What is menopause?

Menopause is a point in time usually 12 months after a woman’s last period. Women may face changes in their monthly cycles, hot flashes, or other symptoms in the years leading up to menopause. The age where you can experience menopause symptoms vary, but it typically occurs in your late 40s or early 50s.

Menopause can cause many changes in your body and the symptoms that occur are the results of a decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries.

Top 5 things that you should know about menopause

  1. 1The average age for the onset of menopause is 51
    The majority of women will stop having periods somewhere between the age of 45 -55. However, the beginning stages of declining ovary function can start years before that in some women. Other factors such as smoking or chemotherapy can accelerate the decline of the ovary, resulting in earlier menopause.
  2. 2Menopause is not the same as perimenopause
    Perimenopause is the period of time right before menopause begins. During this phase, your body will start to transition into the menopause phase. This means that the hormone production from your ovaries is beginning to decline. You may begin to experience some symptoms commonly associated with menopause such as hot flashes. Your menstrual cycle too will start to become irregular, but it won’t cease. Once you have stopped having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months, it means that you have reached menopause.
  3. 3Symptoms that you could experience
    About 75% of women say that they experience hot flashes during menopause, making it the most common symptom experienced by menopausal women. Hot flashes can occur either during the day or at night.

    Some women also mention that they experience muscle and joint pain, or mood swings. It may be difficult to determine whether these symptoms are caused by shifts in hormones, life circumstances or the aging process.
  4. 4How to know when you have hot flashes
    During hot flashes, you will likely feel your body temperature rise. It affects the top half of your body and your skin may even turn red in colour or become blotchy. This rush of heat could lead to sweating, heart palpitations, and dizziness.

    Hot flashes may come once daily or even multiple times a day. It can occur in the course of one to several years. You can reduce the occurrence of hot flashes by avoiding triggers, including:
    • Consuming alcohol or caffeine
    • Eating spicy food
    • Feeling stressed
    • Being under the hot weather or in a high-temperature room
  5. 5Menopause can affect your bone health
    The decline in estrogen production can affect the amount of calcium in your bones. This can lead to a significant decrease in bone density, leading to a condition commonly known as osteoporosis. It can make you more prone to getting a hip, spine and other bone fractures.

Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle

Following menopause, your risk for certain conditions like osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease may increase. Hence, you need to maintain a healthy diet and get plenty of exercises to manage your symptoms and avoid unnecessary weight gain.

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