Hormones regulate the processes of our body. These levels can be altered due to the way we live our lives. These happen due to the onset of specific disorders too. These can develop due to certain diseases also. Our ovaries produce estrogen and progesterone, and they keep the fertility of a woman in check. After 30 years of age, these hormone synthesis declines slowly. It stops altogether after a certain period and then there is no menstruation leading to inability to get pregnant. If you have skipped your periods for 12 months and more, you have hit menopause. The average age is between 51-52 years. There are some medical conditions which induce menopause except for the natural ceasing of the hormones. Uterus removal, antitumoral chemotherapy, radiation and genetically determined ovarian insufficiency can be few causes.
The most prominent symptoms are due to low estrogen levels. These symptoms can be experienced several years or even months before menopause. This is called perimenopause. The symptoms change from woman to woman, and the most common ones are:
Irregular menstrual cycle
Your periods could last for more than a week or could be heavier than usual. The cycle is disturbed and becomes irregular.
A sudden feeling of heat to the face and upper body spreading all over is due to the reduction in estrogen. Redness, sweating and heart palpitations follow it.
Increase in weight
Accumulation of fat on the waist and losing muscle mass is common as you are It becomes essential to have a healthy diet and indulge into exercise after menopause as abdominal obesity can cause diabetes, heart-related issues, etc.
Dryness of the private part is due to the lack of sex hormones. This results in painful intercourse or dyspareunia.
Its difficult to sleep at times during menopause and hot flashes can happen in the night causing you not to get proper sleep. You could feel tired, distracted, nervous after the night with very little sleep.
Women lose the sexual desires for quite some time due to less estrogen.
Hormonal shifts can lead to depression, mood switches and irritation.
There is a lot of urge to urinate when you hit menopause. With the loss of vaginal and urethral elasticity and increased weakness of the pelvic muscles, the problem is more prominent. UTI is also a common symptom due to a decrease in estrogen.
Brittle hair and thin skin
Collagen content goes down with passing years which leads to hair loss and skin thinning.
Calcium absorption gets affected when there is less estrogen. Bones become fragile, and they tend to fracture in such cases.