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Menopause, and now what?

24, February | No comments
Menopause, and now what?

Menopause is a new stage of women´s life in which the body will not be the same anymore so it is important to know what may happen from now on in order to be ready for the changes.

 

What is it?

 

Menopause, mainly, is a biological process in which the function of the ovaries ceases, the menstrual periods stop permanently therefore, it ends fertility. Menopause tends to appear between 45-55 years old. Usually it is referred to as the “change of life”.

 

It is not easy to diagnose as each women react differently and experience different symptoms. It occurs when the ovaries gradually make less estrogen and the woman feels changes and symptoms which can be annoying and unexpected. Although menopause is not a disease itself.

 

Menopause symptoms

 

  • Hot flashes are the most frequent symptom of menopause. You will feel heat through your body. They may include blushing, sweating and palpitations. This feeling will go on for some years after your last period. Hot flashes last 3-4 minutes and then you might feel shivers.
  • Night sweats; hot flashes that occurs at night and may wake you up several times during night.
  • Vaginal dryness : There is an androgen deficiency which causes vaginal dryness. Consequently, sexual relationships could be painful and infection risk increases. This is likely to get worse unless they are treated.
  • Dypareunia : It is the general genital pain during or after intercourse or upon penetration. 
  • Loss of libido: Women may experience drop in sexual desire caused by a hormonal imbalance.
  • Sleep disorders such as insomnia or light sleep that could cause you fatigue.
  • Due to corporal alterations, it is common to suffer from pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. You should check with your doctor in order to seek a treatment.
  • Menopause might cause an increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.
  • Mood swings such as irritability or depression. Women may feel like a rollercoaster.
  • Other symptoms can show up such as palpitations, headache, vertigo, hair loss, memory lapses, weight gain…

 

Stages of menopause

 

  • Perimenopause: In this stage, women can report the first symptoms due to the ovaries gradually make less estrogen and periods can be irregular.
  • Menopause: It starts when it has been a year since the last menstrual period. Ovaries stop releasing ovules and making most of their estrogen.
  • Postmenopause: These are the years after menopause. There is an increased risk of heart disease due to the decrease in estrogen.

 

How to get ready?

 

At the age of 40, we recommend you to drink milk and eat high-soya foods abundantly.

As you experience the first symptoms, it is wise to check your doctor to seek help and possible treatments. We remind you that at the age of 45, a yearly check-up is recommended.

 

Early menopause

 

According to World Health Organization (WHO), premature or early menopause happens before age 40 when the final menstrual period occurs.

This may be caused because of chemotherapy or pelvis radiation treatments for cancer, surgery to remove the ovaries and/or uterus, family background, chromosome defects or autoimmune diseases.

Symptoms are the same. However, these symptoms are usually more intense.

 

How to prevent early menopause?

 

  • Quit smoking and drinking.
  • Physical exercise improves blood circulation and prevent early premature. Obesity can lead to health problems and irregular menstrual periods.
  • Walk and sunbathe as Vitamin D prevents premature aging thanks to sunlight works like antioxidants.
  • Having a healthful diet rich in Vitamin C.

 

What is induced menopause?

 

Induced menopause occurs when the ovaries are surgically removed for medical reasons, such as uterine cancer, endometriosis or as a result from damage to the ovaries caused by radiation or chemotherapy.

In this case, women does not experience perimenopause so symptoms will be the same but more intense.

 

Treatments

 

Stress, anxiety, and other symptoms may cause vaginal dryness. There are vaginal ovules which are inserted into the vagina providing an immediate relief as well as long lasting effects and restoring moisture levels in the vagina. It also inhibits the growth of Candida infections.

Other treatments and hormonal therapies are always under medical supervision.

 

Tips

 

  • Wear thin layers of clothing so if you experience hot flashes, you can take them off.
  • Apply lubricant gels before or during intercourse to deal with dyspareunia and vaginal dryness.
  • Keep a watch on caffeine in order to get a good night´s sleep.
  • Sleeping well and taking mild physical exercise will help you to prevent mood swings.
  • Some women tend to gain weight, so exercise and daily walks will help you to keep fit and feel better about yourself. 
  • Decrease of estrogens can dry your skin s make sure you drink water and apply a good moisturizing cream.
  • Hair loss is a common symptom, if it is your case; take calcium, magnesium and vitamin B, C, D and E.
  • It is frequent to experience palpitations, but if it persists, you cannot breathe or you faint, contact your doctor to make sure you do not have a heart problem.

 

 

The purpose of this post is purely informative. It does not replace a medical consultation.

 

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