Menopause means the end of a woman’s menstruation. Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month, menstruation stops and a woman loses her ability to conceive. It generally happens between 45-55 years of age.
Peri-menopause is the first stage of menopause. It is the transitional time before menopause when a woman’s body goes from a regular menstrual cycle to the end of menstruation. It happens between 40-45 years of age.
As the function of the ovaries starts declining, the hormones secreted by the ovaries (estrogen & progesterone) also decrease. This decline in hormone levels is responsible for the sign and symptoms of menopause. Some of the common symptoms of menopause are:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Irregular periods
- Mood disorders
- Anxiety & depression
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal dryness
- Joint & muscle pain
- Weight gain
Studies show that the physical, psychological, social and sexual changes in menopause adversely affect women’s quality of life. The impact of menopausal symptoms can be seen in work, social activities, mood, concentration, sleep quality & the level of daily energy.
Menopause is a natural process. Many symptoms go away over time. If you are experiencing severe symptoms which are affecting your quality of life, it is better to consult a gynecologist. Menopause can also be managed by making some lifestyle changes.