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Menopausal symptoms – what can I expect?

Think you may be heading for the menopause? Unfortunately, as a woman, it happens to us all. It’s just a natural part of the ageing process, typically occurring between the ages of 45 and 55 (as oestrogen levels start to fall). There’s nothing you can do to stop it, but knowing what to expect can be helpful – allowing you to prepare for and manage symptoms if they start to appear.

Here we outline some of the main menopause symptoms to look out for.

The ‘top 3’ most common menopause symptoms

Your menopause is unique. Every woman is different and your personal experience (including the severity and duration of menopause symptoms) will depend on several factors – including your body type, family history and lifestyle. Having said that, most women encounter the following:

  1. Irregular periods

This is often the first sign of menopause. Gradually, the normal pattern of your periods will start to change. They may become more or less frequent – ranging from as little as 1-2 weeks to many months apart. This makes it increasingly difficult to predict when (or if) your next period will be. They may also become significantly lighter or heavier than usual.

  1. Hot flushes

A hot flush is a sudden feeling of intense heat, that spreads across the face, neck and chest – often making the skin red and sweaty. Typically, they last for 1-5 minutes and their frequency varies from woman to woman. You may have several an hour, a couple a day or just one every now and again.

  1. Night sweats

Essentially, night sweats are hot flushes that occur throughout the night. They involve the same sudden feeling of heat, but due to their intensity, they often disrupt sleep and cause tiredness.

The extended list of menopause symptoms

The three symptoms outlined above may be the most common, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, many symptoms can be caused by the menopause – symptoms that most women don’t talk about and often fail to realise are due to their midlife hormonal shift.

For example, additional physical symptoms of menopause can include:

  • – vaginal dryness
  • – fatigue
  • – hair loss
  • – sleeping difficulties
  • – dizziness
  • – weight gain
  • – bloating
  • – allergies
  • – brittle nails
  • – palpitations
  • – changes in body odour
  • – incontinence
  • – breast pain
  • – joint pain
  • – muscle tension
  • – osteoporosis
  • – headaches
  • – burning mouth
  • – electric shock sensation
  • – digestive problems
  • – tingling extremities
  • – gum disease
  • – dry and itchy skin

Emotional changes and psychological symptoms of menopause are also likely. These can include:

  • – anxiety
  • – irritability
  • – depression
  • – panic disorders
  • – poor concentration and memory
  • – mood swings
  • – loss of libido

This list may seem very long (and frightening!), but it’s important to note, there’s nothing to say you will develop all – or even any – of these menopausal symptoms. Women experience these in a variety of different combinations, with varying degrees of severity – and most symptoms of menopause can be successfully managed with the right lifestyle changes and treatments.

What can I do to help relieve menopause symptoms?

 

woman seeking help for menopause symptoms

You’ve no doubt heard of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). It’s the main treatment for the menopause – designed to replenish oestrogen levels as they start to fall – and, in most cases, it does effectively relieve the symptoms of menopause. However, HRT can lead to several unpleasant side effects and it significantly increases the risk of blood clots and breast cancer in some women.

As a result, many women decide against HRT and choose to manage their troublesome menopausal symptoms in other ways. For example, to help reduce hot flushes and night sweats, they take simple measures – such as wearing light clothing and avoiding potential triggers. To improve their mood, they engage in activities that help to reduce their stress levels – such as exercise, yoga, and tai chi.

Wellbeing treatments, such as those available at Aesthetics of Essex, can also be very helpful. For example, if you’re having trouble sleeping, PLEXR® is an easy way to counteract the effects and reduce the appearance of eyebags. If you’re suffering from dry and itchy skin, we offer a professional skin health assessment and can advise on the best ways to improve hydration.

At the very least, our extensive range of facial and laser treatments could be just what you need to improve your mood and boost your confidence – at a very difficult stage in your life.

Contact Aesthetics of Essex today

If you’ve started to notice the first signs of menopause, please feel free to get in touch with our team – here at Aesthetics of Essex. Not only do we have excellent knowledge of menopausal symptoms and what to expect, but we can also recommend the perfect treatment to fight back and successfully manage those symptoms. Either give us a call on 01708 225555 or send an email to info@aestheticsofessex.co.uk and we’ll respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.