Menopause is the time marking the conclusion of the menstrual cycles. It is treated after you have gone without a menstrual cycle for 12 months. Menopause can occur in your 40s or 50s but in the United States the average age is 51.
Menopause is a hormonal process. But physical symptoms such as hot flashes and menopause emotional symptoms can interrupt your sleep, decrease your energy or affect your emotional health. Many successful therapies are available, from lifestyle changes to hormone therapy.
You may experience these signs and symptoms in the months or years leading up to the menopause:
â€¢ Irregular cycles
â€¢ Vaginal dryness
â€¢ Hot flashes
â€¢ Night sweats
â€¢ Sleep issues
â€¢ Mood swings
â€¢ Obesity and slowed metabolism
â€¢ Thinning hair and dry skin
â€¢ Breast fullness Loss
Symptoms are different for every woman like shifts in menstruation. Most possibly, before they end you’ll encounter some irregularities in your cycles.
Skipping cycles are normal and expected during perimenopause. Menstrual periods will often skip a month and come back, or skip several months and then resume monthly cycles again for a couple of months. Periods tend to also occur on shorter cycles, so they’re closer together. Pregnancy is probable, despite prolonged cycles. If you’ve skip a period but aren’t sure you’ve begun the process from menopause, consider a pregnancy test.
When to see a doctor
For preventive health care and any medical concern Keep up with regular visit with your doctor. Keep making such appointments during and after menopause.
Preventive health care can include recommended health screening tests as you age, such as colonoscopy, mammography, and triglycerides screening .your doctor can prescribe other tests and examinations, too, including thyroid testing if suggested by your history , and breast and pelvic examinations.
If you have bleeding from your vagina after a menopause, always seek medical advice.
Menopause can result from:
â€¢ Natural decline of reproductive hormones. When you reach your late 30s, your ovaries begin to make the less estrogen and progesterone the hormones that control menstruation, and decline your fertility. During your 40s, your menstrual periods may become longer or shorter, heavier or lighter, and more or less regular, until eventually by the average age of 51 your ovaries stop producing eggs, and you have no more periods.
â€¢ Hysterectomy. A hysterectomy that removes your uterus but not your ovaries but typically does not cause immediate menopause. Also if the ovaries no longer have cycles, they still release eggs and contain estrogen and progesterone. But surgery that removes both the uterus and ovaries does cause menopause immediately. Your cycles end immediately, and you are likely to experience hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms that can be serious, as these hormonal changes occur abruptly rather than over many years.
â€¢ Chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Such cancer therapies can trigger menopause, which can cause symptoms such as hot flashes during or shortly after treatment. The halt to menstruation (and fertility) is not always permanent following chemotherapy, so birth control measures may still be desired.
â€¢ Primary ovarian insufficiency. About 1 per cent of women undergo menopause before they are 40. Menopause can result from primary ovarian insufficiency if your ovaries do not produce normal levels of reproductive hormones caused by genetic or autoimmune disease. Yet there’s still no reason to be found. In these patients, hormone therapy is usually prescribed to protect the brain, heart and bones, at least until the normal age of menopause.
After menopause, your risk of certain medical conditions increases. Examples include:
â€¢ Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. Your risk of cardiovascular disease increases as the estrogen levels go down. Heart disease is both in female and male leading cause of death. So having regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight is vital. , ask your doctor for advice about how to protect your heart, such as how to reduce your cholesterol or blood pressure if it is too high.
â€¢ Osteoporosis. This disease causes the bones to become fragile and brittle, resulting in increased risk of fractures. You can lose bone density at a rapid rate during the first few years after menopause, thereby increasing your risk of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are especially vulnerable to back, hips and wrist fractures
â€¢ Urinary incontinence. As the tissues of your vagina and urethra lose elasticity, you may experience frequent, sudden, strong urges to urinate, followed by an involuntary loss of urine, or the loss of urine with coughing, laughing or lifting. You may have urinary tract infections more often.
Strengthening pelvic floor muscles with Kegel exercises and using a topical vaginal estrogen may help relieve symptoms of incontinence. Hormone therapy may also be an effective treatment option for menopausal urinary tract and vaginal changes which can result in urinary incontinence.
â€¢ Sexual function. Vaginal dryness from decreased moisture production and loss of elasticity can cause discomfort and slight bleeding during sexual intercourse. Also, decreased sensation may reduce your desire for sexual activity.
Water-based vaginal moisturizers and lubricants may help. If a vaginal lubricant isn’t enough, many women benefit from the use of local vaginal estrogen treatment, available as a vaginal cream, tablet or ring.
â€¢ Gained weight. During the menopause process and after menopause slows down. You can need to eat less and do more exercise, just to preserve your current weight.
How to avoid complications
Menopause is a natural part of life cycle for a woman. You cannot prevent menopause, but you can control several common symptoms and avoid complications that might occur. Making healthy lifestyle choices is important. For instance:
â€¢ eat a balanced diet
â€¢ daily exercise
â€¢ get enough sleep
â€¢ preserve bone strength
â€¢ control blood pressure