Menopause is a time that marks the end of your menstrual cycle. After menopause, your body will no longer be able to reproduce and will make lesser estrogen and progesterone as you age. It is a natural biological process, but the physical symptoms like hot flashes and emotional symptoms of menopause can disrupt your sleep, lead to lower energy levels or affect your emotional health.

Although it sounds simple, menopause is not just about periods stopping and someone no longer being able to reproduce. Although they are two of the main elements, there are many changes that occur in the body during this time. It is important to remember that although menopause is something that commonly happens as we age over 40 years, it can sometimes happen to younger people as well.

Menopause Symptoms And Causes

In the leading years up to menopause- called perimenopause- every system of the body is affected, creating or aggravating symptoms of menopause like:

  • Unpredictable periods, missed periods, and/or heavy menstruation
  • Hot flashes and night sweats
  • Mood swings or new/ increased mental illness
  • Headaches
  • Changes in body shape and size
  • Changes in sexual desire
  • Vulval and vaginal dryness
  • Bladder and urinary tract problems
  • Skin issues
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fatigue
  • Bone and health problems
  • Digestive problems

The signs and symptoms of menopause may vary among women. Often periods will skip a month and return or skip several months, then start monthly cycles again for some months.

Periods also tend to happen on shorter cycles and are closer together. But despite irregular periods, pregnancy is possible. If you have skipped a period but are not sure whether it is due to menopause, consider a pregnancy test if you are sexually active. Hormonal tests like Sr FSH levels also indicate how close to menopause you are.


Why does menopause happen?

Menopause can result from:

  • Naturally declining reproductive hormones progesterone and estrogen. In your 40s, your periods can get longer and shorter, heavier or lighter and more or less frequent until eventually, by age 50, your ovaries stop producing eggs, and you no longer get periods.
  • Surgeries that remove the ovaries and/or uterus. These surgeries cause immediate menopause. The signs and symptoms can be severe as the hormonal changes occur abruptly rather gradually over several years. Your Gynaecologist will help you with any bothersome symptoms
  • Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can induce menopause. This is not always permanent, so birth control measures may still be desired.
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency can lead to premature menopause. This can stem from genetic factors or autoimmune diseases.