“It is a known fact that every woman, at some point in their midlife (40-50s), will experience symptoms related to menopause, potentially with associated physical changes.”
Even though menopause can start before 40 (which is called premature menopause), the average age of menopause is 51. Reasons you might go into a premature menopause vary but to give you a couple: smoking and certain medications treatments can cause menopause to come earlier than usual. Only an average of 5% of women naturally go into early menopause (1).
Why do we go into menopause? Well, the main cause of menopausal symptoms are changing levels of hormones produced by our ovaries. As we get older, the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone lessens causing hormone levels to fluctuate. This, in turn, produces changes to the menstrual cycle.
- Cycles can become longer, shorter or irregular
- Bleeding may become lighter
- Or, bleeding may become unpredictable and heavier
Eventually, your ovaries will stop releasing eggs causing your menstruation cycle to stop.
Menopause is not something that happens overnight, it is more of a process. Before menopause, most women experience what we call peri-menopause (early symptoms) and, after menopause – that is12 months in a row without a period – women will face post-menopause symptoms.
In a nutshell, Menopause symptoms can often last from 5 to 10 years, and vary in intensity and severity, though some women fly through it, without much trouble.
Still, since the arrival of menopause symptoms can significantly affect a woman’s quality of life and create confusion, it is very important to be aware and to understand and recognize what are normal symptoms and also to take action in order to minimize them.
The 29 menopause symptoms listed below are some of the more frequently occurring symptoms that a menopausal woman may feel at one point or another when they begin experiencing menopause (2).
Even though the above list is LONG and may be scary, do not fret! Most women will not experience them all as no two women are the same.
The main tip to help you alleviate and manage menopause symptoms is to have a healthy lifestyle overall:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce your stress levels as much as possible
- Keep regular sleeping hours
- Find ways to maintain good mental health
- Definitely quit smoking, if you still are
Hopefully this article will give you a lot of information in order to understand what menopause is and how to alleviate its symptoms. Coming soon, more about menopause symptoms, in detail!
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- Shifren, J.L., Gass, M.L.S., for the NAMS Recommendations for Clinical Care of Midlife Women Working Group. (2014). The North American Menopause Society Recommendations for Clinical Care of Midlife Women (link is external). Menopause; 21(10): 1038–1062.
- Australian Menopause Center.