Menopause is the natural change in a woman's body rendering her infertile. It is caused by old age and can be identified by some signs.
Menopause is a critical phase leading to various physical and mental barriers, due to which the symptoms are likely to show. While some can begin to appear before the start of menopause, others expand after the onset. Menopause is natural stage and can be triggered by a variety of causes, occurring earlier in those who smoke tobacco. A woman undergone surgery removing both her ovaries or some types of radiation or chemotherapy is likely to witness the onset. Physiologically, a decrease in production of hormones estrogen and progesterone by the ovaries leads to menopause.
The stage can last for several years and there are three possible types:
- Perimenopause, classified by the transitional time starting before the onset of menopause and includes the 12 months following the final period. During this period, fertility is reduced and a woman witnesses hormonal changes accompanied by hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness or atrophy, osteoporosis or mood swings.
- Menopause, which starts 12 months after the last menstrual cycle assuming that a woman has not witnessed a menstrual flow for a minimum of 12 months despite having a uterus and are not pregnant or lactating.
- Post menopause follows the years after menopause and a reasonably longer period of time is required to be ensured of the ceasing cycle.
Listed below are the signs and symptoms of Menopause in women:
Reduced Fertility Levels
Nearing the end of reproductive stage, before menopause starts to show, estrogen levels begin to stagger and fall. These lead to restricted chances of becoming pregnant.
Irregular Menstrual Patterns
Transition to menopause is marked by shorter cycles of menstrual patterns (lasting about 2-7 days), although, longer cycles are a possibility too. Menstrual flows may be heavier or lighter and can reappear more or less frequently than the normal. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is a common sign experienced by women nearing menopause due to hormonal changes accompanying the vital transition.
Symptoms are likely to appear and during menopause and continue at the time of post-menopause phase, which range from vaginal dryness to atrophic vaginitis, or thinning of the membranes of the vulva, the vagina, cervix and outer urinary tract along with shrinking elastic levels of outer and inner lining of genitals.
Vaginal Dryness and Inflammation
Conditions such as vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort are a possibility during perimenopause continuing into menopause. Breaking of skin walls can raise the risk of infection. Atrophic vaginitis is a vaginal disorder occurring post menopause with falling estrogen levels and thinning of vaginal walls causing inflammation. Symptoms may result in vaginal dryness, thin, watery, yellow or gray discharge, painful urination or blood in the urine alongside, paleness and thinning of the labia and vagina.
The most common reason for atrophic vaginitis is the decrease in estrogen after menopause and the condition can increase after childbirth. When the ovaries stop the production of estrogen after menopause, the vaginal walls become thin and vaginal secretions are restricted. Similar changes can occur after childbirth but are rather temporary in nature. Medications or hormones can be recommended as a form of treatment for conditions of breast cancer, endometriosis, fibroids, or infertility and the decrease can trigger the onset of atrophic vaginitis.
Hot flashes are a common recurrence during the phase of menopause and can cause a person to feel a certain level of discomfort in the upper body by increasing heat sensations. The sensations can occur in face, neck, or chest region and can transgress upward or downward. A hot flash leads to excessive sweating and red patches on the skin.
In some individuals, symptoms can range from night sweats to cold flashes, or chills, apart from hot flashes. The flashes start first year after the ending of menstruation and are likely to continue for 14 years after menopause.
It is common for a woman to face a host of mental and mood changes during menopause, such as depression, anxiety and loss in mood. Hormonal changes can lead to signs of irritation and emotional setbacks. Hormonal fluctuations and disturbances in sleep can be a major contributor.
A lot of people face concerns related to self-esteem, loss of libido, sadness, irritation and instability during the phase. People facing lack of sleep and health concerns for long should seek medical help.
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