Things To Expect From The Menopause

By Nick Hadji 11 months ago

1. You no longer make fertility hormones

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Your ovaries no longer make estrogen or progesterone. After your last period, production stops. This means that your sex hormones are now the lowest they've been and this comes with a whole host of symptoms and changes to your body, both physically and mentally.Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. Your periods become irregular/ stop

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One thing you will notice when you begin the menopause is that your period will start to become irregular. They may be less frequent, and will eventually stop. But during this time many women experience differences in their periods - they may become lighter, or more heavy, or arrive when not expected.

3. Hot flushes

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Hot flushes are a common and telling symptom of the menopause. Hormones are fluctuating as it is a time of great change in your body. These changes can result in your body having sudden and hot flushes, as well as periods where you feel very cold. Generally sweating more is also very common.

4. Mood swings

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Hormones are very much responsible for a lot of our changes in mood. If you think about it, our bodies are very complexly balanced form chemical processes and hormones. When things change, our mood can't expect to stay stable. It is totally normal to feel your mood being much more unpredictable - but there are ways to help!

5. Low sex drive

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Because of the low levels of the female sex hormones, it can certainly affect your sex drive. And, not only is the chemical process of our sex drive lacking, but there are other factors such as the physical and mental symptoms which can also make us feel a little lacklustre.

6. Sleepless nights

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Trouble sleeping is a very common factor during the menopause, and if you are wondering what is causing it and if it is related to this period of life - it certainly is. You may find yourself waking up a lot, waking up because of temperature changes as well as struggling to fall asleep.

7. Low self esteem

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Don't underestimate just how much the menopause can effect you. And it's completely normal to feel any kind of way. Low self esteem can come from a lack of hormones, as well as physical changes in your appearances and drops in your mood. If this is affecting you, make sure you research the methods which can help with the menopause.

8. A racing heart or palpitations

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The menopause has been known to speed up heart rate as well as cause palpitations which are irregular heart beat patterns. These can both feel quite alarming, but they are common symptoms of the menopause. But, if you feel these are serious it's always worth getting checked out.

9. Headaches/ migraines

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Headaches and migraines are unfortunately also something you could expect when ging through menopause. That being said, it doesn't affect all women! Headaches and migraines for some women are also a common side effect of periods - so this may not be so different in terms of symptoms.

10. Vaginal dryness

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The menopause causes many changes to your vagina due to the lower levels of sex hormones. You may experience vaginal dryness as a result, which can cause a feeling of itchiness or even discomfort during sex. But, there are easy ways to alleviate this, such as using a safe and recommended lubricant.

11. Pain during sex

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So this point leads on, to pain during sex. One reason could be due to vaginal dryness. But women have also experienced pain during sex due to the fact that the changes in the women's body during this time have resulted in temporary pain during intimacy. However, you should always inform your doctor about  this to check whether this is just a symptom or there is something more serious.

12. Random bleeding

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Another symptom you may find during this time is that you encounter random bleeding. Many women have reported this phenomenon. However, this is another symptom which should always be checked. The bleeding could be caused by various things such as a polyp - or it could be a symptom of something more serious.

13. You may feel people do not take it seriously

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Sadly, menopause is still something that doesn't have enough attention in terms of how much it affects women's lives, both mentally and physically. Many women have felt that they have not been taken seriously in terms of medical professionals or at the workplace for example, despite the fact that a lot of women truly struggle during this process.

14. Memory/ concentration problems

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Symptoms which are often overlooked during this time are things such as memory and concentration problems. It can hugely affect women's ability to work - s factor which should be recognised within the workplace. However, education is this area is still severely lacking.

15. Join pain and muscle aches

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You may experience that you have joint pains and muscle aches in your body. This may be in certain areas such as elbows and knees, or perhaps mildly all over the body. This should not last forever. It may be a temporary occurrence during the menopause.

16. A changing body

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Bodies change throughout our life. And menopause is one of these phases where a woman's body starts to change. You may experience weight gain, because of the decrease in female sex hormones, your body starts to store excess weight. You may also find that you are storing the fat in different places, for example, the abdominal area rather than the breast or thighs or hips which you may once have noticed gain the extra pounds.

17. Increase of urinary tract infections

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Many women have reported experiencing ore UTIs (Urinary Tract Infection) due to the menopause. The reason for this is because of the reduction of estrogen, which can mean that the lining of the urethra is thinner, meaning that the risk of infection can increase.

