Among so many specificities and characteristics of the female body, menopause is a stage in a woman’s life that marks the end of menstruation and, consequently, the end of her reproductive capacity.
This period is marked by physical symptoms such as menstrual irregularities, scanty periods, bleeding and other signs. Want to know more about the period? We explain everything in the article below.
What is menopause?
Menopause corresponds to a woman’s last menstrual cycle. It is a natural physiological event and not a disease, contrary to what the symptoms may imply. Just like in adolescence, the fluctuation of hormones causes an avalanche of changes in the body, as it is embarking on a non-reproductive phase, in which the ovaries stop working.
The important thing, in the opinion of experts, is to be aware of the characteristics of this period. “When we know the changes we are going to go through, we cope better and know what to do. The gynecologist should prepare the woman for the changes that come with menopause”, says gynecologist Helena Hacul, who is a professor of Women’s Health at the Faculty of Medicine Albert Einstein.
When does menopause happen?
It generally occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. When it happens before 40, it is called premature or early menopause; when after 55, it is late.
What is climacteric?
You’ve probably heard of climacteric. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the same thing as menopause. In fact, the climacteric is a transition period that encompasses the pre- and post-menopausal phase. It can last for several years, until menopause ends.
“The climacteric is the moment before menopause. Many confuse this period because women are young and are still menstruating. It can happen up to 8 years before menstruation stops. It does not indicate an absence of cycle. What occurs are oscillations in the menstrual cycle that can increase the volume, decrease the volume, become irregular. And this happens as the years go by”, explains Eliana Teixeira, a doctor with a postgraduate degree in endocrinology.
The symptoms of this period, as well as menopause, are consequences of hormonal loss and can begin many years before the last menstrual period, causing a series of physical changes in the woman’s body.
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What are the main symptoms of menopause?
Discover below, in topics, the main symptoms of menopause:
This may include lighter, heavier, more frequent or spaced out periods.
Sudden feelings of heat that can affect the face, neck and chest, often followed by cold sweats. According to doctor Helena Hacul, hot flashes are one of the most recurrent symptoms of a drop in estrogen production by the ovaries and are reported by 70% of climacteric women, with varying intensity and frequency.
Similar to hot flashes, but they occur during the night, often causing sleep disturbances.
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to night sweats or other reasons. It is a problem that affects 60% of women at this stage of life.
Mood swings, irritability, anxiety and even depression are common.
Vaginal dryness can cause discomfort during sexual intercourse and increase the risk of urinary tract infections.
Hormonal changes can lead to weight gain, especially in the abdominal region.
Dry skin and hair
The skin may become drier and the hair may become thinner and more brittle.
To alleviate symptoms, it is important for women to pursue a healthy lifestyle, taking care of their diet, as well as practicing physical exercise frequently. Talking about it (especially with experts and other women) can also make the period easier to deal with.
Source: Redação Terra Você