Menopause: symptoms, consequences and remedies

Menopause is that period in a woman’s life that marks the end of fertility, the menstrual cycle and, therefore, ovarian activity. Symptoms and consequences can be different, even though it is a normal condition. Menopause can also be early or late. But what are the remedies? Let’s find out more about it.

What are the symptoms, consequences and remedies for menopause? The menopause is a physiological and normal condition, typical of all women, characterized by the cessation of menstruation and, therefore, the impossibility of being able to procreate. This period coincides with the end of ovarian activity, i.e. the ovaries no longer produce the main female hormones – estrogens and progestogens – and the follicles. Despite being a normal condition, women undergo a series of changes: psychological, morphological, sexual and metabolic which, in some cases, can also worsen into pathologies. Menopause can be early – anticipated by stress, for example – or late.But what is the exact symptomatology linked to it? What do they come from and what are the consequences of menopause? Let’s find out more about it.

  1. What is menopause
    1. The premenopause
    2. Early menopause
    3. Late menopause
  2. Symptoms and consequences
    1. The hot flashes
    2. Osteoporosis
    3. Vulvo-vaginal atrophy
    4. Urinary incontinence
    5. Vaginal dryness
    6. Painful relationships
    7. The blood loss
    8. Tachycardia and palpitations
    9. Hypertension
    10. Cholesterol
    11. The slow metabolism
    12. The power supply
  3. The causes of menopause
    1. Hormones and menopause
  4. The diagnosis
  5. The remedies
    1. Natural remedies
  6. The prognosis

What is menopause

Menopause is not a pathology, but it is that period in a woman’s life in which the ovarian follicular function ceases, which leads to the definitive end of the menstrual cycle : this also puts an end to reproductive activity and, therefore, provides for the impossibility of conceive a child. During the period of menopause, the female sex hormones normally produced by the body also decrease: it is, above all, estrogens and progestogens that decrease and determine the onset of the typical symptoms of menopause.

As mentioned, everything revolves around the abrupt and radical change in the hormonal situation: the lack of estrogen is the cause of all those effects that occur during menopause, as this family of hormones acts, directly and indirectly, at the level of almost all organs. Changes in hormone levels cause various alterations , such as vasomotor, psychological disorders, menstrual irregularities, cardiovascular pathologies, bone disorders, changes in tissue and genital organs.

READ ALSOPremenopause: symptoms, ailments and natural remedies

The timing of this varies from woman to woman. Generally speaking, the onset of menopause occurs between 45 and 55 years of age : this can, however, occur before the age of 40, as early menopause or after 55, as late menopause . It is also good to point out that, before the actual menopause begins, there is a transition period called ” premenopause “, in which the menstrual cycle does not completely disappear and is irregular: to be in menopause, it is necessary, in fact , that there is an absence of menstrual flow for at least 1 consecutive year.

The premenopause

The menopause , which is the previous step to the occurrence of menopause, can last from a few months to 10 years. How does premenopause manifest itself? Its symptoms and complaints can vary from person to person and include irregular menstruation, hot flashes, weight gain, depression, vaginal dryness, anxiety, stress and fatigue. In this period, the woman who wishes to become pregnant can in any case remain pregnant: the body continues, in fact, to secrete sex hormones. The causes of premenopause are completely natural and this phenomenon can begin between 40 and 50 years of age on average, but it is possible that it also occurs after the age of 35.

Early menopause

The term ” early menopause ” refers to the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and fertile period that occurs early, ie under 40 years of age : this may be due to genetic factors, diseases or the like. This phenomenon affects about 1-3 per cent of Italian women who are of reproductive age. Symptoms of early menopause can include abrupt termination of menstruation, irregular menstruation, vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse, hot flashes, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, and mood swings.

The causes of early menopause cannot always be identified, but possible reasons include hereditary and genetic abnormalities – such as those in the immune system – or certain drug therapies, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Even an unhealthy lifestyle can lead to the age of menopause.

Late menopause

We talk about ” late menopause ” when a woman goes through menopause after 55 years of age: normally – we remember – this occurs between 45 and 55 years. The symptoms of late menopause are the same as those of menopause: there are, in fact, substantial differences and there will therefore be hot flashes, night sweats, decreased sexual desire, irritability and dryness of the skin.

Among the risks and consequences of late menopause , there is the appearance of tumors: in addition to possible osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases, in fact, menopausal women are more exposed to breast cancer, fibroids, uterine cancer and various malignant neoplasms. Therefore, prevention is important , as well as periodic medical visits to diagnose any pathologies in time.