18. Anxiety

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Anxiety is a symptom experienced by many people during the menopause. The mental effects are sometimes often underestimated during the menopause, however, they are just as real and prevalent as the physical side effects. Anxiety is something that can really interfere with daily life.

19. Changes to your skin and hair

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You may notice changes in your skin and hair, whether that be the way it feels it the way it looks. You may feel like it looks a little dull in complexion or it feels a bit dry and irritated. This again is one of the physical changes and adjustments taking place in your body and it should settle after some time.

20. Irritation

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For many women the menopause is a really tough time. And one of these reasons is because sometimes the symptoms linked with the menopause aren't widely known. Many women will suffer without seeking help because they do not know why they are feeling this way. OR, they have found that f they do seek help they have not been taken seriously enough. Irritation is a common result of changes in mood, and a response to external and internal forces.

21. No more PMS!

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Okay, so it's not all bad. We realise we've been listing all of the negative symptoms here - but hey, no more PMS! There's no longer monthly bleeds and all of the horrible symptoms that come with that such as bloating, cramps etc.. And, some women find this time of life particularly freeing.

22. Cramping

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Although we've just said that you're finally rid of PMS symptoms, it ay not entirely true in all cases. Some women do still experience cramping. This is the changes taking place. However, this should not last long and should be a very temporary phase of the menopause.

23. Lower back pain

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Along with the cramping can come the lower back pain; Or, you may have the lower back pain in isolation. This is also a symptom which is similar to period symptoms. This should also not last for more than occasional periods, it should not be a persistent pain.

24. You may have less energy

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Less energy and lethargy is a very real and galling symptom of the menopause. And again, something that often people do not realise how debilitating this can be. Menopause can leave women exhausted. It is super important to prioritize yourself and get the rest you need.

25. Tender breasts

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Tender breasts can occur due to the drops of sex hormones, breasts may also lose some of their initial size. This symptom again, is one that should not last. And, it should not be mistaken for something more serious so of you experience breast pain or soreness it is always good to get checked.

26. An increased risk of certain health conditions

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It is super important to look after your body during this period of life. The menopause can increase your risk of certain health conditions such as, high blood pressure, heart disease and osteoporosis. But all of these risk factors can be reduced with changes to your lifestyle - such as healthy diets and exercising.

27. You may lose muscle mass

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So along with the wight gain, there is also the loss in muscle mass. This is a common symptom of menopause and ageing. But again, if you keep up a healthy lifestyle or continue an exercise regime you can reduce this - or you may not even experience this at all!

28. Low mood

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Low mood is one of the worst symptoms of menopause because it can leave you feeling extremely sad, negative or lethargic. While this is a very common and normal response to menopause - it's not something you should put up with! Once you realise the menopause is affecting you - it's time to get it back under control by contacting a medical professional.

29. It could last a long time

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Menopause won't just go away or vanish in just a couple of months. It can be a seriously long process for some women. That being said, once you have found the methods that work with you, you may control the symptoms of menopause and continue life as normal.

30. There are multiple ways to help!

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After reading this, we hope you're not feeling down about any of the things to expect during the menopause. Because each and every woman's experience is unique. And as we said before - there are so many things to research in terms of how best personally to help you. There are things such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT), as well as lifestyle changes and much, much more.

31. You're Not The Only One Going Through It!

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It can often feel like you're completely alone in these life changes, even though you're obviously not - and even when you're surrounded by people the same age, if you're not openly talking about it, you might be wondering whether you're the only one getting flushes, mood swings and everything else - but you're definitely not alone!

32. The Average Start Age For Menopause Is 51

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A lot of people might wonder when menopause is going to kick in for them, and the average age for menopause to 'officially' begin is 51. So it's a good idea to have this age in mind if you're approaching it, so you know when to expect it - and what to expect!

33. But You Can Stop Having Periods Between 45 And 55

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Although the average start age for the menopause is 51, you can actually stop having periods a lot sooner than that - even as early as the age of 45. This can differ from person to person, but on average you can stop having periods between the ages of 45 and 55.

34. Earlier Menopause Can Actually Be Triggered By Other Things

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While there are set ages to expect the menopause to kick in, there are actually other things that can trigger an earlier menopause. This includes smoking, which can actually trigger an earlier decline in your ovaries and stop periods, and also going through chemotherapy could make menopause start more quickly.

