What Menopause Feels Like

Menopause is an inevitable time in a woman’s life. It occurs after the reproductive cycle is over, caused when the ovaries stop producing female hormones. When the ovaries cease their hormonal function, the whole body experiences a vast array of changes. These can vary in intensity; however, almost every woman will experience at least one of the many menopause symptoms as she embarks on this new chapter in her life.

Be aware that all these changes as you go through menopause are a result of the reduced levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. These hormones are necessary for ovulation, and a balanced level of them, in adequate amounts, keep many of the body’s functions and processes under control.

Early Stages of Menopause

What Does Menopause Feel Like?The early stage of menopause is known as perimenopause. During this stage, the levels of estrogen and progesterone gradually decrease and the symptoms of menopause begin to appear. However, they are not as intense as they are when the ovaries stop producing hormones entirely. There may be occasional monthly bleeding during perimenopause. This monthly pattern of bleeding varies from woman to woman. You may experience a total lack of menses for a number of months, which is then followed by a heavy menstrual cycle. In other instances, you may notice blood clots, which can be terrifying (but normal). Other women may experience sporadic, light bleeding. All these are characteristics of this period of transition.

Unlike perimenopause, when you hit complete menopause, the menses stop permanently. Furthermore, the loss of the female hormones of estrogen and progesterone prevents a woman from conceiving or sustaining pregnancy, even if an egg released accidentally had been fertilized. Intercourse itself can become painful and unpleasant due to vaginal dryness, another one of menopause’s many symptoms, also linked to lower estrogen levels. Because of this, many women lose interest in sex and grow reluctant to engage in it because sex can be more painful than it is pleasurable.

Menopause Symptoms

Many other symptoms of menopause can be quite unpleasant. Hot flashes and night sweats are additional issues a menopausal woman will face. These again are a result of hormonal imbalance. Some women have no problems with hot flashes while others experience hot flashes severe enough to require medical treatment. Hormonal changes in our bodies subsequently can trigger emotional What Does Menopause Feel Like?symptoms, including: sudden attacks of anxiety or anger, recurring emotional outbursts, and mood swings. None of these may have existed before the onset of menopause.

Finally, as a woman enters menopause, she enters a time of life when she is more susceptible to osteoporosis. While not every menopausal woman suffers from a softening of the bones, most women do need calcium supplements or medication to improve their bone strength and to prevent fractures.

Fortunately, our medical technology has found a number of solutions to menopausal symptoms, some completely natural, others more pharmaceutical. Both approaches help lessen or eradicate altogether the most unbearable symptoms of menopause.