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Menopause is a natural decline in reproductive hormones when a woman reaches her 40s or 50s.
Menopause is signalled by 12 months since last menstruation.
Common symptoms include:

  • Hot flashes, also known as vasomotor symptoms (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the body).

  • Night sweats and/or cold flashes.

  • Vaginal dryness; discomfort during sex.

  • Urinary urgency (a pressing need to urinate more frequently).

  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia).

  • Emotional changes (irritability, mood swings, mild depression).

  • Dry skin, dry eyes or dry mouth.

People who are still in the menopause transition (perimenopause) may also experience:

  • Breast tenderness.

  • Worsening of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

  • Irregular periods or skipping periods.

  • Periods that are heavier or lighter than usual.

  • Racing heart.

  • Headaches.

  • Joint and muscle aches and pains.

  • Changes in libido (sex drive).

  • Difficulty concentrating, memory lapses (often temporary).

  • Weight gain.

  • Hair loss or thinning.

The combination of these symptoms can cause anxiety or depression.
Menopause treatments focus on symptomatic relief. Vaginal dryness is treated with topical lubricants or oestrogen. Medications can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flushes. In special circumstances, oral hormone therapy may be used.

Consult your gynecologist for menopause treatment.

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