Symptoms and consequences

The initial symptoms and consequences of menopause , in all its forms, are diverse and can include:

  • End of the menstrual cycle;
  • Hot flashes
  • Sleep disturbances ;
  • Weight gain ;
  • Night sweats
  • Depression ;
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Vaginal dryness ;
  • Pain during sexual intercourse;
  • Urinary incontinence;
  • Irritability ;
  • Mood swings;
  • Anxiety ;
  • Hypertension;
  • Chronic stress ;
  • Breast pain ;
  • Tachycardia or palpitations;
  • Chronic fatigue ;
  • Dryness of the skin .

The hot flashes

The hot flashes are one of the most feared symptoms of menopause: These are characterized by sweating, chills and a feeling of heat that spreads from the chest up to the face and neck, causing a rise in skin temperature.


It should not be forgotten that the loss of bone mineral density is characteristic of the menopausal period and that this can lead to the onset of osteoporosis , when not diagnosed and treated promptly. Osteoporosis , in or after menopause, is a pathology that attacks the bones making them fragile: they therefore risk fracturing at the slightest trauma, especially in the areas of the femur, spine and wrists. The loss of bone mineral density is fastest in the first few years of menopause, even if it continues throughout life. In addition to menopause, calcium and vitamin D deficiency and a sedentary lifestyle can also facilitate the formation of osteoporosis.

Vulvo-vaginal atrophy

L ‘ vulvo-vaginal atrophy affects about one in two women and makes its appearance precisely during menopause: this consists in the reproductive tract tissue degeneration of the woman and represents one of the most common consequences of the decrease of estrogen in the body. Symptoms of vulvo-vaginal atrophy occur during sexual intercourse and with vaginal dryness, vaginal itching , intimate burning and bleeding.

Urinary incontinence

L ‘ urinary incontinence in menopause is the inability to retain the pee and, therefore, it is the uncontrolled leakage of urine: this disorder is caused by weakening and loss of elasticity of the muscles of the pelvic floor, in addition to the drop in estrogen .

Vaginal dryness

The vaginal dryness in menopausal is a disorder that affects the female genitalia, especially during the period of menopause and may represent a dell ‘alarm bell vaginal atrophy . This disorder can make normal daily life, as well as sexual intercourse difficult, and can be characterized by irritation, burning, itching and pain.

Painful relationships

The painful intercourse in menopause are not uncommon: they feel any pain in the vagina may be caused by vaginal dryness caused by hormonal changes, or even from other pathologies associated with menopause such as vulvovaginal atrophy. However, this is mainly due to the lack of adequate vaginal lubrication , which makes penetration difficult.

The blood loss

The bleeding in menopause are a fairly common condition: this phenomenon could be that simple menstruation, with the approaching end of fertility, they are not very abundant; alternatively, it could be a simple case of spotting – dark brown blood loss – which may appear up to 1 year after the last menstruation.

If, on the other hand, the leaks are bright red, it is good to carry out checks, so as to exclude the presence of any pathologies, such as endometrial polyps : in most cases, however, these are disorders of inflammatory nature or that can occur after menopausal sexual intercourse , due to vaginal dryness.

Tachycardia and palpitations

The tachycardia and palpitations in menopause can be quite common, because of hormonal changes : in general, are manifested as if my heart jumped a beat, or as if it was beating too fast or too hard, especially in the chest, throat and of the neck. The palpitations and tachycardia may occur with some frequency, even in unexpected moments when you are quiet.


L ‘ hypertension in menopause is characterized by some higher than average, because of hormonal changes taking place: in general, a person suffering from high blood pressure when the pressure is above 140/90 mmHg. The values ​​to be taken into consideration are the maximum pressure (systolic) and the minimum pressure (diastolic).

In menopause, as always, it is important that blood pressure values are kept within limits, so as not to cause concern for health. The table below shows the values ​​in question:

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Blood pressure Values
Dangerous low blood pressure less than 50/33 mmHg
Pressure too low less than 60/40 mmHg
Low pressure less than 90/60 mmHg
Optimal blood pressure less than 115/75 mmHg
Acceptable blood pressure less than 130/85 mmHg
Pre-hypertension 130-139 / 85-89 mmHg
Stage I hypertension 140-159 / 90-99 mmHg
Stage II hypertension higher than 160/100 mmHg

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Symptoms of menopausal hypertension can include high blood pressure, palpitations and tachycardia, dizziness and dizziness, among other things.


The increase in cholesterol in menopause – the bad one – and the decrease in the good one can be a problem and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. To combat the increase in bad cholesterol , it is advisable to eat as healthy a diet as possible, which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, including foods such as soy and red clover, as well as whole oats, garlic and tea. green.

The slow metabolism

The slow metabolism may be one of the consequences of menopause, and this increasingly important because of the hormonal changes of this period. It is therefore necessary to pay attention to what you eat, opting for foods that stimulate metabolic functioning.

