It’s estimated that around 40% to 60% of women experience some form of distress during menopause. It involves having mild and manageable symptoms for some women. But for others, they can be severe and debilitating.

What is menopause?

A woman enters menopause 12 months after her last menstruation. It is a natural process that all women go through, which usually occurs around the age of 45 to 55, but it can occur earlier or later depending on the woman. 

During menopause, the ovaries stop producing eggs, and the levels of estrogen and progesterone decrease. This can cause symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, and vaginal dryness. After menopause, women are at an increased risk of health conditions like osteoporosis, heart disease, and urinary tract infection (UTI).

What causes early menopause?

Menopause that starts before age 40 is referred to as premature menopause. There are many possible causes of early menopause, including genetics, certain medical conditions, and medications. These also include smoking, which can accelerate the aging process, and certain medical treatments and procedures, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Hormone therapy may be necessary for women who go through early or premature menopause in order to lower their chance of developing conditions like osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

What are the signs and symptoms of menopause?

There are a number of signs and symptoms that may occur during menopause. These can include:

  • hot flashes
  • sleep disturbances
  • night sweats
  • mood changes
  • vaginal dryness
  • weight gain and slower metabolism

Many women also experience a decline in libido during this time. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to speak to your doctor to confirm whether or not you are going through menopause.

How long does menopause last?

The menopausal transition typically lasts seven years, although it can last up to fourteen. The length of time can vary depending on lifestyle factors, including smoking, the age at which it starts, and race and ethnicity. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to when menopause ends, most women find that their symptoms lessen over time and eventually go away completely.

Why are my breasts getting bigger after menopause?

Menopause is a time when a woman’s body goes through changes. One of these changes is an increase in the size of her breasts. This happens because the estrogen levels in the body are decreasing. The decrease in estrogen also causes the cells in her breasts to grow. This growth can cause the breasts to get larger.

Why am I losing weight during menopause?

There are actually seven hormones that cause weight loss during menopause.

  • Estrogen & Progesterone – Your ovaries will quit releasing as much estrogen as you get closer to menopause, while your progesterone levels stay the same. This results in a narrower gap, which can increase insulin sensitivity and fat storage around the abdomen.
  • Insulin – Your ability to respond to insulin will decline as you approach menopause. The decline is caused by a combination of muscle loss brought on by decreased physical activity and estrogen’s role in making insulin more sensitive.
  • Cortisol – Because estrogen levels drop after menopause, you could also notice that stress levels have increased. You might also observe that mental and physical difficulties are more distressing.
  • Thyroid Hormones – Thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) are the hormones that regulate your body’s metabolism, body temperature, how quickly your body replaces dead cells, how quickly your digestive system functions, and how quickly you put on or lose weight.
  • Leptin & Ghrelin – Your body creates less leptin when your estrogen levels are low, which causes your ghrelin levels to appear to climb while your leptin levels decline. Your leptin sensitivity will decrease, making it harder to maintain a healthy balance of hunger hormones.

What can cause hot flashes other than menopause?

There are a number of things that can cause hot flashes other than menopause. Some medications, such as certain antidepressants and blood pressure medications, and other medical conditions, such as thyroid problems and anxiety disorders, can also cause hot flashes. 

If you’re experiencing hot flashes and you’re not sure what’s causing them, it’s important to talk to your doctor so they can help you identify the cause.