Menopause is the stage which marks the end of the menstrual cycle in a woman's life. Though a woman reaches the menopause stage between the age of 45-55 years, the process starts at least five years before menstruation stops completely. Menopause can be actually divided into several stages which begins with premenopause, followed by perimenopause and menopause, and ends with the post menopause stage.
During the first two stages, hormonal changes in the body start occurring which leads to symptoms like irregular periods, heavy or light bleeding, weight gain, etc. When a woman does not have her periods for more than 12 months at a stretch, she is said to be in the post menopausal stage. Post menopause can be described as a stage when ovulation does not occur due to which there are no chances of having menstrual periods as well as pregnancy. Just like menopause symptoms, some women may also experience certain symptoms even after menstrual periods have stopped permanently.
What are Post Menopausal Symptoms?
Usually, the symptoms associated with menopause die down once women reach the post menopausal stage. However, there have been cases when women have experienced some symptoms even during post menopausal stage. This is because of the hormonal changes that occur during the post menopausal stage. During this time, the estrogen and progesterone levels in the body goes down, giving rise to several symptoms. Sometimes, the symptoms may occur due to some underlying health problem. They are as follows:
One of the symptoms seen in post menopausal women is vaginal bleeding. Most of the time this bleeding is harmless and is caused due to hormonal imbalance. However, it can also be a sign of something serious in the reproductive system. Hence, women who experience vaginal bleeding after not having periods for twelve months continuously should consult a doctor immediately.
Vaginal Dryness and Itching
Feeling the need to itch the vagina frequently is another symptom that may be experienced during this stage. Constant itching in the vaginal area can lead a person to experience a burning sensation in that area. Vaginal dryness can also be experienced along with the sensation of itching. Dryness in the vaginal area can become the reason for lack of sexual interest in women. The doctor may recommend lubricants to get rid of the problem of vaginal dryness as well as itching. However, these may have some long-term side effects, and hence, it is advisable to use home remedies like olive oil for curing this problem.
Another common post menopausal symptom is hot flashes, which can be accompanied with heart palpitations and night sweats. Post menopausal women can have hot flashes not only at night, but also in the day; however, these may last for not more than a few minutes. During the period of hot flashes, one may experience dizziness, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, etc. The best way to deal with hot flashes is to indulge in activities that help in relaxing the mind and body.
Bladder Infection and Stress Incontinence
Bladder infection, commonly caused due to diseases like urethritis and cystitis is another post menopausal symptom. Infection in the bladder or urethra causes a woman to experience burning sensation while urinating along with lower back pain. Due to this, one may develop stress incontinence, where one loses the ability to control the passage of urine, and it is said to leak out while doing certain activities like laughing, sneezing, running, coughing, lifting, etc.
Bone Pain and Fractures
Post menopause, the bones are likely to become weak, leading to low bone density. Due to this, women are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis and bone pain. This also increases the chance of women to experience bone fractures and leg cramps.
How Long do Post Menopausal Symptoms Last?
The answer to this question will not be the same for everyone. While for some, it lasts only for 2-3 months, there are women who have to deal with these symptoms anywhere between 2 years to 10 years. As these symptoms usually cause discomfort and can also be an indicator of a serious problem, consulting a doctor will help relieve the symptoms as well as cure the underlying problem.
Though some of these symptoms will need specific treatment according to the cause, most of them can be cured with the help of natural remedies. If the symptoms are caused due to hormonal imbalance, hormone replacement therapy may be recommended by the health practitioner. Several tests will be conducted by the doctor to see if there are any problems in the reproductive system.
If he observes some kind of cyst, a hysterectomy may have to be conducted to remove it. Regular exercising and a balanced diet are also important to remain fit and fight diseases that can occur during the post menopausal stage. One may also require to take multivitamin and mineral supplements along with their diet to get rid of some of the post menopausal symptoms.
As a preventive measure, it is important for women to undergo regular checkups and tests like pelvic exams, mammograms, pap smears, etc., to prevent any kind of health problem that is associated with the post menopausal stage.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.