptoms of menopause is a decrease in facial hair. Women who experience menopause often shave their heads because they no longer have the amount of hormones required to maintain a normal female hormonal level. When you no longer produce estrogen, the levels of testosterone (the male hormone) in your body begin to rise. Testosterone production is dictated by the production of estrogen in your body. As estrogen levels decrease, testosterone levels rise. Men who no longer produce the amount of estrogen needed to balance out their hormone levels are considered hypo-estrogenic.
The symptoms of menopause that accompany hypo-estrogens include depression, irritability, lack of concentration, weight gain, vaginal dryness and a feeling of not being comfortable and losing your womanly identity. These feelings are common with women approaching menopause because of the many adjustments that need to be made in their lives to accommodate this change. If you are experiencing any of these feelings, be sure to discuss them with your healthcare provider and find ways to relieve them so you can cope with them.
Another symptom to be aware of is hot flashes. While they are not the same as menopause hot flashes, they are still a normal part of your monthly cycle that can be disruptive to your quality of life. If you find yourself experiencing unusually intense or prolonged heat that is not related to the weather, speak to your healthcare provider about it.
Many women experience urinary incontinence later in life. It is not a normal part of aging, but most feel it necessary to address it as soon as possible. Urinary incontinence is a result of fluid loss from the bladder. Women who have had their menopause will typically suffer from vaginal atrophy. This is a condition where the lining of the uterus, which lines the urinary cavity shrinks because of age.
If you are experiencing any of the previous mentioned menopausal symptoms, be aware that it could be due to premature menopause. Premature menopause is a condition where the ovaries do not release an adequate amount of eggs. Once the eggs are gone, there is no renewal process to replace them. As a result, the woman experiences hot flashes and vaginal atrophy. These symptoms are due to the fact that the body does not have enough estrogen to properly prepare the lining of the uterus for delivery.
If you are a woman who is experiencing these symptoms, you should speak to your doctor about what are the symptoms of menopause through hormone therapy. Hormone therapy can help treat the hot flashes and vaginal atrophy that are caused by the lack of hormones. However, once you have reached the menopause state, your doctor may recommend that you go back into the pill trap, which means increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
Menopause and perimenopause affect women differently. For many women, perimenopause is a temporary phase that is caused by changes in lifestyle. Women are generally less active during this period, which is one reason that they experience hot flashes and the other typical perimenopause symptoms. For others, their bodies will simply stop producing enough hormones to allow them to have regular menstrual periods. As long as women have a reasonable idea about what are the symptoms of menopause, they can take steps to deal with this period in their lives.