Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s aging process. It marks the beginning of a new phase of freedom in life without periods or pregnancy. While the changes that happen in women’s bodies are similar, every woman experiences menopause differently. Your caregivers are here to guide you through this transformation.
What to Expect
Changes caused by menopause happen slowly over time. The beginning of menopause is considered normal at any time after age 40. A change in your menstrual periods is a common sign of perimenopause, or the onset of menopause. They may become heavy or irregular. This happens when the ovaries start producing less estrogen. Eventually, your menstrual periods will stop. With the decline in estrogen, you may experience symptoms such as hot flashes, problems sleeping, vaginal and urinary tract changes, bone loss or emotional changes. For some women, symptoms of menopause are minor, but others may find them more intrusive. Please discuss your symptoms with your caregiver, especially those that are not normal for you, as they may be signs of a more serious problem.
Symptoms of Menopause
Common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause include:
- Hot flashes
- Unusual menopausal cycle
- Sleep problems
- Vaginal and urinary tract changes
- Changes during sex
- Emotional changes
- Bone loss and osteoporosis
- Skin and hair changes
Menopause symptoms can be eased with hormone therapy, a healthy diet, and exercise. If you are experiencing discomfort from menopause, set up an appointment to consult your caregiver.
Women remain sexually active through perimenopause and menopause. Be aware that women are still able to become pregnant until one year after their last period.
With menopause, decreased estrogen may make the vagina dry, making intercourse uncomfortable. Vaginal lubricants can help remedy this, and regular sex may help the vagina keep its natural elasticity.
Some women find their libido, or sexual drive, decreases around or after menopause. This is a normal part of menopause and is caused by decreased hormone levels. It can be treated with hormone therapy.
The fluctuation of hormone levels brought on by menopause can affect ovulation and change bleeding patterns. Although periods tend to be less regular around menopause, irregular bleeding can signal a problem, including cancer. If you experience bleeding that is not normal for you, contact Clinic Sofia.