Menopause – we all know it exists – yet – we know so little about it. While menopause marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years, the natural process includes hormonal, physical, and even mental changes.
With proper awareness, menopause doesn’t come off as surprising, and one can prepare for the changes to make the transition smooth.
It is essential to mention here that everyone experiences menopause differently – some women can find it a challenging experience – especially when their subsequent hormonal changes can induce anxiety and hot flashes.
Other women might take menopause in terms of freedom as they don’t have to worry about birth control and menstruation. To raise awareness amongst women and men, there is international Menopause day that is held each year on October 18th.
The purpose of Menopause Day is to offer support and to help women improve their physical and emotional health.
Here are essential menopause facts that will help you understand the process of menopause more.
Menopause is Gradual
A common misconception about menopause is that it occurs suddenly. The truth is that for most women, menopause isn’t a sudden process. Usually, perimenopause starts during a woman’s 30s or 40s when the levels of estrogen begin to fall.
Women might start to experience irregular periods before they stop completely. Usually, menopause sets in after 40 – but before age 58. Some medical treatments and conditions, such as the removal of ovaries or chemotherapy, can cause menopause as well.
Menopause and Hormonal Changes
Another essential fact to know about menopause is that it is not an illness – it is just a gradual change that your body is going through. The subsequent hormonal changes can trigger certain physical symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety, making it difficult to sleep at night.
Menopause triggers vaginal dryness, which can cause painful sex. Also, women can expect a reduced libido as the hormone levels drop. You can also expect mood changes when it comes to hormonal changes.
It is common for women to report anxiety, depression, and stress during their menopause. The potential risk of osteoporosis also increases during and after a woman hits menopause.
Menopause Can Cause Weight Gain
Now, the thing about aging is that it can lead to weight gain due to a slower metabolism. Usually, women in their 40s start complaining about stubborn fat despite having the same routine.
The thing is that a fluctuation in hormones can cause an increase in appetite. But since the metabolism gets slower, increased hunger can cause weight gain. If you have concerns about gaining weight during menopause, you can find suitable food options after speaking to a dietician and your doctor.
Menopause can be Stressful
Another fact to know about menopause is that it can be stressful. Many women have reported a lack of focus and forgetfulness during their menopause – also known as brain fog. The underlying reasons for increased stress can include concerns about aging, domestic pressure, work-related pressure, and the pressure to deal with physical changes.
Nonetheless, you can curb stress by exercising regularly, indulging in puzzle-solving and crosswords, and getting enough oxygen every day.