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Menopause, the absence of a menstrual period for 12 months, marks the end of menstruation and fertility in a woman. During this period, the ovaries stop releasing eggs and produce less of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Many women feel well throughout the menopausal transition, but some have distressing symptoms, such as hot flushes and mood swings, which may be eased with medication, dietary measures, natural remedies and lifestyle changes.
Menopause is a normal physiological process in women that usually occurs after the age of 40. It is marked by the absence of menstrual period for at least 12 months. Although menopause signifies the end of menstruation and fertility in women and may cause stressful symptoms, it is important to remember that it is not an illness.
What causes menopause?
In women, ovaries are responsible for producing the hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which regulate menstruation and ovulation, the release of eggs from ovaries. During menopause, the activity of the ovaries ceases, resulting in a decrease in oestrogen and progesterone levels. This leads to the onset of menopause.
Menopause affects women in different ways. Some women sail through the transition, while others face multiple physical and psychological symptoms. Some of the symptoms commonly seen during menopause are:
Although menopause is not an illness, you should seek advice from a medical professional if your symptoms begin to affect the quality of your life.
Menopause Symptoms Overview:
Most menopausal symptoms will improve on their own within 2 to 5 years, however there are numerous lifestyle measures, natural approaches and medical treatments that can help...More ___________________________________________________________________
What treatments are available for menopausal symptoms?
Menopause in itself requires no medical therapy. The treatments that exist only aim to alleviate the signs and symptoms.
Medical therapy: Drugs such as clonidine, gabapentin, and various antidepressants may be prescribed to alleviate mood swings and hot flushes.
Hormonal therapy: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) uses oestrogen or a combination of oestrogen and progesterone to treat menopausal symptoms. Oral contraceptive pills can help with irregular bleeding. Vaginal hormone creams can alleviate vaginal dryness.
Alternative therapy: Phytoestrogens, also known as dietary oestrogens, refer to oestrogens occurring in foods such as legumes, flaxseed, whole grains and some fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E, black Cohosh and dietary supplements such as liquorice, chasteberry and wild yam, are reported to reduce menopausal symptoms although recent research questions their efficacy.
Menopause Treatment Overview:
There are a number of treatments that will help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause. Many women choose to try the least aggressive approach first and then... more ___________________________________________________________________
What else can help?
The good news is that most of the symptoms of menopause are only temporary in nature. Simple changes in lifestyle along with conventional treatment can help with the transtion.
Identify the triggers for the hot flushes and avoid them.
Regularize your sleep pattern.
Get plenty of exercise through the day and avoid excess caffeine.
Eat healthy and stop smoking.
Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing can help alleviate particularly stressful symptoms.
- Nonestrogenic herbs such as macafem do not have hormones, but they can help encourage natural hormone manufacturing in a woman's body.
Signs of Menopause and Perimenopause
The term "perimenopause" is used to define the time around the transition into menopause. Even though you are still menstruating, you may begin to experience the signs and symptoms of menopause. Hormone levels tend to fall and rise erratically, and this leads to hot flushes. You could also experience irregular bleeding, vaginal dryness and thinning of the tissues near the vagina and urethra.
Also referred to as climacteric, this condition may last four to five years. If you cross 12 months without a period after your last one, then it means that you are well into menopause.
Predicting the Age of Menopause
Menopause, which occurs around the age of 45-55 years, is that stage in the life of a woman when the ovaries stop producing eggs. The body produces progressively lower amounts of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen, which eventually leads to the end of menstruation.
However, menopause can occur at as early as 30-35 years of age in some women. This has implications for those couples who postpone having a child until the woman is well over 30 years old.
Next: Menopause Symptoms
How To Sleep Through Menopause: Being a busy woman, daily exhaustion is normal. Throw in menopausal aging and it was no surprise that I was staring at the ceiling nightly trying to fall and stay asleep. more ___________________________________________________________________
Staying Confident Through Menopause: Going through menopause may be challenging, but with a plan you can take control of your health and happiness fueling a healthy self-esteem. more ___________________________________________________________________
Coping With Stress During Menopause: We all experience stress, but women going through menopause face new physical and emotional changes that add to daily stressors. more ___________________________________________________________________
Low Libido and The Menopause: Loss of libido in women is more common than we think, with many women blaming their lack of sex drive on being too tired, stressed or just not interested...more