Did you know that by the age of 30, 90% of eggs disappear from the female body? What happens to the body when their supply comes to an end. Here are the most common signs of approaching menopause.
The age at which menopause occurs varies from woman to woman. It is curious that this feature is determined even at the stage of fetal formation in the womb, since the eggs begin to die off already during this period. As a rule, 1 to 2 million eggs are measured for a woman’s life, and with each ovulation the stock becomes smaller. Studies show that by the age of 30, 90% of eggs disappear from the female body.
But when the supply of eggs really comes to an end, the body begins to undergo serious changes. The level of estrogen gradually decreases, and the follicle-stimulating hormone increases. Such hormonal restructuring is visible even externally. But since you won’t be able to measure hormone levels at home, it’s better for you to have a holistic picture. So what signs should you pay attention to if you suspect that you are approaching menopause?
Remember that every woman experiences the restructuring of the body in her own way and can feel certain processes in a different light than the rest. However, for several years, as women approach menopause, they notice many symptoms that worsen as they approach the final point.
The most common signs of menopause can be considered hot flashes and night sweats, which sometimes begin 10 years before the onset of true menopause. In the early stages of menopause, these symptoms can be traced a few days before the start of menstruation and end after it ends. They are described as a sensation of heat engulfing the whole body, making you blush and sweat profusely. You may even wake up in the middle of the night in sweat and heat, as if you have a high fever.
These two symptoms are a very common sign of menopause, 85% of women suffer from them, and they can last from a few seconds to several minutes. The frequency and duration may vary. Hot flashes and night sweats are caused by changes in hormone levels, but it is known that stress greatly contributes to the aggravation of this symptom. This means that stress reduction can help with hot flashes. Nevertheless, HRT is considered one of the best measures to reduce hot flashes and night sweats. For those who cannot use hormones or are afraid of them, non-hormonal options are also available.
During this period, it may seem that everyone around does not behave as usual: they make louder noise, are rude more often, cannot understand elementary things. However, in fact, the culprit of the bad mood was the changed hormonal background. Studies show that irritability and mood problems can be caused by several reasons, including lack of sleep, characteristic of menopause, a drop in serotonin levels, anxiety for loved ones and other problems that occur at the age of 40 — 50 years.
Menstruation may seem erratic, becoming shorter in length, and sometimes not at all. If you haven’t had a monthly one or two cycles, this is a clear sign of approaching menopause. In most women during this period, the duration of the menstrual cycle is reduced to about 21-26 days, and missed menstruation is often observed, so it becomes almost impossible to track the period.
Changes in the nature of secretions are also common. They may gradually decrease, which is considered normal, but in some women, the discharge may become more abundant. It depends on the body and any problems with the uterus that may be present in the background. Be aware that if menstruation becomes completely irregular, cycles become shorter than 21 days, bleeding lasts longer than 10 days or pads and tampons are soaked for an hour or less, it may be other more serious problems causing these symptoms, and it is worth contacting a doctor immediately.
Although many women note a decrease in libido, others claim that after fifty their desire only increases). Some claim that they have known the joy of sex only after menopause. However, whatever the sensations, changes in sexuality and especially a decrease in libido are one of the harbingers of menopause. There may be several reasons for transformation, and it is important to study all the factors affecting the quality of life during this period. It can be stress in relationships, problems at work, as well as with children or parents, poor health and even an oppressive climate. A hormonal decrease in libido may be caused by a drop in estrogen levels and/or a decrease in testosterone levels.
Some women also note painful sensations during intimacy. This is another sign of age-related changes. When the estrogen level drops, moisture and elasticity in the vaginal area decrease. Dryness and compaction of tissues cause discomfort. This symptom is most common at the moment when menopause has already begun, but some women experience it as it approaches. The problem can be dealt with by injecting estrogen into the vagina. There are some non-hormonal options that tend to be less effective. Know that the continuation of sexual activity will improve blood flow to the tissues and the general condition of the body, which means that the problem is still worth fighting with all available means.
Sleep problems are a common symptom of menopause. Some women find it difficult to fall asleep initially, while others wake up in the middle of the night and cannot return to sleep for several hours. This is usually due to a change in the hormonal background. Hormone replacement therapy in small doses often helps women with this symptom. Progesterone, one of the HRT hormones, naturally causes drowsiness, and it is good to take it before going to bed. Others note that melatonin or even breathing practices work.
Absent – mindedness
As women approach menopause, they often note that they have become more forgetful and unable to concentrate. There may be a feeling that the brain simply does not work. The so-called “brain fog” occurs due to a drop in estrogen levels. It is suggested that this may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which means that HRT can provide protection against this unpleasant disease.
If the weight changes without changes in diet and sports regime, it may be a harbinger of menopause. You can exercise more than usual, but observe a steady but uncontrolled weight gain and accumulating deposits in the waist area. When the level of estrogen drops, women begin to gain weight in this area: studies have shown that estrogen protects against the formation of extra centimeters in the abdominal area. Alas, this greatly increases the risk of heart disease, which means that it is still better to reduce the amount of calories consumed, but it is definitely not worth reducing the sports load.
And pay attention to what useful elements a diet should contain during menopause.
Frequent occurrence of urinary tract infections
If it seems to you that the frequency of urinary tract infections is inexplicably increasing, you may be approaching menopause. This sign, like painful sexual intercourse, is another side effect of vaginal dryness, so it is less common during the approach period and is more common after the onset of actual menopause. The loss of estrogen causes vaginal dryness and also thinns these tissues. It, in turn, creates the possibility for a larger volume of E. coli to get from the rectum or anus into the urethra. This can cause infection and symptoms such as increased urination, burning at the end of urination, and others. Like painful sexual intercourse, the situation can be corrected with the help of local vaginal estrogen.