Menopause, sometimes also called “the change of life,” is a normal part of a woman’s aging process, and it marks the end of her reproductive life. During menopause, the ovaries stop releasing eggs, and the woman stops having periods.
If a woman undergoes menopause after the age of 40, it is considered a natural part of the aging process. By contrast, experiencing this process before 40 is called premature menopause.
While it is a perfectly normal process that all women go through, menopause can nonetheless cause troublesome symptoms like the following:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Weight Gain
- Loss of breast fullness
- Thinning hair
During a hot flash, a woman experiences a sudden feeling of warmth over her upper body. If the hot flash is accompanied by reddening of the face and neck, it’s sometimes called a hot flush. Hot flashes can be accompanied by sweating, chills, and rapid heart rate. Night sweats are hot flashes that happen when the woman is asleep. Some women may have hot flashes for only a brief time during menopause, while others have hot flashes for the rest of their lives. In the latter case, the hot flashes gradually become milder.
Many menopausal women suffer insomnia. They often find it hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. They may suffer night sweats that wake them up in the middle of the night.
During menopause, the vagina’s walls become thinner, dryer and more susceptible to inflammation. Consequently, many women start to find sex painful, and it may decrease their desire to have sex.
If you feel you are beginning to undergo menopause or you have questions about the impacts of this natural process on your body, contact us today at Scottsdale Center for Women’s Health and schedule your consultation at our Scottsdale, Arizona, office!