What Is The Menopause And Why Does It Occur?

The idea of the menopause can be quite daunting, as you look ahead to a time of turbulent hormonal changes which will occur and the associated psychological factors associated with this change in your life which can cause physical and emotional health concerns.

Before and during the menopause, oestrogen levels in a woman’s body start to reduce, as it prepares to no longer be fertile. When oestrogen levels are low enough, the woman will cease ovulation and will no longer have monthly periods.

As the oestrogen levels decrease, women can experience unpleasant side effects such as hot flashes, mood swings and irritability, and these can last for a significant period of time (up to ten years) causing the woman’s wellbeing to be compromised. There are some things that can be done to combat these unpleasant effects and restore wellness, such as alternative therapies, changes in diet and a medical programme of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to replace oestrogen in the body.

Night sweats are also common, as well as having interrupted sleep, but women suffering from  disturbed sleep over a prolonged period should still contact a health professional as it can be a sign of other problems. Skeletal problems can also occur, with joint, muscle and back pain being common as well as osteoporosis, where bone density is lost. Avoiding caffeine and carbonated drinks can be a good start to reducing some of the symptoms.

Skin problems can also sometimes occur with some women reporting tingling skin. This should also be reported to a medical practitioner to rule out other conditions such as diabetes.

Women often struggle the most with the psychological side of menopause and this can lead to memory loss, fatigue and even depression. They may find that they have a loss of interest in sex as they find that the sensation is not pleasurable and they struggle to reach orgasm. There are a number of natural remedies that can be sought to help improve this and, while some symptoms of menopause are longer-lasting, many will settle as the hormones level out.

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