Short Term Effects
- Vasomotor symptoms (hot flushes occur in about 3 in 4 women. A typical hot flush lasts a few minutes and causes flushing of your face, neck and chest).
- Psychological (irritability, confusion, irritability, memory loss, depression )
- Period changes. The time between periods may shorten in some women around the menopause; in others, periods may become further apart, perhaps many months apart. It can also common for your periods to become a little heavier around the time of the menopause.
Long Term Effects
- Skin and hair. You tend to lose some skin protein (collagen) after the menopause. This can make your skin drier, thinner and more likely to itch.
- Genital area. Lack of oestrogen tends to cause the tissues in and around your vagina to become thinner and drier. These changes can take months or years to develop:
- Your vagina may shrink a little, and expand less easily during sex. You may experience some pain when you have sex.
- Your vulva (the skin next to your vagina) may become thin, dry, and itchy.
- You may notice that you need to pass urine more frequently.
- Some women develop problems with recurrent urine infections.
- Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis). As you become older, you gradually lose bone tissue. Your bones become less dense and less strong. The amount of bone loss can vary. If you have a lot of bone loss then you may develop osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis, you have bones that will break (fracture) more easily than normal, especially if you have an injury such as a fall. Women lose bone tissue more rapidly than men lose it, especially after the menopause when the level of oestrogen falls. Oestrogen helps to protect against bone loss