Menopause Symptoms

The onslaught of menopause has different reactions and shows different symptoms in different women. Before the actual start of menopause, there are several signs and symptoms which may or may not be common to different women. The most common symptom that brings about the onset of menopause is the beginning of irregular menstrual periods. The irregularity may vary from woman to woman and the frequency or flow of periods might see some variation. With decreasing trends in ovulation, a woman might still become pregnant though the chances become lesser with everyday.  

With menopause, the lining of the vagina and the urethra gradually have less elasticity and become drier and thinner. Some women also have burning and itching sensations in the urinary tract and even vaginal infections is cause by menopause from time to time. Sometimes women experience involuntary passing of urine while coughing, sneezing or laughing. The urge to urinate very frequently is also another common symptom of menopause. In some cases women may have pain during sexual intercourse, or at the least be uncomfortable.  

Most women encounter what is known as the hot flashes during menopause. The hot flash is thought of as one of the most frequently experienced of symptoms, which is an outcome of low estrogen levels which makes blood vessels increase in size. During such hot flashes, women tend to sweat and have a flushed appearance.

Weight gain is another avidly seen symptom of the onset of menopause. Weight concentration is usually seen around the waist and abdomen areas. Other physical changes are also seen in the form of thinning hair, wrinkles, fuller breasts, adult acne, besides others.

Menopause Testing

A hormone will only act on a part of the body if it ‘fits’. A hormone can be thought of as a ‘key’, and its target site (such as an organ) has specially shaped ‘locks’ on the cell walls. If the key, (the hormone), fits the lock (on the cell wall), then the hormone will work. The endocrine glands get feedback from the body so they can adjust the hormones and keep them at the right levels. If you are experiencing menopause symptoms, you should have the following hormone levels tested.

Hormone Level Testing - Testosterone

If you want to remain manly, you need a steady flow of testosterone, or androgens, as this hormone is responsible for the normal growth and development of male sex organs, and the maintenance of secondary sex characteristics. Without enough of it, you can feel anxious, depressed, become intellectually muddled, and develop a low sex drive. Also, low levels of testosterone may result in a decline in muscle mass and strength, and an increase in upper body and abdominal fat.

How Testosterone Level is Tested

A testosterone test checks the level of male hormone (androgen) in the blood. Testosterone affects sexual features and development. In men, it is made in large amounts by the testicles. In both men and women, testosterone is made in small amounts by the adrenal glands; and, in women, by the ovaries.

Hormone Level Testing - Estrogen

Estrogens are responsible for female sexual development and function, such as breast development and the menstrual cycle. In women, estrogens are produced mainly in the ovaries and in the placenta during pregnancy. Small amounts are also produced by the adrenal glands. In men, small amounts of estrogens are produced by the adrenal glands and testicles. Small amounts of estrone are made throughout the body in most tissues, especially fat and muscle.

How Estrogen Level is Tested

An estrogen test measures the level of the three estrogen hormones (estradiol, estriol, and estrone) in a blood or urine sample.

  • Estradiol is the most commonly measured type of estrogen for non-pregnant women. The amount of estradiol in a woman's blood varies throughout her menstrual cycle. After menopause, estradiol production drops to a very low but constant level.
  • Estriol levels are usually measured during pregnancy. It is produced in large amounts by the placenta, the tissue that links the fetus to the mother. Estriol can be detected as early as the 9th week of pregnancy, and its levels increase until delivery. Estriol can also be measured in urine.
  • Estrone may be measured in women who have gone through menopause to determine their estrogen levels. It also may be measured in men or women who might have cancer of the ovaries, testicles or adrenal glands.

Hormone Level Testing - Progesterone

Progesterone is a female hormone produced by the ovaries during release of a mature egg from an ovary (ovulation). Progesterone helps prepare the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to receive the egg if it becomes fertilized by sperm. If the egg is not fertilized, progesterone levels drop and menstrual bleeding begins, except in the case of menopause.

How Progesterone Level is Tested

A progesterone test measures the amount of the hormone progesterone in a blood sample.

Are You Showing Menopause Symptoms?

Most important, even though it is not an illness, you shouldn't hesitate to get treatment if you're having severe symptoms. There are conventional treatments and holistic treatments available, from lifestyle adjustments to hormone therapy.


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