Encyclopedia

Menopause

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a period of a woman’s life when a woman’s ovaries permanently stop releasing usually one or sometimes more eggs each month and this results in the absence of a menstrual cycle.

A part of women develop certain symptoms that are the result of hormonal changes associated with the loss of ovarian function. Due to decreased levels of the sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, women often lose bone density, low-density cholesterol levels increase, and thus the risk of cardiovascular disease increases.

Premature menopause – the average age at which women enter this stage of their lives is around 51 years. This most often occurs in the age range between 48 and 55 years. If it occurs before the age of 40, it is considered premature. Entering this stage is considered late if menstruation is permanently stopped after age 55 and above.

Menopause is more likely to occur earlier in women who have never been pregnant, are smokers, or live at a higher altitude. If the woman enters this period prematurely, it is recommended to do so to rule out the possibility of the presence of another disease. In about 1% of women, menstruation ends prematurely.

Perimenopause – the hormonal changes associated with the final cessation of menstruation actually begin earlier, usually about 5-7 years before. During this transition, women may begin to experience symptoms such as beginning to lose bone density, even though they are still menstruating.

Surgical menopause – the menstrual cycle is forcibly terminated due to the surgical removal of the ovaries and usually the symptoms are very pronounced at the beginning.

What are the symptoms?

  • Hot flashes – the most common manifestation, occurs in about 75% of women, in which the menstrual cycle is finally stopped. Women describe this condition as a feeling of warmth that gradually covers the whole body, lasting from about 30 seconds to several minutes. Flushing of the skin, palpitations and sudden profuse sweating often accompany hot flashes. They also cause your skin temperature to rise and your heart rate to increase, and can cause insomnia or make you feel sleepy during the day. Hot flashes usually appear around 2-3 years of age, but in many women the condition continues for 5 years or more, and in rare cases up to 15 years.
  • Urinary incontinence or loss of control pain during intercourse;
  • Changes in the shape of the breasts;
  • Thinning of the skin;
  • Loss of bone mass, which increases the risk of developing osteoporosis – a disease , which increases the risk of fractures in seemingly minor injuries;
  • Obesity;

Treatment of menopause

You can limit the consequences of lowering the levels of the hormones:

  • Avoid the consumption of foods and drinks that can cause hot flashes such as caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods;
  • For the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, your menu should mainly include foods with a low fat and cholesterol content;
  • To control body mass, exercise regularly – moderate physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week, which means physical exertion that causes an acceleration of the heart’s activity.
  • Against the development of osteoporosis you should take adequate amounts of calcium and do regular exercise as any physical activity eg brisk walking, lifting light weights will strengthen your bones.
  • Bioidentical hormone therapy – done with drugs, which contain hormones with chemical formulas identical to those secreted by glands in the human body.

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