Menopause is the physiological period (natural and not pathological) in a woman’s life, that marks the end of fertility as well as the end of the menstrual cycle.
When going through menopause, specific symptoms and light psycho-physical discomforts can occur. Actual menopause is when a woman has gone without the period for twelve consecutive months.
In this phase the production of estrogen and progesterone drastically drops. In a woman’s life, menopause takes place between the end of her forties and the early fifties. Based on statistics the average age a woman enters menopause is 51 years old. (ranging from 45 to 55)
There are many alerting symptoms that are part of the initial phase, the most common is an irregular menstrual cycle (light and short periods or very abundant and long lasting ones, painful cycle, periods every 2 to 3 weeks or every 2 to 3 months, etc).
In addition to an irregular cycle, other menopause symptoms can be:
Hot flashes: on the face, neck and chest, usually short and sudden
Night sweats: That are connected to hot flashes and happen at night
Heart palpitations: increase in heart rate
Insomnia: that can result from hormonal changes,
Anxiety, irritation, bad mood, depression and fatigue, that are a consequence of insomnia
Headaches: coming from irritation and anxiety
Loss of libido and sexual drive: due to estrogen drop
It exists a condition called early menopause, where the woman’s cycle stops much earlier than it should. Early menopause can be due to natural causes or be the consequence of surgery (ovary removal) or specific pathologies.
The term andropause doesn’t mean loss of reproductive function ( that rarely happens ), but a decrease in male hormones. This different hormonal imbalance, takes place very slowly and gradually, not drastically like menopause for women.
This condition usually occurs after the age of 60 in conjunction with weight gain, sedentary lifestyle and a physiological drop of male hormone (testosterone). There can be different symptoms that are also associated with metabolic, cardiovascular, locomotor, psychological, behavioral variations. This means that among other symptoms we can also find irritability, decline in cognitive function and slight bone weakness. Other symptoms can be: weakness, loss of muscle strength, fatigue, decrease in muscle mass, hair loss, abdominal weight gain, anxiety and depression, erection problems and loss of sex drive.