During menopause, the production of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone hormones becomes disrupted and can consequently lead to hormonal fluctuations. These changes in hormone patterns can cause to the body to react in strange ways; responses which are most commonly known as menopause symptoms. Read on to discover the five most common symptoms of menopause.
Vaginal dryness is an extremely common symptom of menopause that almost all women will suffer from. Its symptoms include itching, burning, soreness, pain or light bleeding during intercourse. Frequent and or urgent urinary needs have also been reported. This condition is triggered by a drop in hormone levels, mainly estrogen.
Usually, estrogen keeps vaginal tissue healthy by helping to maintain normal vaginal lubrication, tissue elasticity, and acidity. Each of these factors helps maintain a natural defense layer against urinary tract and vaginal infections. Thus, when estrogen levels decrease, so to do the natural defenses; resulting in a thinner, less elastic, and more fragile vaginal lining.
Hot flashes are the most commonly reported symptom women experience during menopause. They are often described as sudden, intense feelings of heat. Although the severity, duration, and frequency of hot flashes varies from woman to woman, most women will agree that they are frustrating and interfering.
Loss of libido
When hormone levels fall, many women find that their libido will also. It can be an extremely tough side effect of menopause as it can affect a couples intimacy and overall relationship. In addition to hormonal causes, vaginal dryness can also have a negative impact on libido.
Night sweats are extremely similar to hot flashes; however, they are characterized as night sweats because they only occur when a women sleeps. Often women who experience the condition, will find themselves waking up in the night drenched in sweat and unable to fall back to sleep. Insomnia and a loss of energy can be the result if the symptom persists.
There are many reasons why a woman can experience irregular periods, but when she reaches her 40's or 50's, an irregular period is primarily associated with menopause. This can sometimes come as a shock to women who have received their periods like clockwork for the past 30 years. However, this common menopause symptom occurs when fluctuating hormone levels causes delays in ovulation, and therefore menstruation.
These are the most common symptoms of menopause, and all of these are caused by hormonal changes. To get relief from these menopause symptoms, healthy lifestyle changes combined with natural supplements can help tackle the hormonal imbalance. Click on the following link to learn more about coping with menopause symptoms.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
- Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.