Menopause: Two signs during the evening that you are going through the transition

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Dr Traci Johnson verified that the peri-menopause occurs when the body begins to make less of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. The whole transitionary period lasts until you have had 12 concurrent months without a period. During the evening, one of the signs you are going through the natural change is experiencing night sweats. Described as “hot flashes” during the day, the onset of sudden intense heat across the face and chest can last for up to 10 minutes each time.

Hot flashes (or night sweats) can also lead to a red, flushed face and sweating.

Dr Johnson confirmed: “Hot flashes start when blood vessels near the skin’s surface widen to cool off, making you break out in a sweat. Some women have a rapid heart rate or chills, too.

“When they happen while you sleep, they’re called night sweats. They can wake you up and may make it hard to get enough rest.”

Triggers include warm temperatures, hot drinks, spicy foods, cigarette smoke, and tight clothing.

During the evening, when you might be more inclined to have intimacy with a partner, you may find that intercourse becomes uncomfortable.

Dr Louise Newson, a menopause expert, explained that during the transitionary period, less oestrogen causes the tissue lining in the vagina to thin and become drier.

Moreover, the bladder and urethra also thin and become weaker, increasing the frequency and urgency of needing to go to the toilet.

Dr Newson added: “As oestrogen helps cells to fight off harmful bacteria, a lack of this hormone makes you prone to urinary tract infections, such as cystitis.”


The NHS explained that cystitis is inflammation of the bladder, caused by an infection.

Mild cases usually resolve themselves within a few days, but some people experience frequent episodes of cystitis and may need regular long-term treatment.

The main symptoms of cystitis include:

  • Pain, burning or stinging when you pee
  • Needing to pee more often and urgently than normal
  • Urine that’s dark, cloudy or strong smelling
  • Pain low down in your tummy
  • Feeling generally unwell, achy, sick and tired.

The NHS explained: “Most cases are thought to occur when bacteria that live harmlessly in the bowel or on the skin get into the bladder through the tube that carries urine out of your body (urethra).”

Long-term or frequent pelvic pain, alongside problems peeing, may signal the condition interstitial cystitis.

A “poorly understood bladder condition”, it mostly affects middle-aged women.

Unlike regular cystitis, there’s no obvious infection and antibiotics do not help.

Interstitial cystitis can lead to intense pelvic pain, felt below the belly button, sudden strong urges to see, needing to urinate more often, and waking up several times during the night to go to the toilet.

Dr Newson made clear that during the peri-menopause, women can still expect to have periods.

However, periods may begin to occur further apart, or closer together, becoming irregular, heavier or lighter in flow.

These changes are the result of the fluctuations of oestrogen and progesterone.

In the UK, the average age of menopause is 51, with peri-menopausal symptoms typically beginning around the age of 45.

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