25 Symptoms of Menopause - Climacteric

Menopause is a defining moment in the lives of women. It is an inevitable event, which occurs due to depletion of eggs and the consequent end of ovulatory cycles, characterizing the transition between childbearing age and menopause.

Symptoms of menopause
Symptoms of menopause
 

Phases of reproductive cycle
Phases of reproductive cycle
 
To avoid confusion with the terms, it is good to remember that menopause is the name given to the woman's last period of life, whereas climacteric is post-menopausal, i.e., the stage of life that begins after the last menstrual period. So it is not technically correct to say that a woman is in menopause. The right is to say that the woman had her menopause and now is the climacteric.

If you have any questions regarding the terms that will be used in this text, use the figure below for guidance.
  • The menarche is the first period of life of the woman.
  • The pre-menopause is the period of 3 to 7 years before the menopause, i.e., the last 3 to 7 years of childbearing age.
  • The menopause is the last menstruation woman's life.
  • The post-menopause is the period that begins after the last menstrual period, or after menopause. Post-menopause and menopause are synonymous.
  • The perimenopause is the period that includes the premenopausal and the first year of post-menopause.

In general, when people say "symptoms of menopause," they are actually referring to the group of physical and emotional signs and symptoms that occur usually in the perimenopausal period and during the rest of the climacteric.

Perimenopause is a phase in which the woman's body goes through a series of physiological changes that can affect their quality of life. The main thing is the reduction in estrogen levels that occur because the ovaries begin to go bankrupt. This period is characterized by irregular menstrual cycles and striking hormonal fluctuations often accompanied by hot flashes, sleep disturbances, mood disorders and vaginal dryness. In addition, changes in body fat and loss of typical menopausal bone mass causes great impact on the long-term health.

In this article we will address the top 25 signs and symptoms of menopause, including those occurring in premenopausal periods, perimenopause and postmenopause.

1. Heat waves - hot flush


Hot flushes, also called flushing, are the famous heat waves that occur during perimenopause. Hot flushes are the most common symptom of menopause, occurring in over 80% of women.

The heats are caused by reduced estrogen production, which causes a deregulation of normal body thermostat. The hot flashes start in the premenopausal period and may last up to 2 years after menopause. During the remainder of the menopause, they usually disappear, but about 10% of the women taking them remain for a long time, some up to 70 years. The worst phase of the heats usually the year before menopause.

The hot flush usually begins as a sudden sensation of heat centered in the upper chest and face, but it quickly becomes widespread. The sensation of heat lasts two to four minutes is often associated with profuse perspiration and occasionally palpitations. Also common are the occurrence of chills, shivering and a feeling of anxiety.

The frequency of hot flashes varies greatly, from only 1 or 2 episodes per day up to tens of episodes over 24 hours. Heat waves are particularly common at night.

2. Sweats night


The night sweats is a variant of hot flushes. In some women, hot flashes occur predominantly at night, causing intense sweating during the sleep period. In many cases, these nocturnal hot flashes disrupt sleep and worsen the symptoms of fatigue and irritation of perimenopause.

Alcohol consumption during the day and airless quarter contributed to the worsening of nocturnal hot flashes.

3. Sleep disorders


The nocturnal hot flashes, as mentioned above, are a major cause of sleep disturbance in the perimenopausal period. But they are not the only ones. Many women premenopausal have trouble sleeping even in the absence of hot flushes.

Insomnia can occur up to 7 years before menopause and often gets worse in the last year of pre-menopause. anxious or depressed women tend to be those with greater difficulty sleeping.

4. Irregular menstruation


Changes in the menstrual period may already occur even before the woman enter the premenopausal period. Initially the changes are subtle and include changes in the intensity of bleeding and shortening of the cycle.

As menopause nears, menstrual changes become more obvious. The cycle now be irregular and becomes longer, lasting 40 to 50 days. The menstrual volume changes (more or less), and leaks may occur at midcycle.

Menstruation becomes increasingly erratic, even disappear. Woman premenopausal can not know when it will be your last period. The diagnosis of menopause can be established only in retrospect, when she completes one year without menstruating again.

5. Depression


Women premenopausal women are 2.5 times more likely to get depressed than in other stages of life. The risk is even higher in those who have severe symptoms of pre-menopause, especially hot flashes and sleep disorders. Depression may also occur in women who are seen approaching menopause and desiring to become pregnant.

It is believed that the reduction in estrogen levels associated with troublesome symptoms of premenopausal and the fact that women recognize that is outpacing the border between youth and age, collaborate to a higher incidence of depression in this period. After the first year of menopause, the risk of depression begins to fall.

6. Anxiety


Anxiety during the perimenopause is probably caused by the drop in circulating estrogen levels in the body, which reduces the production of neurotransmitters responsible for the regulation of mood, like serotonin and dopamine.

7. Changes of humor


For the same reasons mentioned in the previous topic, the fluctuation of estrogen is responsible for the great variety of mood of women in the premenopausal period. During a single day, the woman can switch between euphoria, anger and sadness, with no real reason to do so.

