What is Menopause?
Menopause signs and symptoms : Menopause is a process through which women stop to menstruate. It is a normal process and an unavoidable part of women’s lives. So, it is not considered as a disease. It is defined as having no menstrual period for at least one year. 51 is the common and average age of experiencing the termination of the menstrual period.
All about menopause
There is no fixed age of this condition. It is partially genetic. If your grandmother and mother got it in the early 40’s there is a high chance that you experience at an early age. The usual age is between 45 and 55. The age of experiencing the condition also varies according to the health, circumstances, physical structure, and social status of a woman. It typically occurs in your late 40’s or early 50’s.
Despite being a normal process women experience several changes in their body and mind during the time. Symptoms may start several years or months back from the final termination of the menstrual period or it may continue for a few more years. Though it is not a disease women need to consult doctors for treating some common issues at that time.
Essential facts to know about menopause
Once you are well-versed in menopause Facts, it will be easy to make a plan accordingly to overcome this transitional journey easily. Here are some common facts you should know:
- Constipation:It is the end of women’s fertility.
- Ovaries stop producing eggs due to the hormonal changes.
- Hot flashes, night sweats, mood fluctuations, vaginal dryness, and weight gaining are some common symptoms of menopause.
- There is a decrease of estrogen level in your body.
- Menopause leads to bone loss.
- Treating the symptoms effortlessly there are several medical treatments and home remedies. Hormone replacement therapy and lifestyle boosting techniques are very useful for most of the women.
Symptoms and signs
Menopause Description:IT is not a disease; it is a phase of life every woman faces in her lifetime. It brings some profound changes in women’s body and mind.
It starts officially when a woman stops her menstrual period finally and the condition continues for one year consistently. Usually, the symptoms appear before the end of that one-year time. There are lots of irregularities in the menstrual cycle in the premenopausal time and women have most of the symptoms at that time include:
Asymmetrical periodical cycle
You will have a change in your periodical cycle and it is the very first sign of menopause. When some women experience a period within a gap of 2 to 3 weeks others may not menstruate even once in a month. This irregularity may be the sign that you are going to enter into the menopausal phrase.
Facts about menopause – Lower fertility
Perimenopause is the in-between period from normal menstrual periods to zero periods. This change may take up to ten years. During this stage, many women experience several bodily changes resulting from the hormonal change. You can feel uneasiness such as feeling weak or heavy sweating. Estrogen levels of your body drop noticeably. Women become less fertile. So, there is a lesser chance of getting pregnant at that time.
At the stage of perimenopause, vaginal irritation, dryness, and uneasiness are very common. The result is burning sensation during urination and painful cohabitation in some women. It occurs as the estrogen level decreases alarmingly and it is the cause of vaginal atrophy. Vaginal atrophy is the trouble when there is an inflammation in the vagina and the thin and shrink vaginal tissues are responsible for this inflammation. Decreased lubrication is another cause of vaginal atrophy.
Natural menopause remediesA sudden feeling of heat is called hot flashes. During the perimenopause phase, women suddenly start to feel a burning sensation in the face, neck, and chest. It continues a few minutes or a few hours.
At that time, your skin may become red and you can feel an irritation. It is usual to start sweating at that time. You have an increased and irregular heart rate. Hot flashes are very common during the first year of irregular menstruation.
Women experience hot flashes in the daytime and when it occurs during the sleep it is called night sweats. Most women experience it for a few minutes. It disturbs sleep badly.
During the time, it is difficult to stay asleep for women. Night sweats create discomfort and you may feel difficulty in sleep. Anxiety is another reason that disturbs sleep during this period.
Help for menopause symptoms
At that time, the vagina becomes thinner, dryer, and less elastic. The urethra becomes dry and inflamed. All these can cause more frequent urination and there are more chances to get the track infection frequently.
Women can feel anxious, irritable, and tired. Depression and low mood are very common in most of the women. These are the results of changing hormonal secretion. Sadness, anger, and depression are more likely to affect your mood. These emotional symptoms trigger to the sleep disturbance.
You may experience low libido at the time of perimenopause period. It may be the result of an emotional change.
