It is one of the moments most feared by many women also because there are so many myths and inaccurate information about this phase of life. In general, the onset of menopause takes place between 45 and 55 years of age, but it can also occur before or after.
Part of a natural cycle
With very few exceptions, menopause is nothing more than the end of the female reproductive cycle that begins with the first menstruation, between 9 and 15 years of age.
From then on, women experience the beginning of their entire fertility period until premenopause takes place. This is a phenomenon that occurs within three to seven years before menopause.
Menopause means exactly the last menstruation in a woman’s life. Continuing with the more technical terminology, perimenopause means the period of time that passes between premenopause and the first year of postmenopause.
Symptomatology related to menopause is one of the aspects of women’s lives on which more myths and legends run. Some symptoms can be very visible, although not all cases are exactly the same.
It is estimated that less than 80% of patients clearly present those signs that indicate the onset of menopause. Some of the best-known symptoms are:
Flushes, caldane, and stress are the most common symptoms. Their origin lies in a deficit of estrogen, the main female sex hormone, for which the regulation of body temperature becomes more difficult.
In most cases, these symptoms occur from the beginning up to two years after the last menstruation even if, in one patient out of 20, they can continue beyond 70 years of age.
Night sweats and sleep disturbances
Many of the symptoms not only occur in the middle of the night but also occur suddenly, without any flu or regardless of the time of year.
This excessive perspiration, in turn, causes disturbances in the sleep cycle and rest, which in turn can cause irritability and bad mood. In addition, many of the women who experience this phase may suffer from prolonged insomnia even without there being any relationship with night sweats.
This is another unequivocal sign of the onset of menopause. The menstrual cycle can be very short or, on the contrary, very long. There are also cases where more than one breeding period occurs in the same month.
As time passes, menstruation will become less abundant. In addition, the menstrual periods will be more dilated until they disappear completely.
Another symptom of this all-female experience is vaginal dryness. The decrease in the production of estrogen, in addition to the possible appearance of pain and another discomfort during sexual intercourse, can also affect, more or less consciously, in the disinterest in sex or in the decrease in desire.
Female sexual hormone deficiency can also lead to joint pain; this symptom can degenerate into osteoporosis. This does not mean that it necessarily happens to all women who suffer from knee or ankle discomfort during menopause.
On the other hand, drastic changes in the hormonal level can affect the mood because they can give rise to irritability and moodiness. The latter symptom, if combined with sadness and depression, can turn into a serious problem for patients and their context.
What happens if the onset of menopause occurs earlier than normal?
When menopause occurs between 40 and 45 years of age it is called premature menopause. But if it takes place before the age of forty, it is called early menopause. The symptoms are the same, but specialists recommend taking special care during the postmenopausal phase.
Women in whom menstruation disappears earlier than expected are also more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. The possibilities increase in smokers.