One of the many inevitable stages in a woman’s life is dealing and coping with menopause. As we are very much dedicated in advocating and sharing knowledge on women’s health care, we surely cannot cross menopause off the list. Today, arm yourself with the proper knowledge and information you need ahead of time, before having to battle with this inescapable biological stage and way before it is too late.
The term menopause comes from Greek origin where the prefix mes- means “month” and the word pausis means “coming to a stop” or simply “cessation”. Technically, menopause is the end of a woman’s monthly cycles or the period when a woman stops having her period. It usually occurs when a woman is in her 40’s or 50’s, though it is not always the case as there are recorded situations when menopause comes earlier or later in one’s life. It is not as simple as finally getting over those red letter days, but more importantly signifying the termination of a woman’s ability to bear children or be fertile. It is not exactly about the state of the uterus and the absence of the monthly menstrual flow, but rather the moment when the ovaries cease to do their main function which is ripening and releasing ova and hormones that cause both the creation and shredding of the uterus lining which is more typically known as menstruation.
Before actually getting to the menopausal stage, a woman first experiences perimenopause which is the transition leading to a woman’s last period. The monthly menstrual cycles become irregular before stopping for good. This irregularity causes shifts in the levels of estrogen and progesterone produced in the ovaries. Some symptoms last a few to several months, and even years. The length of time of menopausal transitions varies from woman to woman. But your medical records and clinical histories could provide some clues to help you identify how long you would be undergoing this transition.
Speaking of symptoms, be well aware that menopause affects every woman in different manners. Some do not even exhibit any symptoms and some have several aspects of their life greatly changed during the transition. Moreover, the symptoms to be mentioned cannot even be directly associated with menopause or aging.
The first and most common symptom is the irregular monthly menstrual cycles. The period may last for longer or shorter times, sometimes just for a few days and sometimes for a week or more. However, missing periods does not always mean menopause but could also be due to pregnancy or certain medical conditions.
Another is hot flashes or sudden feeling of heat especially in the upper part of the body. The face and neck may turn red, or one may notice red blotches on the skin. Heavy sweating and cold shivering may also occur.
A woman undergoing menopausal transition may also experience trouble in sleeping.
Also, since menopause is about changes in estrogen and progesterone levels, there may also be presence of vaginal and urinary problems.
Mood swings could also be symptoms for menopause.
Women may also feel less interest in sex.
Osteoporosis, a condition where bones get thin and weak, is also a symptom.
There are some of other noticeable symptoms for menopause. It is best to write those symptoms down and show them to your doctor. With that valuable information in hand, you two could come up with ways to handle those symptoms effectively.