Hormonal changes during menopause can cause a myriad of symptoms that can affect your lifestyle. As you start experiencing menopause symptoms, some of these might be familiar to you, such as hot flashes and mood swings. But, other symptoms such as pain during sex, incontinence, anxiety, and bleeding are sometimes unexpected.
Understanding how your hormones are affecting what symptoms you experience is key to managing menopause symptoms.
This is probably the most common menopause symptom. About 3 out of every 4 women experience hot flashes, and some even experience them during perimenopause.
In essence, hot flashes are sudden feelings of heat traveling through the upper part of your body. Red blotches most likely appear on your chest, back, and arms. Heavy sweating also accompanies hot flashes, and in some instances, cold chills are experienced immediately after hot flashes.
One sign you’re approaching menopause is irregularity between your periods. During perimenopause, periods can come more often or less, last more or fewer days, and even be lighter or heavier. However, missing periods does not always mean you’re transitioning to menopause. Also, irregular bleeding could occur even when women are well into menopause.
Due to low levels of progesterone, many women in menopause have difficulty sleeping. Also, low estrogen levels are attributed to hot flashes during your sleep, which is why many women in menopause list night sweat as a symptom. Other menopause symptoms, such as urinary issues, also interfere with sleep at night, leaving women feeling more tired than usual throughout the day.
Vaginal dryness, thinness, and infections are common around menopause. The low estrogen levels affect vaginal tissue, leaving the vagina drier and thinner. These changes in the vagina’s tissue can lead to burning, itching, and pain or discomfort.
Bladder or urinary problems are widespread during menopause. Just as low estrogen levels affect the vagina’s tissue, it also affects the urethra. Some women experience urinary urge incontinence, which makes it hard to hold their urine to get to the bathroom. Also, some women develop urinary stress incontinence. It’s important to note that urinary problems are not a normal part of aging and can be treated efficiently.
This is another very common sign of menopause. Mood swings can be attributed to stress, tiredness, family changes, or other situations.
Some women feel more comfortable with their sexuality after menopause. However, others feel less aroused. Their libido levels might be down, and they might find sex painful or uncomfortable. Sexual discomfort can be attributed to low hormone levels that affect vaginal tissue, but these are changes that can be treated and improved.
Depression and Anxiety
While not many women experience depression and anxiety, risks increase around menopause. This is caused by hormone level changes and menopause symptoms. Therapy and functional medicine can help prevent and treat depression and anxiety signs.
There’s relief for menopause symptoms
Thankfully, many menopause symptoms can be treated with bio-identical hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Other treatments, such as vaginal rejuvenation, can restore vaginal tissue and improve sexual health.