Problems focusing and learning
Cognitive functions, such as concentration can be affected during that time.
Some women may experience short-term memory problems and trouble focusing for long periods.
Other symptoms Of menopause
- Overweight and obesity are very common in menopause
- Hair loss and thinning
- Reduction in the size of breasts
You may develop a lot of complications during the time of perimenopause and menopause. These complications include:
There is an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases with decreasing levels of estrogen. Estrogen protects you from strokes and heart attacks. The drop in estrogen during menopause increases the risk of heart diseases especially if you have high blood pressure and cholesterol.
It is a silent yet serious problem after the final termination of menstrual cycle. Women may lose bone density rapidly during the primary few years at that time. Loss of estrogen level is the cause of Low bone density and it leads to a high risk of developing osteoporosis.
During the time, vaginal tissues and urethra lose their elasticity. This is the reason there is a frequent urge to urinate throughout the day. Women feel trouble in holding urine while coughing, sneezing, and laughing during the time.
There is a higher risk of breast cancer especially if you have a family history. You can reduce the risk by doing exercise regularly. A routine breast checkup is a must after menopause.
During menopause, women can follow several treatments to maintain comfort. Treatments range from hormone replacement therapy to self-management.
Most of woman neglect these issues usually. And many women actually don’t need any treatment. But if you start facing these problems at the early ’40s and the symptoms affect the quality of your life you should visit a doctor.
Depending on the symptoms she is facing, medical history and personal liking, a woman choose the type of treatment options.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Hormone replacement therapy is a well-accepted treatment option to balance estrogen and progesterone level. It works by replacing hormones that your body stops creating naturally.
menopause treatment guidelines
Estrogen therapy works well to reduce symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness. If your uterus has removed this therapy is suggested.
Combined hormone therapy is prescribed if you have still a uterus. In this therapy, estrogen and progesterone hormones are taken together. It is good as it prevents uterine cancer and may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
HRT is highly helpful for many of the signs that occur during menopause.
Benefits of HRT
- HRT successfully treats many worrying menopausal symptoms.
- It can help prevent osteoporosis
- HRT can reduce the threat of colorectal cancer
Risks of HRT
- Breast cancer may be a threat in HRT
- There is an increased risk of getting coronary heart diseases and strokes in this treatment option.
- There is a tendency of losing brain tissues important for thinking and memory when you are in this treatment. The chance increases if your age is 65 and over.
Some of the options of taking hormone therapy:
- Vaginal creams
Side effects of hormone therapy
It is not compulsory that all women experience side effects while taking the therapy. But most of the women tend to go through the problems after a few months of starting the treatment. These include:
- Tenderness in breasts
- Trouble when going to the bathroom
- Disturbed stomach
- Vaginal bleeding
In this treatment, estrogen is applied to the vagina using vaginal cream, tablet or ring. It releases a very small amount of estrogen and the vaginal tissues absorb this. This treatment is effective for vaginal dryness, discomfort, and some urinary problems.
Some antidepressant drugs in the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) category may decrease the symptom like hot flashes. Doctors suggest a low-dose antidepressant medicine to help the sufferer control the trouble like hot flashes and night sweats. It works effectively for a mood disorder. Usually, this treatment is suggested to the women who are not able to take estrogen for their health issues and are suffering from depression.
Though gabapentin is used for treating seizures it is effective to reduce hot flashes during the time of menopause. Women who can’t take estrogen therapy can take this drug to reduce the discomfort of hot flashes and night sweats.
Clonidine is used to treat high blood pressure. It is shown that this drug may have an effective remedial on hot flashes.
Pre menopause symptoms and treatment:Prevention for osteoporosis
Depending on your need, you are prescribed medicines by the respective doctor. As osteoporosis is a serious problem with aging you may need to take medicines to strengthen your bones. Preventing or reducing the risk of fracture or bone loss, there are several medications. According to your condition, your doctor will prescribe drugs.
Signs and symptoms associated with menopause are temporary. There are possibilities to handle all these symptoms with your careful guidance to yourself. Certainly, with some steps you can help you reduce or prevent the effects. These are:
Menopause natural remedies-Exercise
There is a range of benefits if you do regular exercise during that time of menopause. Exercising not only helps in losing weight but it reduces the risk of cancer, protects bones, and boosts one’s general mood.