When we talk about slow metabolism we mean the slowdown of the functions necessary to produce the energy useful for the body to carry out daily activities. To speed up the metabolism during menopause , in addition to a conscious choice of food, it is important to change your habits, practicing regular physical activity and sleeping at least 8 hours a night.

The power supply

L ‘ diet in menopause is very important to not gain weight and even improve symptoms. The diet to lose weight in menopause and not to gain weight provides a natural and balanced diet. Here are some foods you can eat, divided by category:

  • Drinks: water, herbal teas, green tea
  • Cereals: wholemeal bread, brown rice, wholemeal barley, oats, millet
  • Legumes: soy, chickpeas, lentils, beans
  • Fresh fruit: cherries, melon, citrus, avocado, strawberries, grapes
  • Nuts: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts
  • Vegetables: asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, spinach, green peppers, fennel, peas, parsley, celery, dandelion, garlic
  • Seeds: flax seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • Dairy products: milk
  • Fish: salmon, tuna, cod, shrimp, trout
  • Meat: turkey
  • Other foods: eggs

Nutrition also helps counter some of the symptoms of menopause. For example, it is possible to eat wholemeal toasted bread against headaches and insomnia . Against swelling and water retention , foods with diuretic properties can be consumed, such as asparagus, artichokes, celery and melon. Obviously, drinking lots of water and even herbal teas is therapeutic.

Foods rich in L-arginine, vitamin E, antioxidants and potassium – such as soy, chickpeas, avocado, grapes and garlic – counteract the loss of cravings. Bioflavonoids contained in citrus fruits, green peppers and cherries improve symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety and irritability. It is important to ensure a correct intake of vitamins and minerals , thanks to the consumption of fruit and vegetables. To avoid gaining weight , avoid foods rich in salt and sugar, such as frozen ready meals and packaged soups.

The causes of menopause

The causes of menopause are completely natural: it is a normal period in a woman’s life, in which the loss of ovarian follicular function occurs and, consequently, the end of reproductive activity. During menopause, even female sex hormones undergo a decline: it is, above all, estrogens and progestogens which, decreasing, determine the onset of the typical symptoms of menopause. According to experts, the reduction in estrogen levels would alter the central nervous system, especially the thermoregulation center.

Hormones and menopause

The drop in hormones in menopause is what determines the onset of the typical symptoms of this delicate period for women.
When the ovaries stop eventually leading to follicle maturation, estrogen levels drop and progesterone production disappears . It is precisely in response to this imbalance that the pituitary gland increases the synthesis and release of follicle stimulating hormone or FSH and of the hormone LH, the levels of which are higher than normal. In menopause, there will therefore be a total lack of progesterone, a drop in estrogen and elevated LH and FSH levels.

The table below shows the normal reference hormone values:

Hormones Values
Follicle Stimulant (FSH) 30-150 mIU / ml
Luteinizing (LH) 10.8-61.4 mIU / ml
Estradiol Less than 20 mIU / ml
Estrone 10-60 mIU / ml
Prolactin 1.8-17.9 mIU / ml

The diagnosis

When symptoms appear, it is advisable to contact a doctor and / or gynecologist who – through tests and analyzes – will be able to establish the correct diagnosis and possible therapy . In addition to the medical examination and the study of symptoms, it may be necessary to carry out further tests to exclude or confirm the presence of other pathologies: for example, hormone dosage for monitoring the levels of female hormones, as well as bone densitometry for understand bone mineral density, pap smears, and mammograms.

The remedies

What are the remedies for menopause? You can make some simple lifestyle changes and then:

  1. Follow a healthy diet: lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as foods rich in calcium, fiber and antioxidants are the key to the typical symptoms of menopause; instead, avoid foods rich in fats, sugars and fried foods.
  2. Make physical activity: stay active to maintain a healthy weight and strengthen bones and muscles.
  3. Avoid bad habits: smoking, alcohol and excess caffeine should be avoided.

In some cases, the doctor may prescribe vitamin and mineral supplements or certain medications such as birth control pills, as well as anxiolytics and antidepressants for mood swings.

The hormone replacement therapy involves, however, the administration of estrogen and progestin, to try to compensate for the decreased production of hormones in the body. The type of drugs, the duration and the dose of the treatment will have to be decided exclusively by the doctor.

Natural remedies

Some natural remedies are very useful for counteracting the most annoying symptoms of menopause. For example, passionflower and lemon balm help you sleep better and reduce stress, giving a feeling of well-being. While bearberry and cranberries protect the health of the urinary tract from infections that, with the decrease in estrogen, can affect more frequently. The sage , however, is a great ally against hot flashes and night sweats.

The prognosis

Finally, the prognosis will depend on certain factors , such as the timeliness of intervention, the age and state of health of the patient. In any case, the results may only concern the symptoms, as it is good to remember that it is an irreversible and natural condition of the organism.

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