Our expert says:
Rose, I can remember editing an article on menopause some time ago for health24, so there should be a truck load of info on it on the site somewhere. Did you have a look? In summary, the symptoms of the climacteric range from nonexistent to severe. Hot flushes (flashes) and sweating secondary to vasomotor instability affect 75% of women. Most have hot flushes for > 1 yr, and 25 to 50% for > 5 yr. The woman feels warm or hot and may perspire, sometimes profusely. The skin, especially of the head and neck, becomes red and warm. The flush, which may last from 30 sec to 5 min, may be followed by chills. Psychologic and emotional symptoms--including fatigue, irritability, insomnia, inability to concentrate, depression, memory loss, headache, anxiety, and nervousness--may be related to estrogen deprivation and the stress of aging and changing roles. Sleep disruption by recurrent hot flushes contributes to fatigue and irritability. Intermittent dizziness, paresthesias, palpitations, and tachycardia may occur. Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, arthralgia, myalgia, cold hands and feet, and weight gain are also common. The vaginal mucosa and vulvar skin become thinner, the normal bacterial flora changes, and the labia minora, clitoris, uterus, and ovaries decrease in size. Women tend to lose pelvic muscle tone and to develop urinary incontinence, cystitis, and vaginitis. Complaints of decreased libido are common. Let me know as a new question if you have more questions. Good luck.
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