Every woman is different. This statement doesn’t just apply to a woman’s body shape or size, it’s also relevant to internal health.
Menopause is defined as the permanent cessation of menstruation. It is a life event that every woman will go through universally – yet each experience of the menopause is unique. Although the symptoms that women experience may be completely different, there has been research to show that there may be a trend between cultural significance and menopausal symptoms.
What are the Symptoms of Menopause?
In the months or years that leads up to your menopause (perimenopause), you may experience any of the following:
- Irregular periods
- Hot flushes
- Vaginal dryness
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse
- Night sweats
- Sleep issues
- Reduced sex drive (libido)
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Mood swings
- Thinning hair
- Dry skin
- Problems with memory or concentration
What is Menopause Like Around the World?
United Kingdom and United States
Hot flushes and night sweats are the most common symptoms experience by American women. This may be a result of the diets we consume – processed foods, sugars, caffeine and alcohol can all contribute to worsening menopausal side effects.
Research in 1970 found that women in India only reported menstrual changes during their menopause – experiencing no other symptoms.
Hot flushes are a less common symptom amongst Japanese women, however the most reported symptom was shoulder stiffness. Other reported symptoms include fatigue, headaches and chills.
Women in Nigeria mostly complain about joint aches during their menopausal phase.
When a woman reaches menopause in China, she begins her ‘Second Spring’. This is a positive life stage in a woman’s life where she gains freedom from monthly menses and any discomforts that are associated with it.
 Flint M. The menopause: reward or punishment? Psychosomatics. 1975.
 Lock, Margaret. Encounters with Aging: Mythologies of Menopause in Japan and North America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
 Stefanopoulou, Shah, Shah, Gupta, Sturdee, and Hunter. An International Menopause Society study of climate, altitude, temperature (IMS-CAT) and vasomotor symptoms in urban Indian regions. Climacteric. 2014 Aug. Epub 2013 Nov 7.
 Ishizuka, B., Kudo, Y., Tango, T. (2008) Cross-Sectional Community Survey of Menopause Symptoms among Japanese Women. Maturitas. 61(3): 260-267.
 Eun-Ok, Im et al. (2011) Sub-Ethnic Differences in the Menopausal Symptoms Experience: Asian American Midlife Women. J Transcult Nurs. 21(2): 123-133. Available from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2838208/
 Oloyede, OA. (2018) Symptomatology of Menopause Among Suburban Nigerian Women. Topical Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 35(2): 188-191. Available from http://www.tjogonline.com/article.asp?issn=0189-5117;year=2018;volume=35;issue=2;spage=188;epage=191;aulast=Oloyede