Menopause is defined as when menstruation ceases once a woman has her last menstrual cycle. It happens when oestrogen and progesterone are no longer produced by the ovaries. The phase prior to the Menopause is called peri-menopause. This, on average lasts for about 4-8 years. It is in this phase when women start experiencing the various symptoms of menopause.
Menopausal symptoms vary from woman to woman. Although there will no doubt be some similarities, each woman’s menopause journey is unique to them. Some women experience few and very mild symptoms which they can easily manage themselves. However other women may experience symptoms that disrupt their lives significantly.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
With over 30 symptoms you are unlikely to experience them all, however most women do experience some. Below we look at some of the more common symptoms of menopause.
Aches & Pains
Aches and pains are very common and are usually worse in the morning and at night. Joint pain in the elbows, knees, shoulders, and wrists appear to be the most common areas hit. Some alternative therapies and supplements can really help relieve these aches and pains.
During peri-menopause and the menopause, changes can happen in the brain as well as the body, affecting the chemical balance. This can then cause a change in how you feel about certain situations, causing anxiety and periods of depression. Some alternative options can really help you through those moments where your feelings take over your body.
Menopausal bloating generally has 2 main causes, water retention or gas retention. This may be due to an increase in intestinal gas and fluid retention caused by fluctuating hormones. It may also be linked with weight gain.
Forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating and thinking clearly are all common symptoms of menopausal women. Researchers call this “brain fog”. These are all common symptoms and show how the hormonal changes happening in your body are also affecting the brain.
Magnesium plays an important role in memory function and may help with menopausal brain fog.
Changes in our hormones can lead to digestive problems as the imbalance interrupts the digestive system. This may result in symptoms such as bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, cramps and indigestion.
Many women find sleeping at night difficult during the menopause. Some women even find that if they do sleep, they still feel exhausted. The fluctuation of hormones can also drain your energy leaving your feeling weak. The pressures of daily life can be difficult to cope with when fatigued and having to deal with other menopausal symptoms when fatigued is extremely hard and exhausting.
Hot Flushes & Night Sweats
If you’re experiencing hot flushes, you’re not the only one! 75% of women in peri-menopause or the menopause experience hot flushes. A hot flush is a sudden feeling of intense heat. This heat may just be felt in your face, neck and chest, or the sensation can spread over your entire body. The heat appears to come out of nowhere as it creeps up on you without any prior warning.
When these hot flushes are experienced at night, they are referred to as Night Sweats.
Low Sex Drive
Low sex drive or even feeling like you have no sex drive at all can be is a very common side effect of the menopause. This may affect your self-confidence and relationship. Again, the main cause is normally hormonal fluctuations, however it may also be caused by some other menopause symptoms such as vaginal dryness or anxiety.
Menstrual Pain & Changes
During the peri menopause oestrogen levels start to fluctuate, which can cause longer, heavier, and irregular periods, spotting and cramping.
Generally, cramping should only last 24-48 hours, Evening Primrose and Sage are great alternative therapies that can alleviate the cramping.
Also, our Moon Balm is amazing to rub on your tummy when the cramps strike.
Migraines and Headaches
It’s suggested that hormonal changes during the menopause may be directly linked to an increase in headaches and migraines in the same way that the menstrual cycle can.
Menopause is a huge time of change for a woman, both emotionally and physically. This can affect your mood, whether it is the end of childbearing years or contemplating midlife. Life can sometimes feel like a rollercoaster.
Mood swings can range from being irritable to bouts of depression or feeling like you should cry or shout. It is really important at this time to ensure your vitamins intake is at the required daily amount. Magnesium, Vitamin B5, B6 and B12 all play important roles in maintaining your mood by controlling your nervous system and relaxing your body.
During the menopause, the vagina can get narrower and less flexible, which may result in painful sex. Dilators are a great tool to help alleviate painful sex. Have a look below at some of the best products on the market.
Poor and disrupted sleep is a common symptom of the menopause. Hormone changes are the main cause. You may find yourself waking up a few times during the night and having poor quality sleep. Creating a bedtime ritual to follow each night before bed has been reported as being helpful in obtaining a restful night’s sleep.
Itchy and dry skin can be a symptom of the menopause, and no matter how much moisturiser you seem to apply the skin still feels dry. It’s also a time of life when fine lines and wrinkles appear due to the reduction in collagen that the body produces.
Approximately 80% of women will experience vaginal dryness at some point in their adult life due to hormonal changes. Vaginal dryness, also known as vaginal atrophy, can be itchy, physically painful, embarrassing and sometimes even lead to infection. Vaginal dryness during sex can be a real passion killer and in some cases be painful, so much so that you refrain from sexual intercourse.
During the menopause, if the pelvic floor muscle hasn’t been looked after, it can become weak and urine leaking can occur. This muscle also helps us ladies’ climax, so if the muscle is weak, climaxing becomes more difficult, meaning that sex may become unenjoyable. Exercising and training your pelvic floor muscles can make a huge difference.
Other symptoms are: Body odour, cold chills, dry eyes, dizziness, hair loss, tingling skin, tender breasts, heart palpitations, irritability, worsened allergies, excess facial hair, bleeding gums, burning tongue, weakened fingernails, osteoporosis, urinary problems, and weight gain.
It’s not all doom and gloom though as most of these symptoms can be helped with supplements, therapies or products that can help alleviate the symptoms experienced. As with most things, what works for one person may not work for another so you may need to try a few before finding the one that works for you.
The Menodelight Menopause Relief Trial Pack consists of products aimed at alleviating some symptoms of menopause such as aches and pains, hot flushes and vaginal dryness. It is ideal for trying out products for your symptoms, without the cost of the full-size products.
Shop with ease at www.menodelight.co.uk using our Symptom Tool to tailor our products to meet your personal needs and start alleviating your menopausal symptoms.