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23 Nov 2010 04:24 PM

Generally, a woman experiences menopause when she steps into her late forties and early fifties. There are also cases wherein menopause occurs at an earlier or a later stage in one’s life. Factors which may affect the onset of menopause may be genetics, lifestyle and environment...


Menopause Signs and Symptoms


Generally, a woman experiences menopause when she steps into her late forties and early fifties. There are also cases wherein menopause occurs at an earlier or a later stage in one’s life. Factors which may affect the onset of menopause may be genetics, lifestyle and environment. Menopause signs and symptoms may occur several years before the actual menopause period and these are called perimenopausal signs and symptoms.


Changes in menstrual flow (alternating periods of light and heavy menstrual flow), hot flushes and night sweats, irritability and mood swings, vaginal dryness, insomnia, and increased fat around the belly and waist signal the perimenopausal period. After several years, the actual menopause signs and symptoms would start to appear, which could actually affect women's health.


Hot Flashes/ Night Sweats


This is a common complaint of women having menopause. Hot flashes start out as a feeling of intensifying warmth which usually starts from the chest and going towards your head. Most of the time, it is also accompanied by profuse sweating and skin warmness. Hot flashes occur mostly during the evening which leads to night sweating and insomnia. It may last from a few seconds up to even hours which seriously disrupts a person's sleep. It occurs up to more than ten occurrences in a day.


Vaginal Dryness and Itchiness


Because of the hormone that keeps the vagina lubricated declines, lubrication is also lessened leading to a dry and uncomfortable feeling of a woman. Most of the time, using vaginal lubricant treats this discomfort but if it persists, a gynecologist may prescribe an estrogen cream.


Headaches and Easy Fatigability


Headache and difficulty of concentration also come as a menopause sign and symptom. It may even come to a point when a woman would take several short naps to regain her energy after doing minor tasks. Headaches can be very annoying and may cause trouble sleeping and doing activities of daily living.


Treatment for Menopause Signs and Symptoms


Hormone Replacement Therapy, like Premarin, may be considered as a gold standard in treating menopause signs and symptoms but some studies point out that it increases the risk of developing cancer. Herbal remedies have also become widespread such as Black Cohosh, Ginseng, and the like.


Exercise is a great way to fight off the effects of menopause because it keeps one’s body strong and immune system is boosted. It also gains the woman more energy in times of fatigue and exhaustion. Apart from that, eating nutritious foods especially foods rich in calcium is important.


Menopause does not necessarily mean that a having a womanly life has ended, but because of the menopause signs and symptoms, it has become a dreaded phenomenon by some if not almost all women. In a brighter perspective, having menopause could actually make one’s life lighter because the burden of having a monthly period has already been taken off one’s back.


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