In spite of the fact that all women go through it, quite a number of women are clueless as to what to expect during menopause.

Whilst some content with just the hot flushes, for others, menopauses utterly debilitating.

The average age of going through ‘the change’ is 52, but women can notice symptoms from their mid-40s, and they can last for anything between two to twelve years.

According to experts, the fluctuation in hormone levels impacts all women differently.  Feeling confused?  To help, an expert here gives an A – Z guide to the menopause.

ANXIETY: Doctors believe anxiety affects as many as one-in-three menopause women.

BLOATING: This often happens during the perimenopause (the period before the start of menopause).

CRAWLING SKIN: Some women get the feeling of ants scuttling over their skin.

DEPRESSION: Women who are going through the Menopause can feel very low. But note, this is different from clinical depression.

EYE PROBLEMS: Dry, tired or irritated eyes affect 60% of women over 45.

FATIGUE: A quarter of women will suffer from extreme tiredness.

GENERAL HEALTH: Some women attest to feeling constantly ‘under par’.

HOT FLUSHES: Three out of four menopausal women have these.

IRREGULAR PERIODS: Can be one of the first signs you’re approaching menopause.

JOINTS: Some women suffer from ‘menopausal arthritis’. It usually comes on at the onset of the change and causes moderate to severe pain – mainly in the fingers and wrists.

KEGEL EXERCISES: Regularly clenching your pelvic floor muscles can relieve symptoms of cystitis, vaginal pain and incontinence.

LANK HAIR: Changes to your hair can begin in the perimenopause.

NIGHT SWEATS: These are suffered by around 70% of menopausal women, for an average of five years.

OSTEOPOROSIS: Women can experience as much as a 20% drop in bone density after menopause, putting them at greater risk of developing osteoporosis. A healthy diet can help.

PROMENSIL COOLING SPRAY: This refreshing sprite provides instant relief from hot flushes and night sweats.

RISK OF HEART DISEASE: Heart attacks and strokes are the most common cause of death in women over 60.  Studies suggest women are more likely to get blocked arteries following the menopause.

SKIN: The body stops making as much collagen, so skin lacks elasticity. Due to this, and to dryness caused by hormonal changes, women experience wrinkles and sagging.

TENDER BREASTS: Change in hormone production can trigger fluid retention, causing soreness.

URINARY PROBLEMS: Menopausal women may pass water more often.

VAGINAL DRYNESS: This affects half of the post-menopausal women.

WEIGHT GAIN: Hormonal changes can make weight gain more likely. But a healthy diet and exercise can help counteract this.

YEAST VAGINITIS: During the change, the vagina’s walls become thinner due to decreased estrogen levels. This raises the risk of infections and may make sex painful.

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