Hot flushes, sleep disturbance, sweating, mood swings, and a low sex drive; just a few of the common symptoms of menopause. Occurring around 51 years of age, the term ‘menopause’ is used to describe the last menstrual cycle in a woman’s life.
The menopause can occur at any stage of a woman’s life between the ages of 30 and 60, signalled by specific symptoms and irregular periods. Every woman experiences the menopause differently, with some suffering from the menopause, and others hardly noticing a change at all. Symptoms include:
- Hot flushes– This is one of the most common symptoms of the menopause, and can happen at any time of the day, although found to occur frequently during the night. Each hot flush lasts an average of five minutes and often results in feeling quite sweaty.
- Trouble sleeping– Sleeping can be difficult during the menopause, particularly falling to sleep. Feeling restless is also quite common, with sweating during the night a possibility, too.
- Mood changes– Mood changes can be distressing for the person going through the menopause as their mood is constantly changing, due to their hormone imbalance.
- Low sex drive– It’s not uncommon for a woman going through the menopause to have no sex drive. However, some people are the opposite of this, experiencing intense orgasms.
- Changes in cholesterol– As a result of falling oestrogen levels, women commonly experience changes in their cholesterol, causing fat to build up in their blood. This can be treated, though, and isn’t anything to worry about.
For women who experience more serious symptoms from the menopause, there are a couple of different treatments around that can help. An example of a treatment is the Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which works by alleviating menopausal symptoms through the adjustment of hormone levels. This involves receiving a daily drug containing a small dose of oestrogen. However, the hormone can also be taken as a skin patch, an implant under the skin, or a gel applied to the skin, if a tablet can’t be taken. There are also several side effects that are common with HRT, including:
- Feeling sick
- Tender breasts
- Weight gain
- Fluid retention
Although there is a natural tendency for people to view the menopause as an illness, this is not the case. The menopause is a phase all women will go through in their lives, and it should simply be dealt with.