While most women will experience a gradual transition to menopause with a slow onset of symptoms, some women will experience an early (premature) menopause that may bring on immediate symptoms, depending on the cause of the ovarian failure. One common cause of immediate symptoms is a "surgical menopause" following the surgical removal of functioning ovaries.
Menopause symptoms can be perceived as physical problems, emotional disturbances, or problems associated with sexual functioning.
Physical symptoms of menopause include:
- "Hot flashes" - sudden waves of mild or intense body heat
- Night sweats - similar to hot flashes that occur at night and result in profuse sweating
- Difficulty sleeping
- Increasing variability of the menstrual cycle, including irregular and missed periods
- Decreased bone density (occurring later in the menopausal transition), potentially leading to osteoporosis and fractures.
Emotional symptoms may include:...