When Does Menopause Begin and How Long Does It Last?

What Are the Symptoms of Menopause?

Menopause is a normal phase of every woman’s life that indicates an end of her menstrual cycles. Menopause is diagnosed once you go without periods for 12 successive months. Still, if you get a period anytime between the 12 months, it is not considered as menopause, and the calculation starts again.  

Though menopause is a natural biological process, it is infamous for night sweats, hot flashes, mood swings, irritation and other symptoms of menopause. 

Read on to know more about the symptoms of menopause, its treatments and simple tips to take care of yourself and ease the severity. 

What Are the Symptoms of Menopause

Women in their menopausal age usually experience a range of symptoms. However, not all women experience all the symptoms, and the severity of these symptoms may vary from woman-to-woman. While some women may find it hard to get through the days without losing their sanity, others may not even notice the changes. 

Here is a list of the different symptoms that you may experience during menopause: 

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Hot flashes
  • Sudden chills
  • Night sweats
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Irritation 
  • Anxiety
  • Depression 
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Dry skin, hair, mouth and eyes 
  • Thinning or loss of hair 
  • Fatigue
  • Discomfort during intercourse
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Bone loss
  • Stiff joints 
  • Weak muscles
  • Slow metabolism
  • Weight gain 
  • Forgetfulness or mental fogginess
  • Headaches 
  • Loss of fullness of breasts
When to see a doctor?

Visit your gynaecologist at the earliest if you notice any of the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Sexual dysfunction 
  • Urinary incontinence
What are the common health problems associated with menopause?

Some of the common health complications that may be associated with menopause are:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart diseases
  • Blood vessels diseases
  • Periodontal diseases
  • Cataracts 
  • Vulvovaginal atrophy
  • Dyspareunia (painful intercourse)

When Does Menopause Start and How Long It Lasts?

Menopause is a gradual process that takes years until your periods completely stop. According to the US National Institutes of Health, the average age of menopause in Indian women is 46.2 years. Whereas, in the United States, the average age is 51 years. However, women may reach menopause in their early 40s to late 50s depending on various factors. 

The years leading to menopause are called perimenopause. On average, perimenopause may last for about 4 years. 

Perimenopause is the first stage of menopause when you may start experiencing menopausal symptoms, such as irregular periods, severe premenstrual syndrome, heavy or light periods and other signs. 

It is best to consult with your gynaecologist to get certain hormonal tests done. The tests may establish lower production of female sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone. Accordingly, you may be prescribed medication to reduce the symptoms and give you some relief. 

How Can I Manage the Symptoms of Menopause?

Generally, menopause does not require any treatment; but the severity of menopausal symptoms may need some medication. Get yourself checked by a gynaecologist to understand the seriousness. 

After diagnosing the situation, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Hormone therapy
  • Non-hormonal therapy, such as Femarelle
  • Vaginal moisturisers and lubricants
  • Low-dose contraceptives (birth pills)
  • Sleep medications
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements

You can also make a few changes to your everyday life and food choices to ease the symptoms of menopause. 

  • Eat healthy food. Give up on greasy, packaged and processed food.
  • Get into a fitness regime.
  • Start eating food that is rich in soy products, vitamins and calcium.
  • Reduce caffeine consumption.
  • Avoid tobacco, drugs and alcohol.
Inference:

Most womenfolk are either unaware or ignore the symptoms of menopause due to lack of proper information or social taboos. Get all the information related to menopause and manage the symptoms early on. Do not wait till you need medical attention. Keep your regular appointments with your gynaecologists and get all the preventive and screening tests done. Avoid any possible health threat in the beginning and keep your health in check.   

If you are uncomfortable with the symptoms of menopause, get OTC non-hormonal dietary health supplements, such as Femarelle to reduce the symptoms effectively.