What are some menopause symptoms?


Quick Answer

Common menopause symptoms include night sweats, irritability, hot flashes, increased urination and painful intercourse, according to WebMD. Menopause occurs after a woman has her last menstrual period, and a diagnosis of menopause is made after a woman has been amenorrheic for 12 months.

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Full Answer

Menopausal symptoms typically begin during perimenopause, the time just prior to the onset of menopause. Mayo Clinic states that these symptoms include mood changes, dry skin and hair, irregular periods, weight gain due to a slowed metabolism and thinning hair.

Menopause occurs in all women, but the cause of menopause is not the same for everyone. Natural aging and the decline of progesterone and estrogen, the reproductive hormones, bring about menopause in most women, according to Mayo Clinic. Women who undergo hysterectomies and have their ovaries removed experience what is known as surgical menopause.

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments also cause menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and amenorrhea, although menopause may not actually be present depending upon the age of the patient, states Mayo Clinic. Once the cancer treatment is finished, many women still have intact fertility and resume their normal menses.

Menopause is clinically diagnosed through testing the FSH and estrogen levels in the blood. As a woman approaches menopause, FSH levels increase and estrogen levels decrease, explains Mayo Clinic.

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