Don't be ashamed: there are definitely some of you out there who have wondered, "What is menopause?" Menopause is a hormonal change that women go through when they are in their late forties or early fifties. During menopause, a woman will stop ovulating and stop having periods, making her no longer able to bear children. A woman is considered to be menopausal when she goes 12 months without having a period.But maybe you already knew all that. The rest of this list consists of menopause facts that you probably didn't know. This list explains what happens during menopause, so if you haven't gone through it yet, read this to find out all you have to look forward to. You'll also find some interesting scientific tidbits about menopause and why it happens. Vote up the most surprising facts about menopause.
Menopause Isn't Limited to Humans
Scientists used to think that humans were the only animals to live past their fertile years, but they recently discovered that female gorillas also go through menopause. This discovery may help scientists figure out why menopause evolved in the first place.
Menopause Changes the Hair and Skin
The shifting balance of estrogen and testosterone during menopause can cause thinning hair on the head, and also the growth of thicker hair on the chin and upper lip. Additionally, menopause may cause skin to lose elasticity and become dryer.
Menopause Can Cause Headaches
Many women already know that hormonal changes can cause headaches. It's not uncommon to get a headache during your period or during ovulation. Women who have headaches which are linked to their menstrual cycle are more likely to have headaches when their estrogen levels drop in menopause.
Menopause Causes Weight Gain
Women are more likely to gain weight during menopause because hormone levels greatly impact how our bodies store fat. Menopausal weight gain could also be a result of insomnia caused by night sweats. When people get less sleep, their appetites tend to increase because their circadian rhythm is off.