Fatigue

For women in menopause...

Fatigue can come crashing in at any time, for no good reason.

fatigue

What is menopausal fatigue?

Menopausal fatigue, or crashing fatigue, is when the feeling of extreme exhaustion and complete lack of energy suddenly becomes overwhelming.

Oftentimes with this symptom it’s not about feeling sleepy or wanting to go to bed. It’s about not being able to carry on with your normal activities because of a complete absence of energy.

Stress and anxiety can be a trigger for this type of lethargy.

Why does menopause cause fatigue?

As with many of the other symptoms of menopause, hormonal imbalances are the major culprit. Your energy levels will mirror the fluctuations in your estrogen levels and when they are rock bottom you will be sure to feel fatigue.

These hormonal changes will also interrupt your normal sleep pattern. The resulting sleeplessness will cause fatigue during the day.

Other menopausal symptoms such as memory lapses can cause stress which will also contribute to fatigue.

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.