Every woman, after a certain point of time, expects to reach menopause. However, there is a lot of confusion and stress surrounding the topic, and many myths have continuously plagued the understanding women have of menopause.
Menopause, while absolutely natural, is dreaded by many women who fear that it might bring disorders, diseases, or permanent effects on their appearance.
Well, it is crucial to understand that we all have unique bodies and, therefore, unique experiences. Not every person with a uterus goes through the same symptoms, regardless of how common they may be.
So, researching the subject and talking to your gynecologists can give you the best idea of what to expect from your cycle.
Here are some things that can clear up your understanding of menopause!
What is menopause, and what happens during that period?
Menopause, as the name suggests, is a ‘pause’ in your menstruation cycle. More than a pause, it is the stage you reach in your life as a woman when you stop getting your periods.
It’s not just an irregular period cycle in which you don’t get your periods for a couple of months but is only diagnosed when they don’t come for a whole year!
Menopause refers to a complete stoppage in your reproductive hormone generation. Therefore, you are not supposed to bleed from your vagina after reaching this stage. If so happens, you must get yourself evaluated by a doctor immediately.
When do women get menopause?
Women generally get their menopause in their late 40s or 50s. However, the effects of the upcoming menopause start occurring much earlier as the production of hormones slow down in the 30s itself.
But in the case of some other women, they might get their menopause much later and experience menstruation even in their late 50s.
Well, many exterior and artificial factors play a role in determining the age at which you might get your menopause. Your lifestyle significantly affects your hormonal conditions.
So, if you are a regular smoker or drinker, your experience of menopause could be a lot different, as ovarian decline happens faster in such bodies. This also occurs in those women who have undergone extensive medical treatments like chemotherapy.
What are some common signs and symptoms of menopause?
While the experience of menopause changes from woman to woman, it is good to be on the lookout for symptoms to prepare for your cycle.
Before reaching menopause, it is very common to have irregular periods and an abnormal amount of blood flow. It can be frequent periods and heavy flow or larger gaps between two cycles with a lighter flow. Well, that entirely depends on your body type, health, and medical and genetic history.
As menopause is primarily a change in the hormonal distribution in your body, many of the common symptoms can be associated with your mental state. A lot like pregnancy, these could be anxiety, severe mood swings, problems in sleeping, self-esteem issues, headaches or migraines, etc. These symptoms are completely normal and are not at all permanent.
Apart from the problems with your mental state, several menopause symptoms are physically evident too. These hormonal changes give way to dryness all over your body, i.e., skin, eyes, mouth, and hair. Skin and hair problems also emerge according to their quality, but these are, again, temporary.
However, sometimes these menopause symptoms can become too problematic for you. In such cases, you can consult a gynecologist and undergo menopause treatment easily.
What are hot flashes, and why are they so common during menopause?
Hot flashes (or flushes) are another common symptom of menopause. It is noticed in more than 80% of menopausal women.
However, these symptoms are such that they might have never been experienced by the concerned lady before. This is because the main cause of hot flashes is the hormonal imbalance your body goes through during that time.
The production of minute amounts of estrogen by your ovaries messes with your brain’s understanding of your body temperature. So, these hot flashes last for a few minutes in which your upper body feels all heated up, making you sweat a lot.
It can reach unbearable levels when your body is exposed to other kinds of heat like sunlight, alcohol, or spicy food. Hence, it is recommended to avoid such things when you start feeling hot flashes frequently.
Wearing appropriate fabrics, eating cooler food items like uncooked vegetables and fruits, and keeping your body fully hydrated can help a lot with these flashes.
What is the effect of menopause on your bones?
Fluctuation in your reproductive hormones can also affect the calcium levels in your bones, leading to the depletion of bone density. It can cause a condition known as osteoporosis and render you weaker bones that can randomly give you fractures.
So, you must avoid this condition by adding rich sources of calcium to your daily diet and keeping yourself away from consuming narcotic and alcoholic substances. Your doctor can also prescribe you medicines to prevent severe damage to your bones at this time.
Do you gain weight during menopause?
Hormonal changes are bound to make you gain weight. It is a common occurrence throughout the life cycle of a uterus, so you need not be worried about it.
However, maintaining a regular exercise routine and following a balanced diet can help you control any and all kinds of weight gain.
Can anything be done to increase hormone production?
Hormone replacement therapy is an option considered to leverage the overall hormone production in your body.
It can indeed help avoid severe hot flashes and bone damage. But these kinds of therapies also come with their own risks, and depending on the condition of your body; they might not be an apt recommendation for you.
Thus, it is best to consult your doctor before making any decision.
It should be kept in mind that menopause is the threshold to all the health problems that can occur in a woman’s body. So, if you take proper care of your body during this period, you can avoid coming across major health issues, even cancer, in the future.