MOST women will experience some symptoms of menopause as they grow older.
The severity of this can range person to person, but what can you expect and when does it typically begin? We’ve got all the details…
Every woman goes through menopause and the symptoms usually start between the ages of 45 and 55[/caption]
What is the menopause?
Menopause is a natural part of ageing, which usually happens when a woman is between the age of 45 and 55.
In the UK, the average age for a woman to go through menopause is 51.
It occurs when oestrogen levels in the body start to decline.
During this time periods become less frequent or they can suddenly stop, and after menopause occurs women will be unable to become pregnant naturally.
Menopause occurs when oestrogen levels in the body start to decline, which can cause hot flushes[/caption]
Around one in 100 women experience menopause before the age of 40, and this is known as premature ovarian insufficiency or premature menopause.
What are the signs and symptoms of menopause?
The severity of menopausal symptoms can vary depending on the individual.
They can range from mild to significantly interrupting your daily routine.
Menopausal symptoms can start months or years before your periods stop, and can last until four years or longer after your last period.
- Hot flushes
- Changing or irregular periods
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Anxiety and loss of onfidence
- Low mood, irritability and depression
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex
- Reduced libido (sex drive)
- Problems with concentration or memory
- Weight gain
- Bladder control
If menopause occurs prematurely, your GP may be able to help with a Hormone Replacement Treatment[/caption]
Is there a treatment for menopause?
If your menopausal symptoms are causing you discomfort or occur before the age of 45, your GP may be able to help.
In severe cases they can offer:
- Hormone Replacement Treatment to be administered through tablets, implants, gels or skin patches and help to replace oestrogen.
- Vaginal creams or lubricants for vaginal dryness
- Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) which can help with anxiety
How does the heatwave affect sufferers?
While many menopausal women have described hot flashes as their own “personal heatwave”, a period of extreme heat is never going to help matters.
When going through the menopause, the hypothalamus gland in the brain (which regulates temperature) effectively needs to readjust itself.
Not only do menopausal women experience hot flashes in the day, night sweats are also incredibly common – and made worse by the heatwave no less.
To cope with the uncomfortable combination of heatwave and hot flash, many women find sipping on cold drinks and avoiding spicy goods, caffeine and alcohol helps regulate their temperature.
What causes menopause?
Menopause occurs when the body’s sex hormones change, and this occurs naturally as you age.
Your ovaries reduce the amount of oestrogen produced and will stop releasing an egg each month.
There is no clear cause as to why early menopause happens before the age of 45.
Sometimes it can be triggered by surgeries such as some breast cancer treatments or when the ovaries are removed, or even from medical conditions such as Down’s syndrome.
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