Menopause, Causes and Symptoms
Menopause is not a disease or any kind of illness. It is a time when a woman’s menstrual cycle stops. A woman’s body goes through a lot of hormonal changes and there are different symptoms that she would experience. At the time of menopause a woman’s bones become weak and the cholesterol levels becomes worse which increases the risk of heart disease.
Causes of Menopause
Menopause is caused by hormonal changes in the body. The number of eggs in the ovary declines. During birth the total count of eggs in a woman’s body are 1-3 million which are lost throughout a woman’s life. When a girl has her first menstrual period, the average count of eggs is 400,000 and when she reaches the stage of menopause approximately 10,000 eggs are left.
During the first few years of a woman’s cycle, a substance known as FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) is responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles. As a woman ages at the time of menopause the left over eggs get immune to FSH and the production of estrogen is reduced in the ovaries.
Many parts of the body gets affected with estrogen which includes the heart, blood vessels, breast, urinary system, brain, skin, bones and uterus. The loss of estrogen is said to be the main cause of menopause. During menopause, testosterone (a hormone) also decreases its production which decreases the sexual drive.
Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause involves the following symptoms like:
- Hot flashes is most common symptoms of menopause are hot flashes. Nearly 75% women experience hot flashes and they vary in women.
- Hot flashes are when the body experiences sudden warmth for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes. Symptoms include increase in pulse, strong heart beat, reddened skin and this causes insomnia.
- Burning while urinating and urinary incontinence.
- Changes in the vagina because estrogen affects the lining of the vagina. Therefore perimenopausal women may experience pain during intercourse.
- During menopause a woman may experience changes in the shape of her breasts.
- The skin would also become thin.
- When a woman is nearing menopause she would gain at least 5 pounds during the first three years. Age and hormonal changes are factors for weight gain.
- Other symptoms include heart disease and cholesterol problem.