Hormone changes in a woman such as estrogen decline, the aging process itself and stress occur between the ages of 45 and 55. A woman’s menstrual periods stop altogether. This signals the end of fertility. Emotional changes associated with menopause are
  • Irritability
  • Mood changes
  • Lack of concentration, difficulty with memory
  • Tension, anxiety, depression
  • Insomnia
Physical signs and symptoms associated with menopause are:
  • Hot flashes, which are sudden waves of heat that can start in the waist or chest and work there way to the neck and face and sometimes the rest of the body. Sometimes heart palpitations accompany hot flashes.
  • Irregular periods that vary and can include:
  • Periods that stop for a few months and then start up again and are more widely spaced.
  • Periods that bring heavy bleeding and/or the passage of many or large blood clots. (This can lead to anemia).
  • Loss of bladder tone, which can result in stress incontinence (leaking urine when you cough, sneeze or exercise).
  • Headaches, dizziness.
  • There may be a growth of facial hair but a thinning of hair in the temple region.
  • Breast tenderness.
  • Bloating in upper abdomen.
  • Loss of some strength and tone of muscles.
  • Bones becoming more brittle, increasing the risk for osteoporosis.
  • Increased risk for heart attack when estrogen levels drop.
Medication to treat depression and/or anxiety may be warranted in some women. Also, certain sedative medicines can help with hot flashes.