Side-effects of Menopause

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 05, 2012

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Portrait of an old lady

Menopause is a natural biological process, also referred to as the cessation of menstruation. Some women may get troubled with its side-effects, while others may not have any potential risks even after years. Women usually experience  menopause  side-effects after one to two years before their menstrual cycle cease (perimenopause).


[Read: Things you didn't know about Menopause]

Hormonal Changes after Menopause

The average age for the onset of menopause in women is 52. Women begin to  develop hormonal changes or symptoms of hormone imbalance during their perimenopause stage. During the transition from perimenopause to menopause, levels of several hormones (including estrogen and progesterone) become irregular.

The decline in the production of oestrogen and progesterone on cessation of menstrual cycle leads to various physical and emotional changes.


[Read: Seeking Medical Help for Menopause]


Physical Changes after Menopause

  • Skin Changes – Skin usually becomes dry or itchy skin after menopause, as body’s ability to retain moisture is impaired without oestrogen.
  • Bladder problems – Menopause increases risks of bladder problems such as reduction in bladder capacity, cystitis and stress incontinence. The root cause of bladder problems is the loss of muscle and tissue elasticity in the pelvic cavity, which makes women leak urine  while coughing or laughing.
  • Vaginal dryness – Lack of estrogen secretion makes vaginal lining thinner and dryer. As a consequence, a dip in sex drive is common after menopause.
  • Changes in sleep pattern – Night sweats, a result of the hot flashes that occur at night,  often disturb the sleep pattern of women after menopause.
  • Other physical changes – Other physical side-effects of menopause include tiredness, dizziness, headaches, joint pains, muscular pains, backaches and lethargy.

Emotional Changes after Menopause

  • Increased anxiety – Getting old and experiencing body changes at the same time may become very stressful,  and it also increases the levels of anxiety. Persistent anxiousness may lead to panic attack such as palpitations, shortness of breath or dizziness.
  • Dip in concentration and poor memory – Decline in oestrogen affect functioning of nerve cells in the brain. As a result, women may not feel as sharp to remember things and their concentration level may see a decline too.
  • Dip in sex drive – Sexual desire may be affected by the mood swings of early menopause, right from the menopausal transition. Hormonal changes make women experience sexual difficulties. Continuous hormonal changes along with tiredness and vaginal dryness contribute to pain or discomfort during sex.


[Read: Tips to Cope with Emotional Impact of Menopause]

To cope up with side-effects of menopause, it is advised to stick to a healthy diet and engage in physical exercises regularly. Not just physical benefit, but it will also help to keep stress levels to  its minimum.


Read more articles on Menopause


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