In our world today, menopause is sometimes seen as a negative milestone – a time of loss, and sometimes, it is even viewed as a disease or medical condition requiring a cure. No wonder some women, despite how healthy they are, tend to have negative feelings towards their bodies during this transition.
It does not happen overnight – it is a gradual process. It is a natural biological event when the menses stop due to the cessation of the function of the ovaries. A woman is in menopause when she has had no menstrual periods for 12 months and has no other medical reasons for her periods to stop.
The Difficulties of Menopause
In menopause, there is a decline in estrogen levels which also affect serotonin production. Serotonin is a brain chemical (neurochemical) which causes women to feel good and energetic. It also helps women to focus more. When serotonin decreases, women might start feeling “blue” or might even experience depressive-like symptoms. This is also known as the ‘serotonin-estrogen’ dance; less estrogen is equivalent to less serotonin.
Signs and Symptoms
These symptoms, take note, are not experienced by all women and the severity differs for each woman:
*Hot flashes – These are sudden waves of heat that can start in the waist or chest and work their way to the neck, face, and sometimes the rest of the body. They are more common in the evening as well as during hot weather. Heart palpitations can sometimes accompany hot flashes.
*Vaginal dryness – This is due to hormonal changes. The vaginal wall becomes thinner and might make sexual intercourse uncomfortable or painful. It can also lead to irritation as well as increased risk for infection.
*Other physical changes – This includes headaches, dizziness, skin and hair changes, muscle weakness, brittle bones, increased risk for heart problems due to decline in estrogen levels.
*Emotional changes – This includes mood changes, irritability, tension, lack of concentration, anxiety, insomnia due to hot flashes, and depression.
What can you do?
These symptoms can be unbearable for some women. However, there are certain ways to relieve some of the discomforts that menopause brings – thanks to today’s technology. If you are suffering from the difficulties of menopause, you might want to setup an appointment with Dr. Fay Weisberg. It is better to know what your options are for relief.