THE MENOPAUSE EXPLAINED
The menopause is when a woman is no longer able to conceive and her body has ceased menstruating.
The average menopausal age for women in the UK is 51 but most experience symptoms for many years leading up to this and after their periods have stopped.
When a woman hasn’t had a menstrual cycle and period for 12 months, they are menopausal, prior to this, they are peri menopausal
There are 3 different stages to the menopause:
Menopause occurs when the ovaries stop producing as much of the hormone oestrogen and no longer releases an egg during menstruation. Menopause can also occur when a woman's ovaries are affected by a range of medical procedures, such as cancer treatments, or when the ovaries are surgically removed, such as a hysterectomy.
Hormonal changes during the menopause causes a range of symptoms but it can also increase the risk of osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, genito-urinary conditions and affect the eyes, skin, hair and cognitive and mental health.
There is an extensive range of symptoms, and here are some of the common, and the lesser known symptoms
Symptoms (including common and lesser known)
• Aches & pains
• Irregular and/or heavier periods
• Disturbed sleep, insomnia and strange dreams
• Head aches & migraines
• Extreme fatigue
• Low moods and depressions
• Hot flushes
• Loss of libido
• Increased body fat
• Stiff joints, reduced flexibility and tight muscles
• Vaginal dryness
• Frozen shoulder
• Intolerance to foods not prior affected by
• Brain fog, forgetfulness and problems concentrating
• Nausea and digestive problems
• Loss of confidence
• Imposter syndrome, anxiety and panic attacks
• Skin problems including acne, dry, itchy skin, changes to skin texture and appearance
• Sore/tender breasts
• Reduced bone density and higher risk of breaks
• Dizzy sleeps and vertigo
• Bladder weakness
• Thinning hair
• Increased UTI's
• Dry eyes & mouth
• Breathing difficulties, tight chest and heart palpitations
• Changes in smell and taste
• Decreasing fertility
• Brittle nalls & facial hair
• Body odour
Many menopausal symptoms can be reduced through positive changes in nutrition and lifestyle, but in many cases HRT is more beneficial.
Watch this space for more Menopause Awareness Month blogs!
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