Everything you need to know about Menopause: Causes, Symptoms & Lifestyle Changes

Menopause marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles. Every woman goes through this phase. So, to know more about this and what causes it, read below.
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What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process. The menstrual cycles permanently cease due to the natural depletion of ovarian oocytes from aging. It is diagnosed when a women has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. It usually happens in your 40s or 50s. It is not a disease or a condition. Menopause is a normal part of life. 

Even though it’s natural, menopause can bring drastic changes in the body. It can trigger severe symptoms in a woman’s body. There are many symptoms which help you determine when your menopause will begin. Genetic and ovary health play an important role here. About 1% of women begin menopause before the age of 40, which is called premature menopause. On the other hand, about 5% of women begin menopause between the ages of 40-45. This is called early menopause. In the United States, the average age is 51 for menopause. 

What are the symptoms of Menopause?

Although, menopause is a natural condition, the signs and symptoms of menopause are severe. Every woman’s menopause is unique. In the months or years leading up to menopause, the symptoms include:

  • Irregular periods
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Urinary problems
  • Weight gain

Weight Gain

  • Dry skin
  • Thinning hair
  • Sleep problems

Sleep problems

  • Mood swings
  • Loss of breast fullness
  • Headaches
  • Reduced muscle mass
  • Increased hair growth on other areas of the body
  • Memory problems

Memory Problems

  • Racing heart
  • Lower fertility 

The symptoms are different for every woman. Irregular periods are the first sign of menopause. Some women get periods every 2-3 weeks whereas others don’t menstruate for months. These changes are severe and drastic. They interrupt the normal functioning of your body. When you begin to notice such symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor. Your doctor may conduct certain tests to find out if you’ve entered menopause or not. 

Menopause

What causes Menopause?

Menopause is a natural biological process and occurs as the ovaries age and produce less reproductive hormones. There are lower levels of:

  • Estrogen
  • Progesterone 
  • Testosterone
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH)

The ovarian follicles that produce and release eggs from the ovary wall allow menstruation and fertility. During menopause, there is loss of active ovarian follicles. In some cases, menopause is caused due to injury or surgical removal of ovaries. 

Lifestyle Changes:

Once you’ve been diagnosed with menopause, you can adapt to certain lifestyle changes to feel better and deal with the symptoms in a better way. 

  • Staying comfortable – Wear loose and thin clothes, especially during night. It helps to manage hot flashes. Keep your surroundings cool and warm.
  • Exercise –It is important to manage your weight during menopause. Watch your calorie intake. It improves your mood and increases energy. 

Exercise

  • Relaxation Techniques –Practice yoga, meditation or deep breathing. It helps to relax your mind.
  • Sufficient Sleep –Make sure you’re sleeping well. 

Sufficient Sleep

  • Skincare –Dry skin is a symptom of menopause. Apply moisturizer frequently and take care of your skin. 
  • Diet –Watch your diet and take calcium, vitamin D and magnesium supplements to reduce risk of osteoporosis and increase energy levels. 

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