Menopause is a time in a woman’s life when she does not have a menstrual cycle for a year or more. It occurs at the age of 40-50. It is a natural process but women experience some symptoms during menopause. It marks the end of the reproductive life of a woman.
As the age of a woman increases, the reproductive cycle slows down and ultimately stops. The menstrual cycle starts at puberty. As menopause approaches, the ovaries start producing less estrogen which is an important female hormone. As the level of estrogen decreases, the menstrual cycle begins to slow down. It becomes irregular and finally stops. Women also experience physical changes due to hormonal changes in the body. The symptoms occur due to your body’s adjustment to hormonal changes in the body.
Symptoms of Menopause
Women may start experiencing some symptoms when they reach the age of menopause. The common symptoms experienced by women include the following:
A feeling of warmth all over the body called hot flashes
Sweating at night
Dryness of vagina and pain during sex
Urgency to urinate
Difficulty in falling asleep at night
Emotional changes such as irritability, depression, and mood swings
Dryness of skin, eyes, and wrinkles
Irregular heartbeat and palpitations
Pain in the joints and muscles
Low sex drive
Thinning of hair and hair loss
Every woman may not experience all the above symptoms. Some symptoms may occur due to other medical problems. Therefore, it is best to consult with a qualified and experienced doctor. CARE Hospitals has a team of highly qualified and experienced gynecologists.
Causes of Menopause
The main causes of menopause are:
Less production of oestrogen and progesterone due to increasing age is the main cause of menopause. These two hormones regulate the menstrual cycle.
The hormones are produced by the ovaries. Removal of ovaries due to surgery will result in menopause. Your menstrual cycle will stop and you will experience signs and symptoms of menopause.
Radiation therapy of ovaries will affect the functions of ovaries and may result in menopause. Radiation therapy of other organs will not produce any effect on the functions of ovaries.
Some women may experience menopause before the age of 40 which is called premature menopause. It may occur due to the failure of ovaries to produce sufficient hormones which may occur due to genetic diseases or autoimmune disorders.
Complications of Menopause
The risk of certain medical problems increases after menopause. Complications of menopause include the following:
Cardiovascular disease: The risk of cardiovascular disease increases as the level of oestrogen decreases in women. Therefore, women need to eat a healthy diet, go for regular exercise, and maintain a normal weight.
Osteoporosis: It is a condition in which bones become weak and the risk of fractures increases. . During menopause, the bone density starts reducing quickly which increases the risk of osteoporosis.
Urine incontinence: It is a common problem in women after menopause. Urine incontinence occurs because the muscles and tissues of the vagina and urethra lose elasticity. Women also suffer from frequent urinary tract infections.
Sexual functions: Women lose interest in sex after menopause due to dryness of the vagina and loss of elasticity. Women often experience discomfort during sex after menopause.
Weight gain: It is a common problem seen in women during menopause. This occurs because the metabolism slows down. Women have to eat less and exercise more to maintain normal body weight.
Diagnosis of Menopause
You must talk to a doctor if you start experiencing menopause symptoms and you are above 45 years of age. Your doctor may ask you to get some blood tests done to know the level of hormones in your body. Usually, FSH and Oestradiol are measured. High levels of FSH and lack of menstrual cycle for 12 months or more help in making a diagnosis of menopause.
Treatment for menopause
You will need to take the treatment if you are suffering from severe symptoms of menopause or if they are affecting your quality of life. Hormone therapy is the most common treatment recommended by the doctor for managing the severe symptoms of menopause. The doctor can also prescribe other medications based on your symptoms.
Doctors also recommend making lifestyle changes to reduce minor to moderate symptoms of menopause. Some tips for getting rid of menopause symptoms are given below:
Wear loose and comfortable clothes especially at night and in warm weather to reduce hot flashes.
Manage weight by reducing calorie intake and exercising moderately.
Talk to a doctor if you feel sad and depressed and experience mood swings, and insomnia.
Take supplements including calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium. The supplements will help in maintaining energy levels and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Practice meditation and breathing exercises to relax the mind
Avoid smoking and alcohol. Women in menopause should avoid drinking alcohol and quit smoking.
Women should manage sleep by doing yoga and other relaxation techniques.
Women should make changes in their diet and should try to eat healthy food to boost their energy levels. They should include calcium-rich food and magnesium-rich food in their diet. They should reduce calorie intake to manage weight.
The doctors at CARE Hospitals provide the best care and information based on your symptoms, medical history, and other information.
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