MENOPAUSE: SYMPTOMS, CAUSES & TREATMENT
Every woman was once a little girl and as she grew, her body passed through every phase a female body was supposed to pass through. Every phase of her life ushers her body into new characteristics she may or may not be mentally ready for. Every woman’s reproductive cycle moves from puberty to menopause and postmenopause follows. Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get to know menopause better.
What Is Menopause?
Menopause is a phase in a woman’s reproductive cycle that marks the end of her menstrual cycle and reproductive years. www.bosterbio.com explains that the term ‘Menopause’ can be used to describe any of the changes you undergo before or after the end of your menstrual cycle. Menopause begins between the ages of 40 and 58 years. The average age is 51 years.
Stages of Menopause
The menopausal phase of a woman’s life lasts for several years and has three stages;
This stage is the time of transition from your last period into your dry days. It comes before menopause and includes the 12 months following the last days of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
This stage either starts 12 months after a woman’s last menstruation or when she stops seeing her period for certain clinical reasons like the removal of her ovaries.
This phase refers to the years after menopause. Not every woman knows when she has reached this stage as it is difficult to know when menopause has ended and postmenopause begins.
Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause brings with it physical, hormonal, and mental changes which may be before menstruation ends or after it has ended. Towards the end of menstruation, women experience what is known as the first or early signs of menopause. Below are some of the early signs you might notice.
Early signs of menopause
- Hot flashes
Hot flashes can be described as sudden feelings of heat in the upper part of the body. This warm sensation is often accompanied by sweating and blushing. Women who experience this complain of warmth that spreads from their face down to their neck, chest, or upward and causes them to sweat profusely keeping them uncomfortable. Depending on your body, these flashes can be mild or severe and come with night sweats.
- Irregular menstruation
Although missed periods might indicate pregnancy, it is also the first sign of approaching menopause. Your menstruation occurs less frequently and it is either lighter or heavier. However, when you discover that your periods are irregular, do well to see a doctor to rule out pregnancy any other health issues.
- Lower fertility
Estrogen levels start dropping as a woman approaches menopause. This reduces her chances of getting pregnant. Some women are thrilled as this means no more need for birth control, others who still wish to have babies, are not so thrilled.
Emotional changes: This is often a result of hormonal changes, low libido distress, etc. These emotional changes are depression, anxiety, Irritability, and mood swings.
- Vaginal dryness
Vaginal itching, dryness, and discomfort may start during perimenopause and into menopause. As a result of this dryness, sexual intercourse becomes painful as the hormones responsible for naturally preparing the vagina for penetration during sex are not responsive because of menopause.
- Sleep disorders
This is often as a result of night sweats, an increased need to urinate, anxiety, and cold chills.
Other changes include;
Increased need to urinate
Causes of Menopause
Every woman has ovaries which store eggs and make the hormones called estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones are responsible for regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle. They are responsible for when a woman’s period starts and ends. They are also responsible for when her eggs which mark her ovulation are released. So, when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and menstruation stops, then the woman is said to have entered menopause.
Menopause is a common part of aging when it comes after the age of 40. However, for different reasons such as a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries), damage to the ovaries from therapies like chemotherapy, drug abuse, some women might go into early menopause. Menopause that occurs before you clock 40 is called premature menopause.
Menopause is a natural phenomenon and so cannot be treated. Rather, its symptoms can be managed to make the phase bearable for most women. These are some of the recommended treatments for menopause symptoms.
Eating a healthy diet
Regular exercise to keep your mind off depressive thoughts and anxiousness.
Use of medications, lubricants, and moisturizers to relieve vaginal dryness.
Lifestyle changes such as reduction of alcohol intake, drinking cold water, and using a fan when having hot flashes.
Advanced treatments that require the use of competitive elisa principle kits to inhibit the action of certain hormones that cause some discomforting symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy: You can take hormonal medications to replace inactive hormones.
Use of vitamin D supplements to treat loss of bone density.
Use of services of companies that give monoclonal antibody service to help treat certain menopausal symptoms
Menopause is another phase of life and not a health problem nor a death sentence. Although it comes with some discomforting symptoms and hormonal changes, a lot of women think of it as a time of liberation. No more tampons, cramps, or the fear of getting pregnant as an older lady. That is a fine taste of liberation.