If you’re experiencing menopause symptoms, you’re not alone, we’re here to help! Menopausal symptoms can be a humanistic and economic burden to women since they can impact relationships, work performance and daily routines. Therefore, navigating through the process of this life phase alone can seem challenging, and perhaps a bit overwhelming. Here at Pandia Health we want to help you have the quality life you deserve by empowering you with the knowledge and resources needed to both manage symptoms, and make informed decisions about your health and well-being.
Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years. The actual definition is considered to be the consecutive 12 month window where a woman has not menstruated. This can sometimes be confusing, especially if you’re a woman using birth control to make your #periodsoptional for extended periods of time, which is why we’ve put together this handy guide to menopause symptoms.
Menopause can have many symptoms, each respective to the woman who is going through the process. We’ve listed the physical and emotional symptoms below:
Sudden sensation of heat on the chest, neck and face that often comes with sweating, skin flushing and palpitations that can persist for several minutes (1 to 10 minutes mostly). Hot flashes are experienced by 80% of menopausal women and can be mild, severe or somewhere in between. Some persons will have a couple weekly but other cases of hot flashes can be experienced every 2 hours. Similarly, some women may see hot flashes go away after 2 to 24 months while others will experience them for life.
Night sweats are also experienced from over 40% of menopause women. Together with hot flashes, it is known as vasomotor menopausal symptoms. Night sweat can be caused by hot flashes that occur at night or be independent.
The drop in estrogen and progesterone hormone levels affects your vulva and vagina. It may make the vulvar skin surrounding the vagina and the vaginal mucosa itself thinner and less elastic. As a result of this, women may feel irritation, itching, pain or burning while performing everyday activities. Sex can become uncomfortable, making arousal, orgasm, and overall satisfaction more challenging and less pleasant. One in four women are reported to have experienced vaginal dryness while in menopause.
Muscles lose tone making it easier for waistlines to expand. Hormone levels drops are again to blame but we need to be conscious that weight gain also is associated with aging, genetic factors and lifestyle.
Anxiety, characterized by excessive worry and fear, is a frequent symptom experienced by women during menopause. This period of hormonal fluctuations can cause significant changes in mood, as the body adjusts to declining estrogen levels. As a result, women may experience increased feelings of tension, nervousness, and unease, which can disrupt their daily routines and quality of life.
Depression, another common side effect of menopause, can further exacerbate the emotional challenges faced during this transitional period. As estrogen levels decline, the body’s production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, may also be affected. Consequently, women may experience persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed. It is crucial to differentiate between temporary mood swings and prolonged depressive episodes, as untreated depression can have severe consequences on one’s overall health and well-being.
The fluctuation in the estrogen and progesterone is again the cause of your emotions feeling like a rollercoaster. As the hormone levels rise this tends to improve. Women who have already suffered from depression or anxiety, as well as premenstrual syndrome (PMS), may be more propense to suffer mood swings while in menopause. Apart from the hormone levels playing a big part here, it is important to be aware that a woman is going through a lot at this time. Not only coping with physical and mental changes but also the change of their role, aging, the care of their elder family members, and much more.
Whether you’re looking for information on managing hot flashes or seeking relief from mood swings, we’ve got you covered! Learn more about our services and schedule a consultation with our expert team to start feeling better today. Take control of your health and start enjoying a better quality of life.
As we discussed on our menopause overview page, the process of menopause is what causes these symptoms. Here is a quick reminder of what happens during menopause:
Estrogen plays a critical role in regulating menstrual cycles, promoting the growth and development of female reproductive organs, and maintaining healthy bone density. It also affects other tissues throughout the body, including the brain, heart, and skin. As estrogen levels decrease during menopause, women may experience physical symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and bladder symptoms.
Additionally, menopause may also cause emotional symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, and depression. These are related to changes in hormone levels, as well as other factors such as sleep disturbances and stress. While every woman’s experience with menopause is unique, understanding the underlying biological processes that contribute to these signs and symptoms can help women manage their symptoms effectively and improve their overall quality of life.
I know what you’re asking yourself now. If the process of menopause is basically the main driver of most of these symptoms, what factors can start the process of menopause itself? There are multiple factors that can influence the menopausal transition of a woman – here are a few of the more important ones:
(*This list is not a comprehensive list and should not be solely be used for menopausal diagnosis)
The ovaries produce hormones such as estrogen and progesterone that regulate menstruation. If both ovaries are surgically removed, a woman will experience immediate menopause.
These cancer therapies can induce menopause and cause symptoms such as hot flashes during or shortly after the course of treatment. The halt to menstruation (and fertility) is not always permanent following chemotherapy, so birth control measures may still be desired.
About 1% of women experience menopause before age 40, which is known as premature menopause. Primary ovarian insufficiency refers to ovaries that fail to produce normal levels of reproductive hormones, stemming from genetic factors or autoimmune disease. This is a treatable condition and requires immediate evaluation by a healthcare provider.
A hysterectomy that removes the uterus but not the ovaries usually does not cause immediate menopause. Although a woman no longer has periods, her ovaries still release eggs and produce estrogen and progesterone. But surgery that removes both the uterus and the ovaries (total hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy) does cause immediate menopause. Even if the ovaries are not removed, there is some evidence that they stop working earlier due to the pelvic surgery itself, possibly related to an interruption in blood supply that feeds the ovaries.
The toxins in cigarettes have been shown to cause the ovaries to age, which means that smokers might reach menopause 1-2 years earlier than nonsmokers. Other toxins like alcohol, marijuana or recreational drugs may have similar effects but are not well studied.