When physical symptoms of menopause are important, emotional symptoms also tend to be.

8. Vaginal dryness


The lining of the vagina consists of estrogen dependent tissues. Estrogen deficiency that occurs at menopause leads to thinning of the vaginal epithelium, resulting in vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis) and symptoms of vaginal dryness, itching, and pain during sexual intercourse (called dyspareunia).

Vaginal dryness starts premenopausal, but really becomes evident in the climacteric.

9. Reducing libido


Typical hormonal changes of menopause are responsible for reduced libido in women. Moreover, the very vaginal dryness can make intercourse painful, which, combined with a reduction in blood supply to the vaginal region and vulvar by estrogen deficiency may reduce a woman's ability to take pleasure in sex.

10. Poor memory


Estrogen also appears to play an important role in the normal functioning of the female brain. In perimenopause, women may begin to have short-term memory lapses, becoming more common trivial oversights, such as where to put the keys, birthdays of friends and meeting dates. In general, it's nothing very serious, but very methodical people, it may be something that generates great nuisance.

Memory lapses are more common in depressed, stressed or too tired women.

11. Difficulty of concentration


Following the same logic as the previous topic, the changes in estrogen levels cause changes in concentration of women in perimenopause. In addition, other symptoms of menopause such as insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, hot flashes, etc., also contribute to a decreased ability to focus on school or work.

12. Joint pain


The health of joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles also suffer from the drop in estrogen levels. About 60% of women in pre-menopause complain of joint pain. Obese or overweight women are the ones who have more problems.

Unlike many menopause symptoms that disappear during menopause, joint pain usually stay.

13. Dry skin


The reduction in estrogen levels is related to a decrease in collagen production, which is the substance that keeps our skin firm and looking good.

Therefore, when the production of collagen changes, the skin becomes thinner, drier, and less scaly young. Dryness of the skin can cause itching, which in some cases can be quite uncomfortable.

14. Hair loss


Women hair health is also closely linked to estrogen and collagen levels. In perimenopause, a woman begins to notice that the quality of your hair changes, becoming dry, brittle and fall more easily. This situation tends to be worse in the climacteric.

15. Weak nails


As well as skin and hair, nail health also suffers from the reduction in estrogen levels. In perimenopause, the nails begin to become parched and weak and can break easily.

16. Fatigue


Tiredness, lack of energy and lack of willingness to events of the day-to-day are also extremely common before menopause. They occur not only by hormonal imbalance but also by mood swings and lack of sleep. In general, the fatigue improvement in climacterium.

17. Weight gain


The metabolism and the way the body stores fat change with the reduction in estrogen levels. The basal energy expenditure of the body decreases, making it easier to gain weight with fewer calories. In addition, the body is replaced by a pattern of fat accumulation more like men, more fat deposition in the belly and around the waist.

18. Pain in breast


Breast pain is the term used for breast pain. This symptom is very common in the early years of premenopausal, but gets softer as menopause approaches. It usually disappears at menopause.

19. Headache


There is a type of migraine that is related to the menstrual period occurs cyclically every month, just before menstruation down. Women who have this type of headache may notice a worsening of the same when they enter the pre-menopause.

Even women who have never had menstruation-related headache may come to have it in perimenopause. In general, the migraine starts to seven years before menopause and will intensify as the menstrual cycle will become increasingly erratic.

20. Palpitations


As menopause approaches, palpitations and feeling of abnormal heartbeats are becoming common. Usually, there is no cause for concern and palpitations disappear during menopause.

Anxious patients with severe hot flashes may have palpitations more often.

21. Urinary infection


As with the vagina, urethra tube that carries urine from the bladder coming, it is coated with a very sensitive tissue to estrogen. During pre-menopausal it becomes thinner, dry, less elastic and more irritable, facilitating invasion by bacteria.

Some women may go on to have recurrent urinary tract infection from the menopause, a situation that can be overcome with the use of vaginal estrogen.

22. Facial hair


Perimenopausal the relationship between the levels of estrogen (female hormone) and androgen (male hormone) change. All women produce small amounts of androgens during life, whose effects are blocked by estrogen. As menopause approaches, the estrogen levels fall and androgen rise. This increase in male hormones can cause the appearance of the woman's face, especially on the chin.

In addition to the chin, the new can also arise in the mustache area, cheeks and even the chest and abdomen.

23. Weak bones


As we age, our bones will become weaker. This process is very fast by the lack of menopausal estrogen, causing women are more prone to osteoporosis and fractures, such as the femoral neck, than men.

As menopause progresses, it becomes more common the occurrence of osteoporosis.

24. Imbalance and dizziness


Sudden episodes of dizziness and loss of balance often become more common in perimenopause. The causes are not well understood, but as all the symptoms of menopause, there is an important component of the lack of estrogen.

25. Sensation belly


A feeling bloated or distended belly is common in perimenopause period. Women who have had this symptom during their menstruation often suffer the most at this stage.

It is believed that the reduction of estrogen change the way the body digests food fats, so that there is increased production of gas, which would be responsible for the feeling of swollen belly.

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