Menopause is the last stage of a women’s menstrual cycle. This is a transition into new phase of women’s life. Menopause is not a health problem, hence you should not be afraid of this phase of life. This physiological state occurs due to hormonal changes. As a result, some factors involved can cause discomfort in you. Every year millions of women enter this phase of declining fertility process and this phase is inevitable in a woman’s life.
Menopause usually occurs between the ages of 40 to 55, but mostly it may occur up to 60 years also. It can occur early due to a medical condition or surgical removal of ovaries or uterus. Menopause is the stage of life that is the end of the menstrual cycle. Each person may experience symptoms differently.
There are three-stage of menopause:
Perimenopause is the adjustment time that begins before menopause and includes the 1 year that follows the person’s last period.
This menopause begins either 1 year after the last period or when menstruation has ended for a medical purpose like removal of ovaries and uterus.
Postmenopause is the following years of menopause. Somehow, it is difficult to know when the menopause is over and the postmenopause is beginning.
Symptoms of Menopause
Some of the common symptoms of menopause are:
- Irregular periods
- Hot flashes
- Night sweat
- Increased in heart rate
Elderly women may have neurological and psychological problems like
- Difficulty on focusing
- Memory loss
Some women also experience
- Dry in skin, mouth, and eyes
- Increased in urine output
- Sore or tender breasts
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Reduction of muscle mass
- Painful or stiff joints
- Reduction in bone mass
- Hair thinning or loss
- Increased in hair growth on other parts of the body, like face, neck, chest, upper back
- Weight gain and slowed metabolism
- Loss of breast fullness
Irregularity of periods during perimenopause is common and expected. Actually menstrual periods will skip a month and return or skip many months and then start monthly cycles again for some months. Menstrual periods also tend to happen in a short time so that they are closer together. Here the irregular periods may also cause pregnancy also. So be careful when you have irregular periods.
Around the period of menopause, some women feel physical symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and reduce in sex drive. It can also lead to anxiety, changes in mood, and mental health issues.
The symptoms may begin before menstruation ends; they can last for many years. The impact on a person’s quality and quantity of life can range from low to high.
Every person will experience menopause differently. Maintaining a good and healthy diet and getting regular exercise will help a person feel better and boost their overall health for a long time.
Causes of menopause
Women are born with human eggs, which are placed in the ovaries. These ovaries also make hormones estrogen and progesterone, which have control over their periods and the release of eggs. Menopause happens when the ovaries have no longer release an egg every month and menstruation ends.
Menopause is a regular part of aging when it happens after the age of 40 and above. But some females can go through menopause early. And some will have hysterectomy or damage of ovaries like chemotherapy.
How menopausal symptoms are treated?
Menopause is not a health problem but has naturally had some application in the hormone. However, it can have involved in physical and mental changes. Anyone who has concerns about the changes should seek treatment and advice.
A doctor may advise one or more of the following:
This therapy helps to balance the body’s hormone level by providing a supplement of estrogen and a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone.
Hormone therapy comes in different forms, including skin patches and topical creams. It can reduce the occurrence of hot flashes and other menopause symptoms.
When to avoid hormone therapy?
However, using it may have a high risk of developing certain diseases and health conditions. A person should not use hormone therapy because it has some risk factors for the following health problems, or if they have a personal or family history of these issues:
- Cardiac disease
- Blood clots
- Increase level of triglycerides in the blood
- Gallbladder disease
- Liver disease
- Breast cancer
It is important to have discussed the possible benefits and risks of hormone therapy with a doctor before deciding to use it.
Some will find that the following things can also help to relieve the symptoms:
- Use the medical gel and other products for vaginal dryness
- Prescribed pills, creams, and rings for vaginal dryness.
- A low dose of hormonal OC pills for hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and mood changes.
- Low dose antidepressants
Lifestyle tips for menopausal women
Tips for managing the challenges of menopause include:
- Getting regular exercise
- Practicing relaxation and deep breathing exercises regularly
- Having a healthful diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Quitting smoking and avoiding secondary smoke
- Avoid alcohol
- Need counseling for anxiety, mood swings.
- Establishing deep sleep habits and getting more rest
- Doing exercise for strong pelvic bone.
- Spending more time with friends and families.
Management of post surgical menopause
If people where underwent ovaries removal, they have menopause problems. This menopause happens in mid-age then it will be known as early menopause.
If early menopause means physician will suggest hormone therapy to reduce the symptoms, but it has some risks and also potential benefits of this hormonal therapy should be discussed.
In some treatments like chemotherapy or radiotherapy can cause menopause because they are targeting the hormone and ovaries to stop working either temporarily or permanently. It depends on patient’s age and location of the patients for the treatment
These people will also experience sadness or depression about the loss of fertility as early as. Here some people will decide to freeze the eggs if they want children later in their life by this treatment. This is important to discuss the health condition. Due to early menopause, there is a chance of heart disease and osteoporosis.