Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual cycles come to an end and she can no longer get pregnant. The average age for menopause is 51 years.
Do you know what menopause is? Chances are, you have heard of it, but you may not know exactly what it is. It’s something that women dread happening, but it’s a natural process that all women experience. This article will discuss the truth about menopause and how to deal with it.
What is menopause?
Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods stop and she can no longer get pregnant. Menopause occurs when your menstrual cycle stops. The average age for menopause is 51, but it can occur earlier or later. Menopause is a natural process, not a disease.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
There are a variety of symptoms that can occur during menopause, including
- Hot flashes
- Night sweats
- Vaginal dryness
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
- Sleep problems
- Skin dryness
- Hair thinning and loss
- Heavier or lighter periods
- Joint and muscle aches
These menopausal symptoms can be mild or severe and can last for a few months to several years. Many women experience changes in their periods before they end. This is often called perimenopause or the menopausal transition. These changes can begin in your 40s and can last up to four years.
The natural process of menopause and why it happens
Menopause is a natural process that happens to all women. It’s caused by the gradual decline in the hormone estrogen. Estrogen levels begin to drop in your 40s, and the menopausal transition usually starts around age 51. The average age for menopause is 51. But it can happen earlier or later.
The menopausal transition is the time when your ovaries stop making estrogen and progesterone hormones. This can cause menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood changes, and vaginal dryness. It can also affect your periods. They may become irregular, lighter, or heavier.
Menopause is a normal part of aging. It’s not a disease, and it doesn’t need to be treated. But some postmenopausal women have a hard time dealing with the symptoms. If menopause is affecting your quality of life, there are things you can do to feel better.
What are the 3 stages of menopause?
Natural menopause is not caused by any type of medical or surgical treatment. The three stages of menopause are perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause.
Perimenopause is the stage before menopause. It’s when your ovaries begin to make less estrogen. You may skip one or more menstrual cycles or your period may be late. You may start to have menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, trouble sleeping, mood changes, and vaginal dryness.
Menopause is the time when your menstrual periods stop and you can no longer get pregnant. Menstruation is absent for more than one year.
Postmenopause is the stage after menopause. During this time, your estrogen and progesterone levels remain low. You may continue to experience menopause symptoms, and you may also be at risk for health problems like osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease (heart disease), and diabetes.
What causes menopause and how long does it last?
Menopause can be caused by
Depletion of ovarian follicles
The primary cause of natural menopause is the depletion of ovarian follicles and ovaries stopping releasing eggs which leads to a decrease in estrogen production. Menopause typically lasts for four to five years, but some menopausal women may experience symptoms for up to 12 years.
Surgical removal of the ovaries (oophorectomy) also leads to menopause immediately, regardless of a woman’s age. This is called surgical menopause or induced menopause.
Primary ovarian insufficiency
Over 1 percent of women begin menopause before the age of 40, which is called premature menopause or primary ovarian insufficiency, and there’s no accurate estimate as to why this happens. You may be affected by aging and certain health conditions that cause the premature end of menopause.
A few potential causes include genetic factors or autoimmune disease which could stem from the failure to produce normal levels of reproductive hormones.
For these individuals, hormone therapy is typically recommended by healthcare providers at least until they reach their natural age of menopause to protect the heart; brain & bones.
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can also induce menopause. These treatments can damage the ovaries and lead to early menopause. This is called chemotherapy-induced menopause or radiation-induced menopause.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that are typical during menopause, your doctor may ask about your age, symptoms, and family history to verify whether they are truly due to the menopausal transition. Occasionally, a physician may check the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), Luteinizing hormone (LH), Estradiol, and Progesterone in your blood.
These hormones can indicate that the ovaries are no longer functioning normally. The best way to find out if you’ve reached menopause is to track your periods over time. If you have 12 months with no period, you’ve most likely reached menopause.
After menopause, there may be more health risks. Urinary incontinence occurs when your vaginal and urethra tissues lose their elasticity it can cause you to frequently feel the urge to urinate, followed by a loss of urine (urge incontinence), or loss of urine by coughing, laughing, and/or urinating. You could be prone to a urinary infection.
Loss of estrogen during menopause may cause dozens of health problems as women age. After menopause women have higher odds of sexual changes and fewer sexual drives. You may also have difficulty getting orgasmic or sexual pleasure. If it’s not painful, regular sex improves vaginal health and promotes blood circulation.
Your ovary has stopped releasing eggs during your menopause, so it’s impossible to have a pregnancy. You may have sexually transmitted diseases.
How can you deal with the menopause symptoms effectively and comfortably?
There are several ways you can deal with the symptoms of menopause, and each woman will find what works best for her. Some women opt for hormone therapy, which can be taken in the form of pills, patches, or creams. Others find relief with natural remedies such as herbs, acupuncture, or yoga.
There are also several lifestyle changes you can make to help ease your symptoms, such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular exercise.
If you’re struggling with menopause symptoms, seek medical advice to find the best treatment option for you.
What are the treatment options for menopause?
Natural menopause does not require medical or invasive treatments. There are a variety of menopause treatment options available.
Some women choose to take hormone therapy, which can help to relieve some of the symptoms associated with menopause. It can be taken in a pill, patch, gel, cream, or vaginal ring form. Hormone therapy replaces the estrogen that’s no longer being produced by your ovaries.
There are also several over-the-counter and prescription medications that can help to relieve the symptoms of menopause.
The most effective treatment for relieving menopausal hot flashes is estrogen. Your doctor may recommend a low dose and/or short time frame depending on your personal medical history, but if you still have a uterus he’ll need to prescribe progestin as well because it helps prevent bone loss too. There are some risks associated with long-term use such as cardiovascular issues or breast cancer – these should be discussed during the appointment setting so that each woman knows what she’s getting into before starting therapy.
Vaginal dryness can be relieved by vaginal estrogen in the form of vaginal cream, tablet, or ring. It releases estrogen slowly which is absorbed by vaginal tissues.
Alternative and complementary menopause treatments
Soy product relieves hot flashes, but researchers remain interested in them. It is not yet clear what other dietary supplements can be used as a treatment in the treatment of menopause symptoms. Before using herbal/dietary supplements, consult your physician. Yoga acupuncture is a better alternative treatment than tai chi or acupuncture to relieve menstrual problems.
What are some tips for staying healthy during menopause and keeping your body strong and functioning well during this time in your life when so many changes are happening both physically and emotionally?
Here are some tips for staying healthy during menopause:
- Get regular exercise: Exercise helps to keep your body strong and can help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
- Eat a healthy diet: Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help keep your body healthy during menopause.
- Manage stress: Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of menopause, so it’s important to find ways to manage stress during this time in your life. Yoga, meditation, and spending time with friends and family can all help to reduce stress.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is important for overall health, and during menopause, you may find that you need more sleep than usual. Make sure to get enough rest each night to help your body cope with the changes it’s going through. Sleeping on your stomach or back may also help reduce night sweats.
- Staying cool.
- Avoid triggers that make hot flashes worse.
- Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids during the day can help with vaginal dryness.
- See your doctor: Be sure to keep up with your regular doctor visits during menopause. This is a good time to discuss any concerns you have and to make sure that you are staying healthy during this transition.
By following these tips, you can help your body stay strong and healthy during menopause. Though it can be a difficult time, there are things you can do to make it through menopause and come out the other side healthy and happy.