What are the signs and symptoms of menopause? Most women will go through menopause. Most of the time, it happens between the ages of 40 and 60. The average age for most women to have their last period is 51 or 52. Some women go through it in their mid-30s. Others may handle it closer to 70. There is a distinct moment of menopause for women. It is when the female ovaries shut down. They no longer produce the eggs for fertilization. They no longer produce the hormones that prepare the uterus for a potential pregnancy.
Many signs and symptoms of menopause happen during, before, and after the actual event. Here are some of them.
- A woman’s period stops – Technically, medical people might call that cessation of menses. However, it is the most obvious sign that the moment of menopause is here.
- Irregular periods – In the months and even years preceding menopause, women report their menses are irregular. They may be longer or shorter. They may be lighter or heavier. They are not what a women feels is regular.
- Hot flashes and night sweats – This is one of the notorious signs and symptoms of menopause. Before menopause, the body’s levels of estrogen begin to go down. That causes the hypothalamus to react by releasing bursts of hormones. Those hormones cause flushing and the feelings of heat.
- Mood swings – Fluctuating hormones leads to mood swings. Some women have mild symptoms while others have severe issues.
- Loss of sex drive or libido – Estrogen is a woman’s natural stimulant for desiring sex. In some cases, as estrogen levels decrease, so does a woman’s drive for sex.
- Vaginal dryness – Estrogen plays a significant role in producing the natural lubrication women have in their vaginas. As it goes down, so does the moisture for some vaginas.
- Anxiety and feelings of dread – Again, fluctuating hormones do a number on some women’s emotions.
- Incontinence – One of the benefits of estrogen in the female body is the muscle tone it provides. As the estrogen goes down, so the muscle tone also goes down. It can cause a loss of control in the urinary tract.
- Gastrointestinal issues – Many women report they have increased issues with indigestion, gas, nausea, and bloating. It is often due to shifting hormone levels.
There are many other signs and symptoms of menopause. When these symptoms become too much to handle, the best option is to speak with a doctor about them.