Menopause 101: Top 5 Symptoms

Let’s review some of the main points we have covered so far.

  • The average age of menopause is age 51, but can occur between the ages of 45-64.
  • Menopause marks the time in a woman’s life where she goes from a reproductive state to a non-reproductive state – meaning she no longer can ovulate and bear children.
  • This time in life is when a woman ceases to have a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months.
  • Perimenopause is the period of time before menopause and can occur from early 40’s – 50’s.
  • 6,000 women in the US reach menopause every day – approximately 2 million a year.

Menopause is NOT an illness but a natural phenomenon.  As we see the life expectancy of US women increase to approximately 84 years of age, a woman can expect to live 1/3 of her life in menopause.

At Amazing Over 40, we want you to know that you are NOT alone.  Many women are suffering from symptoms during this transitional phase and there are ways to make these times more bearable and even enjoyable!

What are the top 5 symptoms that women experience during this time?

Hot Flashes/Night Sweats – These are a sudden feeling of warmth/heat in the upper body affecting 75% of women. Hot flashes may occur during the day, or at night.  These are called night sweats.

Difficulty Sleeping- Due to changes in estrogen and progesterone levels, a woman’s sleep pattern becomes interrupted leading to less restful sleep and increased irritability.

Vaginal Dryness- Sex can become very painful because the vaginal tissues become thin and less lubricated due to the precipitous drop of estrogen.

Reduced Sex Drive – Libido wanes because of vaginal dryness and pain but also due to the lack of hormones that induce sexual desire. 

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Mood Swings and Brain Fog – Due to the poor quality of sleep during this time and other environmental stress factors, many women feel less tolerant or patient with people around them, including their children, spouses and co-workers.  Many women feel less “sharp or focused” and worry about losing their cognitive skills. This is especially seen with verbal ability such as remembering names and certain words.  Usually, this brain fog becomes clearer within the first 1-2 years of menopause. 

Next week’s blog will look further into what causes hot flashes and night sweats, and how to make them better!  I think you’ll find it fascinating.  Stay amazing and inspired!

In health and happiness, 

Dr. Diana