Hormones are chemicals made in your body, which send out messages through the blood stream. They help control many body functions such as repair of cells, reproduction, sexual function, digestion and temperature. The hormones of particular relevance at menopause are oestrogen and progesterone. The symptoms of menopause are created by changes in the levels of these hormones. The changes in oestrogen and progesterone usually happen over months or years as you approach menopause. If menopause is induced by surgery or cancer treatment, there can be a sudden drop in all of these hormones, causing symptoms to be more severe.
The decrease in female hormones, particularly oestrogen, can result in numerous symptoms of menopause, which can be physical and/or emotional. Menopause Symptoms generally include hot flushes, vaginal changes, sleep disturbance, mood swings and loss of libido. There are other physical and emotional symptoms such as aches and pains, crawling or itchy skin, sore breasts, irritability, but no one woman will experience menopause in the same way. Culture, health, previous experience of mood problems, lifestyle and whether you have had a natural, surgical or chemotherapy induced menopause will all impact on menopausal symptoms.*