Conditions such as Down syndrome or Turner’s syndrome can cause a woman to begin menopause at a younger age. Additionally, certain illnesses like mumps, pelvic tuberculosis (or other pelvic infections), thyroid diseases and some autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis also may lead to early menopause.
It is commonly believed that the age at which your mother or sisters experienced menopause could influence your own menopausal timing. Some evidence suggests that familial patterns of menopause might be observed, but it’s unclear whether this is due to genetic factors, shared environment, or both. There is no concrete risk data providing definitive answers on this. Furthermore, the discussion of family history in genetic counseling has been shown to be valuable for understanding risk factors for various conditions, including those related to menopause. Family history can provide insight into how genetics, environment, and lifestyle might influence health outcomes, including the timing of menopause
Some research suggests that Hispanic and African-American women reach menopause slightly earlier, and Chinese and Japanese women slightly later, than the average for Caucasian women.
Certain foods have been associated with the timing of menopause. For example, research has found that women who reported eating pasta and rice daily started menopause about 1.5 years earlier than those who didn’t. On the other hand, those who reported eating more oily fish and fresh vegetables, especially peas and beans, seemed to delay the onset of menopause by three years or more. Higher intakes of vitamin B6 and zinc also seem to be associated with later menopause. However, taking birth control pills or other fertility medications when you were younger, and the number of times you breastfed, do not seem to affect the age you go through menopause.
Fortunately, menopause symptoms are usually temporary and will eventually go away, but the duration and severity of these symptoms can vary from woman to woman. Menopause is only 1 day after which you have had 12 months of amenorrhea (no cycles), but when including perimenopause (the time from when you start experiencing symptoms until you go into menopause) this process lasts an average of seven years, but can go for as long as fourteen.
While some women may experience only a few mild symptoms that resolve within a few months, others may experience more severe and persistent symptoms that last for several years. Generally, most physical symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats (vasomotor symptoms) tend to decrease or disappear over time, while some symptoms such as vulvovaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness and sexual pain may get progressively worse as time goes on if they are not treated. Early treatment is key here since if it is not started early enough the vaginal tissue can suffer permanent changes. Emotional symptoms such as mood swings and anxiety may take longer to resolve. It’s important to note that some women may continue to experience symptoms even after menopause. However, there are various treatment options available to help manage menopause symptoms and improve overall health and well-being during and after menopause. If you experience menopause symptoms and you are not living your best life, schedule a consultation with Pandia Health’s expert doctors to discuss your options!
Our team of experts is dedicated to helping women manage their symptoms so that they can enjoy a higher quality of life. We offer a range of treatments for the common symptoms of menopause, such as menopausal hormone therapy or replacement therapy (HRT). We work closely with each patient to develop a personalized treatment plan that takes into account individual needs, preferences, and health history.
Don’t let the symptoms of menopause control your life any longer. Take control of your health today by signing up for an online consultation with our team and start feeling better today!
While we’re not quite sure where the myth came from, we can say that there are at least 34 menopause symptoms. The truth is that menopause can really shake things up – it can touch everything from your brain to your body, and your emotions aren’t left out either. You’ve probably heard a lot about things like hot flashes and those sleepless nights – they’re pretty well-researched. But then, there are some effects that we’re still trying to wrap our heads around, or that we haven’t quite connected directly to menopause just yet. Here is a list of the 34 most commonly reported symptoms:
(It’s important to note that not all women will experience every symptom on this list, and that menopausal symptoms can vary in intensity and duration.)
While hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes are commonly associated with early menopause itself, there are also some unusual symptoms that women may experience during this time. Here are a few examples:
If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider for a full workup and to rule out other health conditions unrelated to menopause.
Yes, menopause can cause nausea in some women. Nausea and vomiting are not common menopause symptoms, but they can occur due to the hormonal changes that take place during this time. Estrogen affects many systems in the body, including the digestive system, so when levels of this hormone fluctuate during menopause, it can lead to gastrointestinal symptoms.
Other causes of nausea during menopause may include stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances, which can also be common in most women during this time. Some women may also experience nausea as a side effect of medications used to manage other menopause symptoms, such as hormone replacement therapy.
It’s important to note that nausea can also be a symptom of other medical conditions, so if you are experiencing persistent nausea or vomiting, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Yes, menopause can cause dizziness in some women. Is not a common symptom of menopause, but it can occur due to the hormonal changes that take place during this time. Fluctuations in estrogen levels can affect the regulation of blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness.
Other factors that can contribute to higher risk of dizziness during menopause include sleep disturbances, stress, anxiety, and dehydration. Additionally, some women may experience dizziness as a side effect of medications used to manage other menopause symptoms, such as hormone replacement therapy.
It’s important to note that dizziness can also be a symptom of other medical conditions, so if you are experiencing persistent dizziness or lightheadedness, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Yes, fatigue is a common symptom of menopause. Many women experience feelings of exhaustion, weakness, and lack of energy during menopause. Fatigue can be caused by a variety of factors related to the hormonal changes that occur during this time, including hot flashes that disrupt sleep, as well as mood changes, stress, and anxiety.
Other factors that can contribute to fatigue during menopause include changes in metabolism, such as decreased thyroid function, and changes in physical activity levels due to aging or lifestyle factors. Additionally, some women may experience fatigue as a side effect of medications used to manage other menopause symptoms, such as hormone replacement therapy.
If you are experiencing persistent fatigue or other symptoms that are impacting your quality of life, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. They may recommend lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques, as well as medications or hormone replacement therapy to manage your symptoms.
When we said we’re here to support you, we meant it. Hop onto our Doctor chats, FAQ center and more, to stay connected to your team.