Menopause is maybe one of the most frightening and nerve-racking (although natural) processes, which affects women's well-being at their mid-age.
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Gradual decrease in production of reproductive hormones, which develops during several years, leads to cessation of menstruation. This usually occurs in women between 50 and 55 years old, but it's completely possible that you'll experience it at 45 or 60 years old.
Your gyn can say that you've already reached menopause, if you haven’t had menses during 12 months, and you're not pregnant or ill.
The bad news is that most women experience menopause-associated symptoms several years before their menstrual cycle finally ends.
Each of us has individual features, so if your sister have had insomnia and urination problems during menopause, it doesn't mean that you'll have the same problems.
However it's worth knowing that these symptoms alone or their combination may mean that menopause is coming:
#1. Irregular menstruation – your periods may become not so regular as usually. Skipping menses, having heavier or lighter menstrual bleeding may indicate hormonal changes, related to menopause.
#2. Hot flashes – it's maybe the most common symptom that occurs in women close to menopause. Sudden sense of heat usually starts in the upper body and then spread downwards. At the same time, skin becomes red and heart rate speeds up significantly.
#3. Night sweats – it's not uncommon that hot flashes happen at night, making you sweat profusely.
#4. Sleeplessness – even if you work hard, it may be really difficult to fall asleep and sleep well during the whole night. Sometimes night sweats are the main culprits of insomnia in middle-aged women.
#5. Frequent need to urinate – in menopause, tissue that surrounds your vagina and urethra, lose their elasticity, and pelvic muscles weaken too. This may result in too frequent urge to urinate, even if the bladder is empty. Moreover, women in menopause are much more likely to get urinary tract infection, which can also cause urination problems.
#6. Dryness down there – drop of estrogen may lead to vaginal dryness and itching. Lack of lubrication can make intercourses really painful, reducing your sex drive.
#7. Mood swings – abrupt changes in mood may be a sign of hormonal fluctuations, occurred before menopause.
#8. Headaches – everyone experience painful sensations in the head from time to time. Many women suffer from headaches because of fluctuations in sex hormones, related to menopause.
#9. Thin skin – lack of collagen and improper lubrication of the skin, which were found as frequent problems in menopausal women, can make your skin extremely dry and thin.
#10. Hair loss – it sounds really thrilling but menopause-associated reduction of estrogen levels can lead to hair brittleness and excessive hair loss.
#11. Increased waist size – when amount of estrogen goes down, you may gain weight. It was found that women in menopause usually accumulate fat around the waist. Unfortunately fatty tissue may also build up near internal organs, increasing risks for diabetes, heart disease and other serious disorders.
#12. Reduced breast fullness – most age-related breast changes develop close to menopause, when estrogen levels decline.
#13. Depression – emotional symptoms of menopause may be even more uncomfortable than headache, hot flashes, night sweats and other physical sensations.
#14. Trouble concentrating – can't focus and remember things? It may be the first symptom of menopause!
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#15. Stiff joints – it may be a bit more difficult to move because of stiff and painful joints, especially if you follow sedentary lifestyle and don't exercise regularly.
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