Menopause is a natural process that signals the end of a woman’s fertility and menstrual cycle. Ovaries discontinue production of two hormones required for fertility, estrogen and progesterone. This typically occurs in women by age 51, though this process can begin as early as 40. It unfolds in three stages: premenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
What Are the Symptoms?
Women undergoing this natural transition may notice an irregular menstrual cycle. This initial indicator means the menstrual cycle should discontinue entirely within four years. Keep an eye out for these symptoms in addition to menstruation irregularities:
Mood changes are a fairly common symptom that can be attributed to shifting hormone levels during this cycle.
Lower Sex Drive
Declining libido is another common menopausal symptom. However, medications are available to restore sex drive.
Changing estrogen levels can result in night sweats and can affect your quality of sleep. Some women report having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep once they wake in the night due to night sweats.
Like night sweats, hot flashes are likely caused by the dramatic changes in estrogen levels. You may feel a quick, intense warmth around your body and may even develop red patches on your skin followed by cold sweats. These symptoms indicate a hot flash, which can last anywhere between 30 seconds and up to 10 minutes and occur spontaneously.
The decreased production of estrogen and progesterone will cause the vaginal walls to lose their natural lubrication and make intercourse uncomfortable.
If you are struggling with any of the above symptoms due to menopause, be sure to schedule your consultation with us at your earliest convenience. We strive to help all of our patients achieve a happier and healthier quality of life.
Will Lifestyle Changes Offset the Effects?
During this time, it is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Doing so can help you achieve a better night’s sleep, strengthen your general health, maintain a healthy weight, and improve your overall mood.
Menopause is a natural part of aging. For women, knowing how to navigate this time is vital to maintaining your physical and mental health. The team at Aurora OB-GYN is dedicated to helping you during this transition, so contact us today with any questions or concerns you have. We look forward to helping you achieve a greater peace of mind!