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Postmenopause Symptoms: What they Are and When Should I Worry?

Postmenopause is the time in a woman's life after menopause, when she is no longer fertile. Menopause is reached twelve months after a woman's last period. After this moment, a woman enters to the stage that is known as postmenopause.

Postmenopause Symptoms

During menopause, the hormones in the body are in a state of constant change. They instigate all the changes that take place in the body during the menopausal transition from being fertile to infertile. As they fluctuate, they can provoke a number of unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms. These include:

Postmenopause Symptoms: What they Are and When Should I Worry?
  • Hot flashes
  • Mood swings
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats

In postmenopause, the fluctuations in hormones cease, so many of these symptoms will stop. However, some of these symptoms are a consequence of low hormone levels. In these cases, it is normal to continue experiencing some of these symptoms. Read on to learn more about normal postmenopausal symptoms.

Are My Postmenopausal Symptoms Normal?

1

Mood swings

Postmenopause Symptoms: What they Are and When Should I Worry?

Mood swings are sudden and dramatic feelings of sadness, irritability, or extreme happiness, which appear to have no direct cause. The cause of these mood swings is, in fact, fluctuating hormone levels. Fluctuating hormones can impact your emotional state and well-being. As mood swings are associated with changes in hormones, as opposed to low hormone levels, it is unlikely that your menopausal mood swings will continue postmenopause.

2

Hot flashes

Postmenopause Symptoms: What they Are and When Should I Worry?

Hot flashes are sudden and intense sensations of intense heat, usually around the neck and face area. Because they are a consequence of low hormone levels, it is possible that hot flashes will continue into postmenopause. If this is the case, and if you are struggling to cope with them, it is advisable to seek medical help.

3

Irregular periods

Postmenopause Symptoms: What they Are and When Should I Worry?

As the definition of "postmenopause" is the time after the end of the menstrual cycle, it is impossible to experience irregular periods during postmenopause. If you do experience bleeding after menopause, it may be wise to contact a doctor.

If you are experiencing mood swings, hot flashes, or another menopausal symptom into postmenopause, it could be a symptom of low hormone levels. However, if you are particularly concerned and especially if you experience what appears to be menstrual bleeding, this is not considered normal, and it is important that you consult your doctor.

For more information on postmenopause treatments, click on the link below.

Are Ovarian Cysts Common in Postmenopause?

Menopausal symptoms usually subside in postmenopause, but these women are still at risk for ovarian cysts, which can lead to ovarian cancer.

3 Ways to Prevent Cancer during Postmenopause

The risk of certain cancers increases in postmenopausal women, and it can be caused by environmental factors or dangerous habits.

How Do Hormone Levels Change in Postmenopause?

Menopause symptoms usually dissipate by postmenopause, but some symptoms may persist. Click here to learn more about hormones during postmenopause.

Sources:
  • BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.
  • Hopkins, Virginia. Lee, John R. M.D. What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause. New York: Warner Books Inc., 1996.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.