Menopause, also known as the change of life, or The Change, is something that every woman goes through. The average age of women having their last menstruation is 51, with symptoms beginning earlier. Some women have their last in their forties and some women not until later in their fifties.
What is Menopause?
Just like puberty, menopause is a normal part of a woman's life. Symptoms may be caused by changes in the levels of estrogen and progesterone, which are the two female hormones produced in the ovaries.
The signs of Menopause
Probably the first sign is a change in menstruation. Your periods may no longer be regular, they may be shorter or longer. The amount you bleed may be less than usual or more.
Many women have hot flashes and these can still occur a few years after menopause. A hot flash is a mysterious feeling of heat in the upper body or all of the body. Face and neck become flushed and red blotches may appear on your chest, back and arms. Following that you may experience heavy sweating or cold shivering. When they are strong enough to wake you in the night they are called night sweats . Most hot flashes last between 30 seconds and 10 minutes.
Along with the night sweats some women have problems falling asleep, waking up too early or have broken sleep. This all contributes to not getting a good night's sleep.
Some women become irritable during menopause. No reason is known for this. Some put it down to the stress of family changes with growing children and / or aging parents.
There are body changes as in losing muscle and gaining fat. The skin becomes thinner.
Feelings about sex may change. Some women become less interested in sex. One full year after your last period, you can no longer become pregnant this makes some women feel freer and sexier.