I have hot flashes
Resulting from the gradual cessation of the production of sex hormones by the ovaries, menopause can cause sometimes very embarrassing manifestations. Treatments can help to get through this sometimes difficult course, but they have some disadvantages. Other measures to preserve one's well-being are then useful.
What is called menopause?
The menopause is the period of life during which the ovaries reduce their production of sex hormones (estrogen): the rules stop gradually. Women are considered to be menopausal when they have not menstruated for a year. Although for the majority of women, menopause occurs around the age of 50, it can occur naturally between 40 and 55 years. The last menstrual periods are usually more irregular and result in reduced bleeding. In the pre-menopausal (pre-menopausal or perimenopausal) period, most women begin to experience changes: irregular periods, first flushes, irritability, sleep disturbances, and so on.
Psychological problems related to lack of estrogen and sleep disorders can also occur. Finally, the decline in estrogen levels has effects on many organs: the vagina, bones, blood vessels, breasts, skin, urinary tract and digestive system.
There is some evidence that manifestations of menopausal disorders depend in part on how women psychologically approach this time in their lives.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Menopause causes a wide variety of symptoms. Fortunately, the majority of women will only know a few of them. When the intensity of these symptoms interferes with daily life, effective treatments are put in place to relieve them until they disappear.
Present in 75% of women, hot flashes are sometimes accompanied by redness of the face and acceleration of the pulse. They last from 30 seconds to two minutes. They can be spontaneous or triggered by spicy foods, hot drinks, alcohol, caffeine or stress. They begin to appear rather at night to manifest themselves later in the day. At night, they are sometimes accompanied by strong sweating: night sweats, which disturb sleep. Hot flashes usually last a few months, then fade.
Changes in the menstrual cycle
They begin before menopause proper. The rules become more or less abundant, their frequency is irregular. Caution, consult your doctor if:
you have bleeding after intercourse, between periods, or unexpectedly
menses are very abundant within three weeks of each other, with the presence of blood clots.
In addition to the discomfort of night sweats, hormonal changes in menopause can cause insomnia, with negative consequences for alertness and memory.
The mood swings and irritability seen before and during menopause are due to both hormonal changes and sleep disturbances. Sometimes depressive episodes are also observed.
The drop in estrogen levels in the blood leads to a decrease in vaginal lubrication and a thinning and loss of elasticity of the vaginal walls. These changes can have an impact on the sex life, sometimes aggravated by a decrease in the desire related to the hormonal changes of the menopause.
Menopause may be accompanied by urinary incontinence if the perineal muscles lose their tone. Too many women continue to ignore these disorders, sometimes very debilitating. However, there are treatments available and do not hesitate to talk to your doctor.
During menopause, some women also complain of headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, weight gain and dryness of the skin and hair.
What are the possible complications of menopause?
Lowering estrogen levels has long-term consequences for bones, blood vessels and the heart. After menopause, the risk of bone demineralization is higher, leading to their weakening and fracture in the event of a fall: it is osteoporosis.
Although the risks of cardiovascular disease (high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke) are lower in women than in men, they nevertheless increase after menopause. Ten years later, the risks for women are as high as those for men