Both male and female menopause have several different periods. The fair half of humanity in this regard was a little luckier, since it takes a year or two for each stage. For men, the same thing can stretch for up to 3 years – the benefit is at least in a smooth form. Again, the set of symptoms characteristic of each stage is the same for both sexes. It’s just that women have a much wider list of them. And they often have situations with the manifestation of menopause symptoms in such a vivid form that this normal process has to be corrected, like a pathology.
The first stage of menopause is called premenopause. In women, it occurs at about 40 years old. Usually – even closer to 45, but if earlier, this is not considered the norm and brings the woman closer to an early menopause. In men, premenopause occurs 8-10 years later. This stage is characterized by a noticeable, albeit gradual, decrease in the level of production of the main sex hormone in the body – estrogen or testosterone. Its low level begins to create problems of that part of sexual activity, which we cannot but notice.
In particular, men have a decrease in erection and desire, the amount of seed in the testes may decrease. At the same time, it significantly reduces the number of viable sperm. In women, violations of the critical days schedule usually occur. That is, at this time they can become irregular – disappear for a considerable period, and then reappear. The nature of bleeding often changes – they look increasingly scarce and shorter, symptoms that have long become familiar (PMS of premenstrual syndrome) are significantly smoothed out.
Women are much more likely than men to experience symptoms such as periods of accelerated heartbeat and shortness of breath. Their mood changes more and more often. All these symptoms are due to the fact that estrogen begins to decline first. And prolactin, which, in fact, provides them, is still normal. It’s just that if earlier its effect was balanced by a set of other hormones, now this set and its proportion are changing. Hence the jumps in prolactin levels, giving all this. In men, prolactin is not produced in the body – only estrogen. Therefore, if a man experiences something similar, the similarity is very distant and associated more with atherosclerosis than with menopause.
As you can see, premenopause disrupts a significant part of the functions of the reproductive system. However, it does not affect deeper physiological processes – connecting the reproductive system with the whole body. For example, at this time, the probability of conception is markedly reduced, but not at all and not to the same extent. Moreover – reduced yet does not mean impossible. Premenopause makes it more difficult to have a full sexual intercourse than the ability to have a baby. After all, the basic level of sex hormones is still maintained. So, they continue to protect the skeleton and the cardiovascular system, maintain muscle tone, activity of the cerebral cortex, etc.
The apparent failure of hormonal regulation is the next step, called perimenopause. At this time, organs and their systems, which we were not used to associating with sexual activity, also begin to fail. Earlier and more often, in both sexes, the thermoregulation of the body and the activity of the cardiovascular system change. Perimenopause is characterized by hot flashes – sudden bouts of intense heat, sweating, which are indeed accompanied by a rush of blood to the face. And also often heart rhythm disturbances. In this way, the heart and blood vessels try to adapt to a critical decrease in the level of the hormone, which until now has regulated the speed of their work. This process is not critical and does not threaten a collapse of cardiovascular activity. Indeed, in addition to sex hormones, her work depends on the level of adrenaline, and with him everything is in order with us – now and in the future. In any case, even if it’s not in order, the climax is clearly not to blame – it does not affect the synthesis of this hormone in the body.
Among other things, in women by this time the supply of viable ovules in the ovaries is already running out. Similarly, there are almost no active sperm in the male seed. Therefore, critical days in perimenopause become very rare or may even end early. In men who have reached this age, with orgasm, there is actually one continuous ejaculate produced by the prostate gland – the percentage of seed in it is very small, if at all.
These changes end, of course, with the cessation of critical days in women and the stability of the condition in men. And this stage is called, in fact, menopause. Under stability should mean a sharp decrease in sexual desire. And also a persistent inability to have a full erection – in any case, in the vast majority of men. In women, episodes of a spontaneous burst of attraction completely disappear – it becomes, as it were, steadily reduced. Naturally, all this does not exclude the possibility of sexual intercourse, but it requires long preparation for it. Often accompanied by a number of auxiliaries.
All our remaining lives are scientifically called postmenopausal women. Can we have sex after menopause? Undoubtedly. However, active sex life at this time is undesirable, often impossible. It entails a number of difficulties and is fraught with problems with the health of the external genital organs. Does the ability to conceive remain at this time? Of course not. The likelihood of conception after 50 years in women is extremely low. Subject to attempts to do this with a peer partner, it is practically zero. Although sometimes, in rare cases, this is possible. Especially with a younger or ideal partner from a genetic point of view.
It should be noted that the ability to reproduce in postmenopausal men is slightly higher than in women. Thus, the protection from unwanted pregnancy, oddly enough, remains relevant even after menopause. If we change partners, these measures “from youth” can help us prevent not only unlikely, but also possible pregnancy. They will also reduce the risk of genital infections, to which we also only become more sensitive over the years.
We just described the norm. That is, changes in the cycle in women after 40, a decrease in the volume of ejaculate, a decrease in attraction and erection in men after 50. For both sexes, attacks of fever and sweating are characteristic – especially at night. In men, they occur on average in the period from 50 to 57 years, in women – in the period from 45 to 47 years. Deviations from these standards are considered late or early menopause. Although the final conclusion is made, of course, not only by the time the onset of certain symptoms. For our menopause to receive this or that status, we need a higher / lower level of the main hormone in the blood. And besides, the presence / absence of other symptoms, the completeness of their picture and the certainty of their manifestations.
As we said, men menopause changes are manifested mainly by external signs of decreased sexual activity and more or less pronounced hot flashes. In women, however, it can be a question of either reducing the frequency of critical days or increasing it. In addition, menopause is far from always such scarce bleeding. On the contrary, quite often they become more plentiful, long and painful than in youth, at the stage of the formation of the cycle. Especially often, such a violent extinction of sexual activity occurs with late menopause – which began closer to 50 than to 40.
Such signs are not considered normal in any age period. A change in the nature and duration of bleeding (especially in the direction of increase) most often indicates a serious pathology. The case may concern blood coagulation, or maybe a tumor of the adrenal gland, uterus, ovaries. Especially often, the cause is a cyst, inflammation of the uterine mucosa or fallopian tubes, cervical erosion, etc. The most common scenarios of increasingly heavy bleeding in childbearing age are cysts, swelling, or inflammation of the ovaries. During menopause, this is usually uterine fibroids (possibly old, but dangerous now, as never before) and malignant lesions of any part of this organ.