As readers of passion already know, menopause is diagnosed after the fact – when you haven’t had a period in over a year. But few people do everything easily and simultaneously.
For some, menopause occurs abruptly: menstruation stops without any cycle disturbances or ailments. But for most, a few years before the onset of menopause, cycle fluctuations begin: from meager blood discharge 2-3 days a month to long menstrual-like discharge lasting 3-4 weeks. For some, the cycle is shortened to 21 days or less, for someone it is extended to 40 days, or even up to 3-4 months. Such a “perestroika” can drag on for a period of 2 to 10 years (for the majority – 3-4 years), which, of course, cannot but affect the well-being and leads to a decrease in the quality of life.
To alleviate the condition, you may be prescribed menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) (the term “HRT” is no longer used – hormone replacement therapy).
Other symptoms of menopause
Early menopausal symptoms include:
- stress urinary incontinence,
- hot flashes,
- sudden and frequent mood swings
- sleep disorders.
We talked about incontinence in detail here. Hot flashes are the most commonly discussed symptom, but few people understand its essence. You get hot, you instantly sweat, and after a couple of minutes all the symptoms disappear. The fact is that against the background of estrogen deficiency, functional changes occur in the central nervous system, where the centers of thermoregulation are located. Hot flashes are, in fact, vascular spasms against the background of “false signals”: the vessels narrow, there is a sharp rush of blood through the vessels to the skin, and then, since it was a false call, the vessels expand again, and the blood drains.
Headaches are also largely due to vascular problems. Arterial hypertension often manifests itself in this age period, which requires consultation with a cardiologist.
The normal age of onset of menopause is between 45 and 53 years. Most often, statistically, it falls on 48 years – 52 years. If the symptoms began to appear from the age of 40, then this is not quite the norm and, perhaps, not menopause at all – you need to be examined and exclude other pathologies (endometriosis, ovarian cyst, polyps, fibroids, thyroid disorders, etc.).