What is Menopause?
Menopause occurs when a woman’s menstrual periods stop, in 12 consecutive months and can no longer become pregnant naturally. It usually begins between the ages of 45 and 55, but can develop before or after this age range.
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The ovary is one of a pair of reproductive glands in women, located in the pelvis, one on each side of the uterus. The ovaries are the main source of female hormones controlling the development of female body characteristics such as the breasts, body shape, and body hair. After menopause, estrogen continues to be produced in other tissues, ovaries, but also in bone, blood vessels and even in the brain.
What is the average age ?
The average age of menopause is 51years. But in some cases 50% women have late menopause that is after 55 years of age.) while another 5% of women stop having periods between the ages of 40 and 45 that is early menopause.
What causes early Menopause?
- It is a natural process in which decline of the female reproductive hormones in which ovaries start making less estrogen and progesterone, which regulate menstruation.
- Hysterectomy – It is a induced type of menopause in this surgical removal of the uterus
- Cancer therapies (chemotherapy) can induce menopause
- Ovarian insufficiency — when ovaries fail to produce normal levels of reproductive hormones.
What are the signs and symptoms of Menopause?
- Irregular periods the duration, flow changes.
- Hot flushes are well marked.
- Night sweats.
- Loss of sleep.
- Anxiety, mood swings, irritability of mind and depression.
- A feeling of being invisible and a loss of confidence.
- Decreased libido or sex drive.
How do you test for Menopause?
- Blood Test
- Urine test
- Hormones levels that is LH and FSH
- A pelvic exam may indicate changes in the vaginal lining caused by declining oestrogen levels.
What happens to the body after Menopause?
After menopause,hormonal and the metabolic changes occurs in the female body.After menopause their is an increase risk of osteoporosis, heart disease,obesity etc. And few females experiences the symptoms like hot flushes, fatigability, loss of libido, night sweats and vaginal dryness.
How to treat Menopausal symptoms?
- Oral contraceptive pills and hormone therapy (Oestrogen and progesterone therapy)
- Local (vaginal) hormone and non-hormone treatments
- Vaginal moisturizing agents are given such as creams or lotions , use of lubricants during intercourse are non-hormonal options for managing the discomfort of vaginal dryness.
What happens to the body during Menopause?
Menopause happens because the ovaries stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Menopause is natural mechanism. During a normal menstrual cycle the ovaries produce testosterone and progesterone under the control of FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (Luteinising hormone) both produced by the pituitary gland.
What are the complications of Menopause?
Some complications after menopause are:
- Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. When your oestrogen levels decline, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases.
- Osteoporosis. This condition causes bones to become brittle and weak, leading to an increased risk of fractures. During the first few years after menopause, you may lose bone density at a rapid rate, increasing your risk of osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women with osteoporosis are especially susceptible to fractures of their spine, hips and wrists.
- Skin Complaints.
- Skin complaints like psoriasis, eczema is also a complication of the menopause.
- 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 (urge incontinence), or the loss of urine with coughing, laughing or lifting (stress incontinence).
- 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 (libido).
- Weight gain. Many women gain weight during the menopausal transition and after menopause because metabolism slows. You may need to eat less and exercise more, just to maintain your current weight.