Menopause can cause distress although it is a natural biological process. It is the time in a woman’s life defined by the ending of menstrual cycles. It is typically diagnosed after periods have stopped for one year. In the U.S., the average age for menopause is 51, but many women in their 40s also experience menopause. (1)
Symptoms of menopause can dramatically affect a woman’s quality of life. As menopause starts, normal hormonal changes can cause such changes as longer and heavier flow, or the reverse: shorter periods with less bleeding. These changes are common signs of menopause, and not necessary distressful. However, one should consult a healthcare provider if changes include:
increased frequency of bleeding
periods that last longer than a week
or periods resuming more than a year after no bleeding has occurred (2)
Some ways in which menopause can cause distress include:
Hot flashes–sudden feelings of heat in the face and neck, overall upper body, or entire body; red blotches on skin. They can be intense enough to cause sweating and can last from seconds to several minutes. They may also happen in different intervals such as from several per hour to once or twice weekly.
Vaginal Dryness–menopause commonly causes vaginal dryness which can make intercourse uncomfortable. Dryness can also cause vaginal infections.
Bladder Control–women may experience bladder control issues during menopause such as sudden need to urinate; stress incontinence during exercise, laughing, coughing, sneezing, or feelings of urgency to urinate without producing urine.
Mood changes–moodiness is common and often includes depression, sadness and irritability as well as periods of mood changes
Other changes during menopause can include body changes such as loss of muscle tone, thinning skin, joint stiffness or achiness, and headaches. (This symptom list is not exhaustive).
If you would like to see how Chinese medicine can help you with menopause-related symptoms, text us at (502) 299-8900 for an appointment,