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Menopause symptoms

Many women experience hot flashes, trouble sleeping, and bleeding in between. The pulse shoots up and sweat runs through the entire body. As a result, affected women often feel drained and exhausted. But why do the symptoms occur in the first place? We analyze the issue carefully.


1. The 4 stages of menopause

1.1. premenopause

1.2. perimenopause

1.3. Menopause

1.4. Postmenopause

1.5. Premenopause in detail

1.6. Symptoms of premenopause

1.7. Perimenopause in detail

1.8. symptoms of perimenopause

1.9. Menopause in detail

1.10. Postmenopause in detail

2. What are hot flashes?

3. Hot flashes are a typical symptom

4. What can women do against hot flashes?

5. Fight overweight

6. Strength training for bodybuilding

7. Sleep disturbances and fatigue as climacteric complaints

8. Vaginal dryness during menopause

9. Intermediate bleeds

10. Pregnant in menopause?

What you will learn in this article:

  • The 4 Stages of Menopause

  • What are hot flashes?

  • What women can do against hot flashes

  • How to fight overweight

  • Sleep disturbances and fatigue as climacteric complaints

  • Vaginal dryness during menopause

  • Intermediate bleeding

  • Pregnant in menopause

The 4 stages of menopause:

Hot flashes and breakthrough bleeding are some of the most common complaints during menopause. It refers to the years before and after the last period. Menopause or the climacteric are accompanied by a hormonal change. The ovaries produce fewer sex hormones. In general, there are the following 4 phases:

  • Premenopause

Premenopause is the beginning of menopause (often between the ages of 44 and 51)

  • Perimenopause

As Perimenopause is called the period shortly before the cessation of menstruation

  • Menopause

Time of last menstruation

  • Postmenopause

Last stage of menopause

Premenopause in detail

Premenopause marks the onset of menopause. Many times, this start cannot be recognized by menstruation, since bleeding usually occurs regularly. However, the first symptoms may appear when the production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone decreases. As a result, menstrual periods may be more irregular.

Symptoms of premenopause

The symptoms of premenopause can be very varied. Aside from exhaustion, women report weight gain and hot flashes. In other women, premenopause manifests as intermittent bleeding.

Pregnancy is still possible during premenopause.

Perimenopause in detail

The next stage in menopause is marked by perimenopause. This begins on average at age 47 and usually lasts about 4 years [1]. Perimenopause usually makes itself felt through persistent menstrual irregularities, while ovulation occurs rarely. The ovaries produce far fewer hormones.

Symptoms of perimenopause

In addition to irregular menstrual cycles, women often experience hot flashes and exhaustion during perimenopause. Many women also report sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and mood swings. However, the symptoms can vary greatly from person to person.

Menopause in detail

Menopause refers to the time of the last menstrual period. From this stage, the woman is infertile and ovulation no longer occurs. The median age in Switzerland is 51 years[2]. *

Postmenopause in detail

In postmenopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen, but hormone levels gradually return to balance. As a result, symptoms such as hot flashes become less severe. Postmenopause heralds the end of menopause.

What are hot flashes?

Hot flashes are one of the most common signs and symptoms of menopause. Millions of women suffer from sudden sweats, which are related to the body's own hormones. The heat suddenly spreads over the face and the entire upper part of the body. The face is flushed, often the heart beats faster, in some cases the body trembles after hot flashes.

Hot flashes are a typical symptom of Menopause

Nearly a third of all menopausal women suffer from unpleasant hot flashes. The duration of these "hot flashes" can vary greatly from person to person. While hot flashes attack some women for a few seconds, others often suffer from them for minutes. The frequency can also vary a lot.

Important to know: Diet can directly influence hot flashes. Although women often react differently to different foods, they should pay attention to the following points:

- Be careful with spicy food

- Alcohol can increase hot flashes

- Caffeine can cause hot flashes

- Nicotine is a toxin that can increase hot flashes

- Caution is advised when consuming sugar

What can women do against hot flashes?

An unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on hot flashes. Although they don't necessarily go away with a healthy lifestyle, experts recommend avoiding spicy foods, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine. If you eat right before bed, you risk sweating during the night.

Women with diabetes, in particular, often face a difficult task during menopause, as they tend to become overweight more often due to hormonal changes, even though they continue to eat as usual. In this case, specific advice is recommended.

Fight overweight

When the body has to deal with hormonal chaos and looking at the scale causes frustration, the situation often puts a strain on the psyche. Time and time again, experts advise people to exercise to boost their metabolism. Sport usually has a positive effect on the mind. People who feel good in their body are more satisfied and draw energy from it.

Endurance sports effectively favor the cardiovascular system. Sports such as Nordic walking, jogging or cycling are suitable for this.

Strength training for bodybuilding

In addition to endurance sports, women can specifically increase muscle mass through strength training, thus mitigating the risk of diseases such as osteoporosis. The mix of a healthy diet, effective exercise sessions and avoiding toxins should be the goal. Others turn to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to control the symptoms of menopause. Depending on how these symptoms manifest, a clarifying conversation with the doctor should bring clarity.

Sleep disturbances and fatigue as climacteric complaints

In addition to hot flashes, sleep disturbances are one of the most common complaints during menopause. This is usually related to the change in hormonal activity. As a result, many women have trouble falling asleep. Others wake up at night drenched in sweat and exhaustion dominates everyday life. The decrease in estrogen production can also have a direct effect on mood. Mood swings and nervousness often weigh heavily on those affected.

However, it must be borne in mind that menopause does not always have to be the trigger for sleep disturbances. Being overweight, everyday stress or hyper and hypothyroidism can cause sleep disorders, just like certain medications.

Especially if you wake up at night sweating, a few tips may come in handy:

- Avoid toxins like alcohol

- Air out your bedroom at regular intervals

- Many experts recommend a room temperature of about 18 °C

- Use breathable bedding

- Avoid heavy meals before going to bed at night

Vaginal dryness during menopause

Approximately one in five women suffers from vaginal dryness, and after the age of 45 almost one in two[3]. Often this is directly related to falling estrogen levels, which can be accompanied by tissue changes.

Vaginal mucosa dryness is an unpleasant problem for many women and can quickly affect your sexual life or your mental health. Also, a dry vagina is more sensitive to infections and bacterial invasions. But there are solutions to remedy the lack of estrogen. Special preparations or hormone therapies can increase the estrogen level. However, you should first have a clear discussion with your doctor to learn about possible side effects.

Intermediate bleeds

Spotting and bleeding between periods can also be a consequence of decreased production of estrogen and progesterone. Because both hormones influence the menstrual cycle, many women experience irregular bleeding. These can be weaker, heavier, short or long.

Pregnant at menopause?

As long as women have their period, they can become pregnant, even during menopause. Although the chance of pregnancy is much lower during menopause, these considerations must be taken into account when using contraceptive methods.


*The average age of menopause in Spain, as well as in Switzerland, is 51 years, according to data from the AEEM (Spanish Association for the Study of Menopause) source: /early-menopause-symptoms.

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