Womanhood is full of cycles, from the moment a woman gets her menarche (or first menstruation) until the day when her period ends (or menopause). Her body undergoes many ups and downs in those years, whether major or minor, physically, emotionally, or psychologically.
During the menopausal transition or perimenopause, the ovaries start declining its hormone production, and most of the changes during the perimenopause may have repercussions in one's day-to-day.
So, what are the most evident changes that a woman may encounter during her menopausal journey? Check out five of the most common menopausal symptoms and ways on how to relieve them.
5 Most Common Menopausal Symptoms That a Woman Should Know
According to the National Health Service in the United Kingdom, here are some of the most apparent symptoms during perimenopause:
1. Hot flashes
Have you been feeling extra hot even though it isn't the summer season yet? Many middle-aged women begin experiencing an unexpected warm feeling on their bodies out of nowhere. It can spike anytime, whether you're at work or before you go to sleep. This sudden heat in your body is also known as a hot flash, lasting for 30 seconds or can go longer than five minutes.
This symptom happens when a decline in estrogen levels affects the way your brain regulates body temperature. That is why most women experience hot flashes since there is an abrupt decline in estrogen production. Your hypothalamus, the one responsible for internal body temperature, may mistakenly detect an abrupt change in your temperature, thus release body heat as its response.
Hot flashes are accompanied by intense sweating and reddening of the skin. You may also have an increased heart rate as another after-effect of hot flashes. Having hot flash episodes can negatively impact your everyday activities, causing you to become easily irritable, forgetful, and exhausted.
2. Sleeping problems
Having a hard time falling asleep is also another symptom during the menopausal stage. Hormones (as always) affect your body's sleep cycle. Therefore, when your hormone production regresses, quality sleep is also disrupted.
Melatonin is a specialized hormone secreted by the pineal gland, which controls your body's response to light and darkness. The more melatonin you have, the more comfortable for you to sleep well at night. This hormone regulates your body's circadian rhythm, allowing you to enjoy a full eight-hour sleep at nighttime. However, melatonin production is affected during perimenopause. Low estrogen levels can lower your body's melatonin levels, making it more challenging for women to sleep peacefully in their menopausal journey.
This sleep disturbance can be triggered by other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and extreme stress. These bodily changes can prevent you from enjoying your bedtime, which can adversely affect your physical and mental health in the long run.
If worse comes to worst, your short and poor-quality sleep may fall into chronic insomnia. This sleeping disorder might take a few months before it subsides, which isn't good news for your health and well-being.
3. Decreased libido
If you haven't been in the mood to enjoy your loving time with your partner, it may be another sign that you're undergoing the menopausal transition. Lower sex drive is a common symptom that most women experience as menopause approaches.
Estrogens are responsible for boosting your sexual appetite, so when there's a decline in hormonal production, libido also decreases. Another menopausal symptom that triggers libido issues is vaginal dryness. Your vaginal walls become thinner due to fewer estrogens, which can be painful during sexual intercourse. As a result, women lose the urge to enjoy moments with their partners, thereby affecting their relationships.
4. Mood swings
Do you often have outbursts of emotions without knowing the underlying reason? If yes, then you may be taking baby steps toward menopause. Many women do not only experience changes in their mood even during their menstrual period and pregnancy journey, but they also suffer from mood swings during their perimenopause. Science has proven the strong connection between hormones and mood. Both estrogen and progesterone are essential in regulating energy and metabolism. Thus, a sudden drop in these female sex hormones can trigger stress and anxiety.
Hormones also regulate your sleeping pattern, and when sleep disturbance occurs, it can affect your mood for the next day. Hot flashes can also make you feel irritable out of nowhere, which may affect your relationship with other people (if they don't know what's happening within you).
5. Hair problems
Menopause does not only let you feel a rollercoaster of emotions, but you also get to see changes in your appearance, most especially with your hair and skin. Estrogens also participate in the hair growth process. These sex hormones help prolong the hair follicles in the anagen phase, allowing your strands to grow longer and healthier.
Your hormones act up during perimenopause, with estrogen levels dropping while your stress hormones (or cortisol) go crazy. Sleeping problems and hot flashes can stress you out, causing a release of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol into your system to reduce the stress. However, excessive cortisol won't do well for your hair; these stress hormones can impede the production of other hormones responsible for hair growth.
Because of these fluctuations, most women will feel an unfavorable change in their hair's texture. Their locks become sparser than they used to be. They may also notice frequent hair shedding than usual, and some may even experience the crown's widening. In extreme cases, some women suffer from menopause-induced hair loss.
Tricky Tips to Feel Relieved During Your Menopausal Stage
You can minimize those bodily changes during the menopausal transition. Discover the following tricks to alleviate your menopausal symptoms.
1. Cool off your body with cold water or chilled desserts.
It's not easy to manage hot flashes, especially when you're somewhere else in the middle of the day. It can make you feel uncomfortable, sweaty, and irritable. If you think you've been undergoing another hot flash episode, it would be best to drink something cold to stabilize your body temperature. Whenever you're feeling extra warm all over your body, wash your face immediately with cold water to alleviate the hot feeling.
You can also eat something chilled, such as ice cream or cake, if you want to take a break from all the stressors surrounding you. In fact, you must give yourself some time off to avoid being fatigued and stressed.
2. Spend more time on aerobic exercises.
Even if you aren't in the mood for some physical activities, you must motivate yourself to start exercising, for it is a good anti-depressant. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins or "happy" hormones, improving your mood and increasing your sex drive. You also get to train yourself against physical and mental fatigue, which can benefit your holistic health. Regular exercise also helps you enjoy a good night's sleep, resulting in lower stress levels and fewer menopausal symptoms.
Middle-aged women can do aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, and dancing. Even those who aren't in their menopausal journey should also include those aforementioned physical activities in their everyday routine, helping prevent the onset and worsening of future menopausal symptoms.
3. Don't be scared to try something new to spice up your relationship with your partner.
When there is a decrease in your sex hormones, your libido also declines. This reduced sex drive can affect your excitement and intimacy with your partner. However, blaming your hormones won't do you well. What you need to is spice things up between you and your partner. But first, it would be best to have a private talk with your partner, for communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Ask what he wants and tell him what you also desire. It is of utmost importance to have open and honest communication with your partner to help you achieve what you want to happen.
It would also be better to consult a sex therapist to make the relationship more thrilling. However, if things don't change after doing the previous tips, you may have to seek medical help. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one plausible alternative to treating your low-libido problems.
4. Keep your locks tended with the safest and best hair growth products.
Both hair and scalp become susceptible to damage and shedding during the perimenopause. Therefore, you need to fortify your tresses using the best yet safest ingredients for your hair. Include an all-natural hair growth serum to nourish your follicles with the necessary hair growth nutrients. Don't skip on shampooing and conditioning your hair; negligence will result in hair loss issues.
Never Suffer from Menopause Again.
Menopause is inevitable, but you can escape from the shackles of menopausal suffering. Your body responds according to how you take good care of your mind and body. By following those simple yet helpful tips, you'll be able to enjoy your womanhood to the fullest.
Stop Menopause from Causing Hair Loss.
Thinning hair and hair shedding are common symptoms of menopausal problems. Therefore, it is urgent to prevent the onset of these hair growth changes. Use the best shampoo for thinning hair and fortify your body with hair vitamins to keep your hair thriving and glowing during your menopausal journey.