Menopause is a permanent end of menstruation, and it can cause many changes in your body. It occurs in women who are in their late 40s or early 50s. Also, it results in a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone hormones in the ovaries giving rise to symptoms that include hot flashes, weight gain or vaginal dryness.
At What Age Does Menopause Occur?
Usually, it occurs between the ages of 45 to 55. The age is thought to be genetically determined. Things such smoking and intensive treatments like chemotherapy can also accelerate ovarian decline resulting in early menopause.
Why Does Menopause Occur?
It occurs due to the decrease in the levels of hormones. As women age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop hormone levels that influence various systems in the body.
What is Premature Menopause?
It is experienced by women who are 40 years or younger. It may occur due to surgeries or as a side effect of medicines.
What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?
Some common symptoms in women are:
- Hot flashes: sudden feeling of warmth in the upper part of the body. Things that trigger hot flashes are spicy foods, alcohol, smoking, tight clothing, stress, anxiety and hot weather.
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness.
- Discomfort during sex.
- Urinary urgency
- Emotional changes
- Dryness of the skin, eyes or mouth.
Why Does Sex Hurt After Menopause?
Virginal dryness can lead to discomfort or pain during sex. So, talk to your doctor for some prescription medicines.
How Does Menopause Affect Bone Health?
Bone mass gets decreased by an average of 25% from the time of menopause to age 60. This condition can lead to osteoporosis that can be detected using a test known as bone mass densitometry.
Does Menopause Affect Mental Health?
It can affect women’s mental health by causing mood swings. Also, it can make them depressed, anxious, unable to concentrate, forgetful and irritated.
What Screenings Are Needed?
It can give rise to other health conditions. So, regular screenings should be done to help you identify them at an early stage. They include: mammogram, pap test and human papillomavirus test, blood test such as sugar and cholesterol levels, blood pressure and bone mass densitometry.
Note: Menopause is not a disease, but rather a phase in a woman’s life cycle.