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Do you feel that your body may be entering menopause?
Menopause is an entirely normal stage that affects all women as they age. It's defined as the changes a woman goes through either just before or after she stops menstruating. Generally speaking, women usually begin to experience menopausal symptoms between the ages of 45 and 50.
While menopause affects all women, some experience symptoms that are so severe that it impacts their everyday life. Fortunately, there are hormone replacement therapies that can help to reduce the severity of these symptoms.
Knowing whether or not you have entered menopause is important for your health. Here are 7 severe menopausal symptoms to watch out for so that you can start hormone treatments at the first sign of change.
1. Hot Flashes and Sweating
We all know the classic image of the menopausal woman overcome by sudden and intense bouts of sweating.
Be it the night sweats or the day sweats, hot flashes are one of the most commonly experienced symptoms of menopause affecting roughly 85% of women.
Hot flashes are a sudden flash of warmth that takes over the body. This creates a flush or redness or sweating that is most noticeable in the face or the upper body. These flashes can range from a brief and delicate flush to an extreme and sudden sensation of hotness.
Why do these hot flashes take place?
Hot flashes are the result of a decreased level of estrogen. This begins to occur naturally as women age and receive smaller supplies of estrogen. This is often where hormone replacement therapy comes into play and helps to reduce these occurrences.
2. Difficulty Sleeping
With the onset of night sweats, it's no surprise the majority of menopausal women experience difficulty with their sleep.
While exact symptoms vary from woman-to-woman, menopausal sleeping difficulties are characterized by:
- Difficulty sleeping through the night
- Tossing and turning
- Sleep disorders
- Feelings of exhaustion throughout the day
Women may find that their sleep is less restful and their brain remains active whilst trying to sleep.
These sleep difficulties may come at all different stages throughout menopause. In fact, research indicates that sleep difficulties may come as early as 7 years before the official onset of menopause.
3. Irregular Menstrual Bleeding
Did you think you were finished with your period only for it to appear suddenly six months after your last cycle?
Irregular bleeding is another natural aspect of menopause. This may appear in the form of sudden, intense bleeding or long-term spotting.
This menstrual irregularity is most common before the woman officially enters menopause. This is usually between ages 40-45. Again, this is just another result of hormonal imbalance and the lacking of estrogen and progesterone.
If you feel that your on-and-off bleeding becomes very intense, be sure to contact your doctor. Severe on-and-off bleeding can be a sign of endometrial cancer.
4. Vaginal Dryness
If you've been experiencing vaginal dryness, itchiness or irritability, it may mean that you are in the beginning the stages of menopause.
When estrogen levels decrease, the vaginal tissue becomes more dry, thin and less elastic. The natural lubrication becomes minimized and penetration may become painful and cause irritation.
Due to this fact, it's essential for menopausal women to use a lubrication aid during penetration. This will help make sex more comfortable and reduce the risk of hurt and infection.
This vaginal dryness may be one of the more emotionally tolling aspects of menopause. For this reason, it's helpful to seek professional help and outway the options to help combat the dryness.
5. Weight Gain
If you feel that you are beginning to gain weight as you enter menopause, rest assured this is a natural result of a change in hormones.
Menstrual-related weight gain is often the result of a slowed metabolism. As men and women begin to age, their metabolism naturally begins to slow. Unfortunately for women, this slow is often more noticeable especially come the onset of menopause.
Hormonal changes during menopause are noted to influence weight gain and the redistribution of fat. For women, this menopausal related weight gain is characterized by a thickening around the waist.
To combat this, be sure to incorporate cardio into your daily life. Activities such as walking, swimming and yoga are low-impact yet still effective measures for combating weight gain.
6. Mood Swings and Irritability
Due to all of the changes in hormones taking place, women may feel they are on a rollercoaster ride of emotion.
Are you feeling happy one minute and on the verge of tears the next? While it may feel usual at first, rest assured this is a normal part of menopause that is experienced by the majority of women.
Why the sudden change in mood?
These mood swings are typically the result of an imbalance of hormones. When the production of estrogen reduces, so does the production of mood-regulating neurotransmitters.
In combination with this imbalance, these mood swings are also the result of other menopausal symptoms such as insomnia, weight gain and irregular bleeding. These mood swings can be sudden and intense and more prominent during certain weeks.
7. Reduced Libido
In connection to vaginal dryness, a reduced sex drive is a natural occurrence for menopausal women.
While this is often the result of a hormonal imbalance, it may also be combined with the additional, emotionally tolling aspects of menopause. For women using medication offset-set the severity of menopausal symptoms, this medication may also reduce libido.
Fortunately, there are hormones and supplements that can help women increase their sex drive during this time.
After all, menopause shouldn't have to result in a reduced sex life!
Putting an End to Severe Menopausal Symptoms
As women continue to age, it's natural for their body to experience changes. Nearing the ages of 45-50, these changes are often marked by menopause and may cause a serious strain on one's everyday life.
While symptoms vary from woman to woman, there are certain symptoms that are more commonplace and can be expected during this time.
From vaginal dryness and mood swings to hot flashes and a gradual change in sex drive, these symptoms have the ability to severely influence a woman's daily life.
Fortunately, there are steps women can take to reduce the severity of these severe menopausal symptoms. Hormone replacement, for example, helps to offset these negative symptoms and allow menopause to be more bearable for women.
Looking to find out more? Visit our website to learn more about hormone replacement therapy and how it can help you!
Published: July 28, 2018
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