Menopause is a transition in life that every woman has to go through. It is as momentous as achieving puberty in teenage. But people often confuse menopause and post menopause as being one and the same thing. Menopause is the process through which the woman ends her reproductive years while post menopause is the period after the process has ended. A woman is declared as being post menopausal once she has missed all her menstrual cycles in a single year.
Her periods may start becoming irregular much earlier but post menopause usually happens after 2 to 3 years of the menopausal process. A woman undergoes many physiological and hormonal changes during this time which can lead to the manifestation of various symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Post Menopause
A woman may have any or all of the following signs and symptoms after she has achieved menopause.
Many women complain of urinary incontinence after menopause. The bladder becomes looser than it was before because of hormonal changes in the body.
This reduces its ability to hold on a large quantity of urine at any one time. Urine may leak out during coughing, laughing and sneezing.
The vagina feels dryer than before. This mainly happens because of a lack of a hormone called estrogen. The walls of the vagina are not able to produce lubrication and stay moist. Extreme dryness can also lead to itching in the area.
This is one of the most common symptoms after menopause. Lack of estrogen and other hormonal imbalances throw the body’s system out of control. It is no longer able to control the temperature inside. This is why most menopausal women have a strong intolerance towards heat.
This happens in episodes, especially at night. Women complain of very heavy sweating at night that lasts only for a few minutes but is very uncomfortable. But this tends to start reducing after post menopause and usually vanishes after about 4 years of post menopause.
Low Bone Density
The body starts losing a lot of calcium from the bones and teeth due to absence of estrogen. This makes the incidence of bone density problems in post menopausal women much higher than other women.
Due to various reasons, blood pressure tends to increase significantly after menopause. This is why as many as 70 percent of post menopausal women suffer from hypertension.
Insomnia is very common among women going through this stage in life. It is related to stress and other biological changes in the body. Most women complain that they have difficulty falling asleep as well as disturbed sleep throughout the night. This adds to tiredness and fatigue that has already been building up due to the body’s changes.
This kind of spotting is very different from light bleeding that occurs while a woman is still menstruating. Post menopausal women sometimes notice very mild spotting while urinating or during sexual intercourse. This has nothing to with periods but is just a little shedding by the uterus and other surrounding organs.