According to the National Institute of Health, menopause is the time in a woman’s life when she stops having a menstrual period and is no longer fertile. Menopause happens because the woman’s ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
In a more ‘official’ definition, a woman has reached menopause when she has not had a period for one year. However, changes and symptoms can start several years earlier. The time leading up to menopause is called the menopausal transition, or perimenopause.
Yes, it is true. All women experience menopause. It usually hits between ages 45 and 55. The average age of menopause is 51.
So how do you know that you are truly in this stage of your life?
Obviously, a medical professional such as a doctor can tell you for sure.
But here are the symptoms that you may experience:
- A change in periods – shorter or longer, lighter or heavier, with more or less time in between
- Hot flashes and/or night sweats
- Trouble sleeping
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Trouble focusing
- Less hair on head, more on face
- Vaginal dryness can make sexual intercourse uncomfortable
- Bladder muscles may weaken, which could lead to urine leakage when sneezing, coughing, laughing, or running.
- Loss of interest in sex
- Estrogen Test(American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) Test(American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
- Hot Flashes(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Vaginal Atrophy(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Vaginal Dryness(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development)