Pilates is a physical fitness plan and this practice offers great benefits in reducing menopausal signs. It improves the problems related to the urinary system and also it improves the sleep and reduces hot flashes.
It is suggested to exercise during the daytime to avoid any disturbance or interruption in the sleep cycle.
Kegel exercises can be helpful for preventing or reducing urinary incontinence. It is performed to strengthen the pelvic floor. You will see a noticeable change after three or four months of practicing this exercise regularly. Practice it 3-4 times daily for a better result.
You need a healthy and nutritional diet during perimenopause and postmenopausal period. It is important to maintain a balanced diet not only for maintaining the body weight but to manage the effects of menopause.
The omega-3 fatty acid is shown highly effective in easing psychological stress and depressive symptoms. Oily sea fish and supplements are the good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
A well-balanced diet you should maintain in menopause includes:
- Whole grains
- Unsaturated fats
- Unrefined carbohydrates
Best antidepressant for menopause
You need to consume plenty of calcium and vitamin D each day during that time. Find out foods rich in natural calcium and vitamin D to reduce the effects of menopause. Milk, curd, yogurt, cheese are good for your health now. But don’t forget to discuss your diet with your doctor.
Hypnosis can reduce the difficulties of menopausal hot flashes. Women in this group have considerably fewer hot flashes and other difficulties.
Deep breathing techniques, guided meditation, and relaxation can also help reduce sleep disturbance. Stress can increase hot flashes and night sweats. So, try to avoid stress and practice relaxation techniques for better physical and mental health.
Other self-managing steps to reduce menopausal symptoms
- Get enough sleep. It is better to exercise in the daytime. Do not try exercises at night or before going to bed. Drinking too much caffeine or other stimulating drinks may disturb your sleep. Avoid this situation.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing. Wear relaxing and comfortable outfits especially, at bedtime. It helps you reduce the problem of night sweats and hot flashes.
- Consumption of spicy food, caffeine, and alcohol should be limited for overall wellbeing.
- Try to stay active sexually to reduce vaginal dryness. Be more intimate with your partner. Arousal talking and foreplay can help you reduce vaginal dryness and both of you can enjoy the intimacy in this way.
- Get plenty of rest and keep your stress levels minimum. Try to ignore the issues that are the reason for your anxiety.
- Keep the room temperature cool and comfortable when you sleep. It reduces the symptom of night sweats.
- Regulate the sleep cycle by maintaining a fixed time for waking up and going to bed every day.
- Smoking worsens the symptoms. If you have a habit of smoking regularly take the help of your doctor to quit it immediately. Staying active and leading a healthy life certainly brings a rapid change in the difficulties of menopause.
Menopause and libido
You have a decreased testosterone and estrogen level during menopause. So, getting aroused is difficult at that time.
Reduced estrogen level is the cause of vaginal dryness. There is a drop in blood circulation in the vagina that affects vaginal lubrication negatively. Thinning of vaginal wall, dryness and lower blood circulation lead to discomfort and pain during the intercourse.
There are many other physical changes that may affect libido also. Weight gaining is such a problem that lessens the desire of being intimate. Hot flashes and night sweats are two common discomforts during menopause that make you feel tired or lethargic for having intercourse. Low mood, depression, and irritability can make you separated physically from your partner.
Medical treatment for menopause
Remember that the situation is not permanent. If you have a good mental and physical bonding with your partner, you can return back the pleasure and love of your life. Here are some steps to reduce the symptoms of libido:
- Communicate with your partners.
- Maintain a clear and honest relationship with your partner.
- Practice kegal exercise regularly to boost the pelvic muscles.
- Focus on intimacy. Enjoy quality time together. Remember that physical intimacy comes from love. And when the love increases you will feel the desire of being intimate with your partner.
Menopause is a natural process in women’s lives. It is inevitable and every woman goes through the difficulties and symptoms of menopause. Proper nutrition, exercise, social engagement, relaxation, and self-management can help women reduce the symptoms of menopause. Regular health checkup is a must as you experience menopause.