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MENOPAUSE: CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS

menopause

Menopause occurs when a woman hasn’t menstruated in 12 consecutive months and can no longer become pregnant naturally.

 It usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55, but can develop before or after this age range .

Menopause can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes and weight gain. For most women, medical treatment isn’t needed for menopause.

Most women first begin developing menopause symptoms about four years before their last period. Symptoms often continue until about four years after a woman’s last period.

The median age for menopause is 51, though it may occur on average up to two years earlier for African-American and Latina women.

More studies are needed to understand the onset of menopause for non-Caucasian women.

What are the symptoms of menopause

If menopausal symptoms occur, they may include hot flashes, night sweats, pain during intercourse, increased anxiety or irritability, and the need to urinate more often.

Hot FlashesHot flashes occur in more than two-thirds of North American women during perimenopause and almost all women with induced menopause or premature menopause.

Night Sweats Doctors often hear their patients complain of night sweats.

Night sweats refer to excess sweating during the night.The hot flashes that accompany it can occur at night and cause sweating.

Irregular periods

Changes to the menstrual pattern are the first noticeable symptoms .Some women may experience a period every 2 to 3 weeks. Others will not menstruate for months at a time.

Lower fertility

Perimenopause is the 3-to-5-year period before menopause.

During the perimenopausal stage, a woman’s estrogen levels will drop significantly. This reduces her chances of becoming pregnant.

Vaginal dryness

Dryness, itching, and discomfort of the vagina tend to occur during pre menopause.

As a result, some women may experience dyspareunia, or pain during sex . Women experience this pain due to lowering estrogen levels. These lower levels cause vaginal atrophy.

Vaginal atrophy is an inflammation of the vagina that happens as a result of the thinning and shrinking of the tissues, as well as decreased lubrication.

Disturbed sleep

It can be difficult for women to fall asleep and stay asleep as they progress through menopause.

In some cases, night sweats can lead to discomfort during the night and difficulty sleeping. Sleep disturbance may also be caused by insomnia or anxiety.

Problems focusing and learning

Menopause can affect cognitive functions, such as concentration.

Some women may also experience short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing for long periods.

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