35. There Is A Thing Called Perimenopause, Too

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You've heard of menopause, but have you heard of perimenopause? This is actually the term given to the period of time before menopause begins. Perimenopause is the stage your body goes through when its preparing for the menopause - sort of like the transition period.

36. How Do You Know When You've Officially Entered Menopause?

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You can officially say that you've gone from the perimenopause stage to the official menopause when you go 12 straight months without having a period. It can be quite frustrating to have to wait that long to know for definite whether you've hit menopause though!

37. You Might Not Always Get Hot Flashes

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When people talk about - or think about - the menopause, the most common symptom people say is probably the hot flashes. But it's important to note that you're not guaranteed to get this - around 75 percent of people get this, which makes it very common, but 25 percent don't get it. So it's not strange if you don't!

38. Think About Life Changes Before Jumping To Menopause

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Because of the variety of symptoms associated with menopause, it can be very tricky to know for certain - so make sure to take into account everything else going on in your life before concluding it's definitely menopause. Mood swings and joint pain, for example, can still happen to anyone!

39. You Can Feel Cold With A Hot Flash

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Suffering through regular hot flashes, and everything that comes with it, may leave you thinking that you can expect to be hot and sweaty all day, every day - but that's not the case. Hot flashes can actually leave you feeling cold, too, when the flash stage has been and gone.

40. You Can Actually Reduce How Many Of These Flushes You Have

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If you're looking to avoid as many hot flashes as possible, there are actually some things that can trigger them, so you might want to avoid the following in order to be as comfortable as possible: spicy food, being in a hot place in general, drinking too much alcohol or caffeine, and being stressed.

41. Getting To A Healthy Weight Can Help

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We get it: you're too tired, mood-swingy, stressed and hormonal to want to work out much right now, but getting to a healthy weight can actually help you. If you avoid becoming overweight during the menopause, it can actually help to reduce hot flushes.

42. You Might Want To Re-Jig Your Diet, Too

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Changing your diet to match your needs as you age is so important, but especially so during the menopause. This is to keep your bone health as top priority, too. Make sure that your diet has lots of calcium and leafy greens for healthy bones, and you might want to try vitamin D supplements, too.

43. Don't Forget To Speak To Your Doctor, Too

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Just because the menopause is a natural stage of life, doesn't mean you have to avoid a doctor's appointment if you'd like to discuss anything. Doctors can help you to combat serious side effects of menopause, through advice or even prescription medication to minimize symptoms.

44. Focusing On Heart Health Is Extremely Important

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The menopause can cause certain risks when it comes to heart health, such as palpitations and less-flexible arteries, so it's important to do all you can to tackle that. This can easily be done by a healthy diet and a good exercise routine to stay in shape!

45. Gaining Weight Can Be A Natural Thing

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With all this talk about how important it is to stay a healthy weight and exercise, it's also important not to panic if you do put on weight - it's sometimes inevitable during the menopause, and especially as you get older, so a little weight gain is natural. What matters is trying to keep off excess unhealthy weight.

46. You Probably Won't Have The Same Experience As Those Close To You

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Those going through menopause are likely to look to their friends, sisters or mothers to compare experiences and ask for advice, but it's important to remember that everyone experiences this differently. So don't be disheartened if your experience is different (or worse) to those close to you.

47. You Can Still Have A Healthy Sex Life

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With so much focus on the downsides of having a low libido and vaginal dryness during the menopause, it's no wonder many people worry about having a happy sex life ever again! But of course it's still possible - sure, you might not feel like it all the time, but you can still enjoy sex, and there are plenty of products to help with dryness down there!

48. Menopausal Symptoms Can Last About 4 Years

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If you're wondering how long you're going to be putting up with all the mood changes, hot flushes and everything else, then the average is around 4 years after first starting menopause. But this can vary between everyone, so it might be less (or more) for you!

49. Talking Openly About It Helps!

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There's no reason you should be keeping it all inside if you're worried about anything to do with menopause - or even if you just feel weird telling everyone you're going through menopause. Talking openly about it - with friends, family and doctors - is always encouraged.

50. No, You Can't Get Pregnant

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With menopause comes the complete stopping of periods, which means no you can't get pregnant after beginning the menopause! It may seem obvious but it's worthy of note if you're not 100% how the menopause works in terms of your ovaries and hormones.