Menopause is a process when a woman’s menstrual periods stop for 12 months. It typically happens between ages 45 and 55.
As women grow older, their ovaries gradually stop releasing eggs and making hormones like estrogen.
Therefore, their menstrual periods grow further and eventually stop completely.
After 12 months without a period, a woman can say she’s gone through menopause.
Menopause is a big midlife change for women, and it is important to know the symptoms and signs to prepare for it.
According to experts from NIH, here are five things every woman should know about menopause.
Midlife transition is a phase in which women may experience skipped and unpredictable menstrual periods.
It can last between 1 and 10 years, and some women may finish the transition faster than others.
During the transition, women may have less frequent periods and other symptoms at some point during their 40s.
They may also have other symptoms, including hot flashes, poor sleep, and mood changes.
Some women may have vaginal dryness, weight gain, and thinning hair. In many women, bone density may start to decrease.
Hot flashes are a very common symptom during the midlife transition. The heat sensation could rise to the head and chest and then disappear.
While a mild hot flash may feel like being embarrassed, a strong hot flash may make your skin appear very red and sweaty, especially at night.
Many women can experience hot flashes for several years after menopause.
To reduce the symptoms, women can take medicines. The most effective FDA-approved treatment is low-dose hormone therapy.
Another option is an antidepressant that is FDA-approved for treating moderate to severe hot flashes.
Disturbed sleep at night
During menopause, women may feel their sleep is disturbed. This is because their hormone levels change.
Hot flashes and night sweats can also cause women to wake up.
The medicines that can help with hot flashes may also help solve sleep problems.
It is also helpful to use some strategies to help you sleep.
For example, if a hot flash or anything else wakes you up, avoid looking at a clock.
If you wake up, get out of bed briefly to read and then get back into bed to go back to sleep.
Regular exercise may also help women sleep better at night, and women should avoid using caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.
Finally, meditation and yoga may help women sleep smoothly.
Many women become irritable or feel moody during menopause. They may feel sad and anxious and cry easily. This is because of changes in hormones.
The experts suggest that women should pay attention to depression if their mood symptoms are longer than two weeks.
Recent research has shown that estrogen therapy helps reduce the risk of depression during menopause.
The midlife transition is a phase of life that brings gradual changes. Many women should try to improve their wellbeing during the time.
It is important to eat well, exercise regularly, and get quality sleep.
The healthier women are at midlife, the more successful they’ll be combating age-related changes and diseases.
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