Menopause – common to all women – is the time of life when the menstrual cycle ceases permanently. As adolescent girls, we are met at puberty with the beginning of menstruation which allows us – if we so choose – to reproduce. Our menstrual cycle occurs every month during our reproductive years until the onset of menopause – which generally takes place somewhere between a woman’s mid-forties and mid-fifties. While menopause produces the same end results, the menopause symptoms that each woman experiences may be different.
During menopause, the ovaries that had been producing eggs every month – for possible reproduction – begin to slow their production until they eventually stop altogether. In addition, the production of estrogen diminishes until it also completely stops. The elimination of estrogen is largely responsible for most menopause symptoms.
Menopause symptoms may include hot flashes – wherein women frequently experience suddenly feeling extremely hot; night sweats; memory loss; weight gain; loss of sexual desire and vaginal dryness; and emotional changes such as distractibility, irritation, melancholy, and mood swings similar to premenstrual syndrome. It is sometimes overlooked that menopause brings with it a bevy of emotional challenges. It can be difficult for many women to cope with the end of their reproductive life. But there is a large community of women who are experiencing the same thing and it is important for women to reach out to each other for support.
Not every woman will experience every one of the menopause symptoms possible. And when they do experience a symptom, the severity of it varies from woman to woman. In many cases, women will find that the way in which they experience menopause symptoms depends largely on the lifestyle that they lead. In fact, a healthy lifestyle often minimizes menopause symptoms. This includes the eating of natural, whole foods, consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management.
Some women may find that adopting such lifestyle changes helps them to manage menopause symptoms. However, other women may find that menopause symptoms are still particularly difficult to handle. Luckily, there are a variety of treatment therapies available today to help women cope with their struggle.
For easy to understand, in depth information about menopause symptoms visit our ezGuide 2 .