Menopause is what happens when your body’s ovaries are no longer functioning. Normally, it is diagnosed in women after they’ve gone 12 months without a menstrual period. This process can begin in your late 40s and early 50s, but there is no exact science as to when it will begin for each woman.

How Does Menopause Affect a Woman’s Hormonal Level?

Although the process for menopause doesn’t officially occur until you’re late into your 40s or early 50s, as you approach your late 30s, your body begins to naturally produce less estrogen and progesterone. The period before experiencing menopause is called perimenopause, and with the depletion of estrogen and progesterone, your body begins to adapt to those lowered levels through weight gain, lessened bone strength, and more.

What Happens to Your Body During Menopause?

Common symptoms that are experienced throughout the process include irregular period, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, chills, night sweats, sleeping issues, mood changes, weight gain, slowed metabolism, thinning hair, dry skin, and loss of breast fullness. These are all possible symptoms, but they may not all occur in women.

The permanence of missing a menstrual cycle can be a gradual process. For instance, you may have your period, miss a month, and have it reoccur; or you may not see anything for several consecutive months before it returns. The cycles between each period may be shortened, but pregnancy is still a possibility at this stage if the transition hasn’t happened yet.

Can Menopause Cause Weight Gain?

Regardless of the level of diet and exercise you incorporate into your life, one of the most inevitable changes in menopause is weight gain. Estrogen loss plays a huge role in weight gain within women, because it usually helps control body weight. Another factor that may be present is in the depletion of estrogen, your metabolic rate may slow down.

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