Examining the Symptoms of Menopause

By: James Pendergraft

Women may know that menopause is a normal and inevitable part of their lives. However, they may lack some knowledge as to the changes that could happen to their bodies during this stage in their life.

The change of the levels of progesterone and estrogen, which are the two female hormones that are produced less and less during menopause, could bring about different symptoms. While women may have less problems or none at all when it comes to menopause, there may be others that may feel some slight to worse discomfort.

Common symptoms of menopause and what can be expected from them:

* Irregular periods. One of the symptoms of menopause that can be experienced first is the change in the menstrual period. Usually this could be noted by their irregularity. They could also be lighter than normal or heavier periods.

There are women who would experience heavy bleeding for a number of days. Periods that last for more than ten days or are experienced after three weeks or less are also common symptoms. Vaginal spotting in between periods may also occur.

* Problems with the bladder or the vagina. As the levels of estrogen change, the body tissue found in the genital area can become thinner and drier. This dryness can cause painful sexual intercourse for women. Right before menopause, it is also possible that a vaginal infection may be experienced.

As you age, it is even expected for women to start having problems with their urinary tract. These could be in the form of infections and trouble in holding the urine when you need to urinate or may experience what is known as urge incontinence. Women might also experience problems in holding their urine when they cough, sneeze, laugh, step down, or run or what is also called as stress incontinence. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to see your physician.

* Hot flashes. Getting a hot flash is very common during the stage before menopause. This is characterized by experiencing a sudden radiation of heat on the upper extremities of the body or all over. Usually your neck and face would become flushed and red blotches may be seen on your back, chest and arms. This could be followed by cold shivering and heavy sweating.

While flashes can be as mild as just having a light blush, they could also be severe enough to wake you up from a very sound sleep, which is also known as night sweats. Most hot flashes last from 30 seconds to five minutes and should go away within a few years from the start of menopause.

* Sex. Using birth control should not be stopped unless a whole year without getting a period is already experienced. This is if you no longer want to get pregnant. When menopause begins, it is common to experience a change in your feelings toward sex. Because of hormonal changes, sexual arousal may be difficult. There could also be discomfort during sexual intercourse because of the vaginal changes that may occur.

However, there are also others that might feel sexier and freer after menopause. This is because there is already no risk for pregnancy.

Other possible symptoms of menopause include fatigue and problems in sleeping. There could also be mood shifts and changes to the body like loss of muscle mass, increase in waistline size, loss of skin elasticity and heightened appearance of fatty tissues.

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