The Menopause: What Happens And What Women Go Through

Menopause is no joke. And while medical advice and guidance is important, connecting with someone who knows exactly what you’re experiencing can be just what you need. Here’s your stop to know more on how to love your menopause phase. Remember. It’s just ME — NO — PAUSE !

Menopause is the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles. The term can describe any of the changes you go through just before or after you stop having your period, marking the end of your reproductive years. Menopause is different in each woman. In general, the symptoms of perimenopause last about 4 years.

The menopausal transition most often begins between ages 45 and 55. It usually lasts about seven years but can be as long as 14 years. The duration can depend on lifestyle factors such as smoking, age it begins, and race and ethnicity. During perimenopause, the body’s production of oestrogen and progesterone, two hormones made by the ovaries, varies greatly.

1. Is It Menopause?

The menopausal transition affects each woman uniquely and in various ways. The body begins to use energy differently, fat cells change, and women may gain weight more easily. You may experience changes in your bone or heart health, your body shape and composition, or your physical function.

Natural menopause isn’t caused by any type of medical or surgical treatment. It’s slow and has three stages:

Perimenopause: This phase usually begins several years before menopause, when your ovaries slowly make less estrogen. Perimenopause lasts until menopause, the point at which your ovaries stop releasing eggs. In the last 1 to 2 years of this stage, oestrogen levels fall faster. Many women have menopause symptoms.

Menopause: This is when it’s been a year since you had a period. Your ovaries have stopped releasing eggs and making most of their oestrogen.

Postmenopause: These are the years after menopause. Menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes usually ease. But health risks related to the loss of oestrogen increase as you get older.

2. Menopause Causes

Women are born with all of their eggs, which are stored in their ovaries. Their ovaries also make the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which control their period (menstruation) and the release of eggs (ovulation). Menopause happens when the ovaries no longer release an egg every month and menstruation stops.

Menopause is a regular part of aging when it happens after the age of 40. But some women can go through menopause early. It can be the result of surgery, like if their ovaries are removed in a hysterectomy, or damage to their ovaries, such as from chemotherapy. If it happens before age 40, for any reason, it’s called premature menopause.

3. Menopause Symptoms

First signs of menopause include: Most women nearing menopause will have hot flashes, sudden feelings of warmth that spread over the upper body, often blushing and sweating. These flashes can range from mild in most women to severe in others.

You may also notice: Uneven or missed periods Vaginal dryness Sore breasts, Needing to pee more often, Trouble sleeping, Emotional changes, Dry skin, eyes, or mouth, Symptoms of the menopause. Later symptoms often include: Fatigue, Depression, Crankiness, Racing heart, Headaches, Joint and muscle aches and pains, Weight gain, Hair loss, Changes in libido (sex drive)

4. Menopause Diagnosis

You might suspect that you’re going into menopause. Or your doctor will say something, based on symptoms you’ve told them about.

You can keep track of your periods and chart them as they become uneven. The pattern will be another clue to your doctor that you’re menopausal.

Your doctor might also test your blood for levels of:

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This usually goes up as you near menopause.

Estradiol. This tells your doctor how much oestrogen your ovaries are making.

Thyroid hormones. This shows problems with your thyroid gland, which can affect your period and cause symptoms that look like menopause.

Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH). Your body makes this in its reproductive tissues. It can help your doctor learn about the reserve of eggs in your ovaries.

5. Menopause Treatment

Menopause is a natural process. Many symptoms will go away over time. But if they’re causing problems, treatments can help you feel better. Common ones include:

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is also called menopausal hormone therapy. You take medications to replace the hormones that your body isn’t making anymore. Certain drugs or combinations can help with hot flashes and vaginal symptoms, as well as making your bones stronger. But they can also put you at higher risk of health problems like heart disease or breast cancer, so you should take the lowest dose that works for the shortest time possible.

Topical hormone therapy is an oestrogen cream, insert, or gel that you put in your vagina to help with dryness.

Medications for osteoporosis. You might take medicines or vitamin D supplements to help keep your bones strong.

Lifestyle changes

Lifestyle changes help many women deal with menopause symptoms. Try these steps:

- If you’re having hot flashes, drink cold water, sit or sleep near a fan, and dress in layers.

- Use an over-the-counter vaginal moisturiser or lubricant for dryness.

- Exercise regularly to sleep better and prevent conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

- Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises to prevent bladder leaks.

- Stay socially and mentally active to prevent memory problems.

- Don’t smoke. Tobacco might cause early menopause and increase hot flashes.

- Limit how much alcohol you drink, to lower your chance of getting breast cancer and help you sleep better.

- Eat a variety of foods and keep a healthy weight to help with hot flashes.

- Practice things like yoga, deep breathing, or massage to help you relax.

Alternative and Complementary Menopause Treatments

Some studies have found that soy products relieve hot flashes, but researchers are still looking into it. There aren’t many large studies on whether other supplements such as black cohosh or “bioidentical” hormones work for menopause symptoms. Talk to your doctor before starting any herbal or dietary supplements.

Yoga, tai chi, and acupuncture are safer ways to manage menopause symptoms.

Finally, It is important to remember that Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life cycle. Stay in touch and get regular checkups with your doctor to cope with any menopause-related health problems effectively.

In searching for the best menopause therapists, we have made it easy for you all at one place. Fuzia Wellness. Talk to our expert doctors and feel more of yourself. We hope you’ll find their content informative, empowering, and a reminder that nothing not even menopause lasts forever.

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Image courtesy: Unsplash.com

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Fuzia stands for Fusion of different cultures & ideas. We are a global community of females that aims to promote creativity through guidance & help from experts

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Fuzia stands for Fusion of different cultures & ideas. We are a global community of females that aims to promote creativity through guidance & help from experts

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