Menopause is the point of time when a woman ceases to be fertile or menstruate. It is a normal part of life and not considered as disease. Its symptoms may occur years before a woman's final period. Some women may also experience symptoms for months or years afterward.In the United States (U.S.), the average age for menopause is 51 years.Despite being a natural process in the body of any woman, menopause can cause drastic changes that trigger severe symptoms.There are a number of medical treatments and home remedies that can help with symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and self-management techniques.
Generally, ovaries tend to stop producing eggs after the age of 45 years, but they can cease production before then also. This is known as premature menopause. Although rare, this may occur at any age. The following conditions may cause premature menopause:
Surgeries and procedures that can lead to premature ovarian failure, includes:
It is the first noticeable symptom of menopause. Some women may experience a period every 2 to 3 weeks while others will not menstruate for months at a time.
Perimenopause is the condition of 3-to-5-year period before menopause. During this, a woman's estrogen levels will drop significantly reducing her chances of getting pregnant.
Itching, dryness and discomfort in the vagina occur during perimenopause. Consequently, some women experience dyspareunia, or pain during sex ,due to lower estrogen levels. These lower levels cause vaginal atrophy.
A sudden sensation of heat in the upper body is referred to as hot flashes. It generally occurs during the first year after a woman's final period. It can start in the face, neck, or chest, and progress upward or downward. The skin becomes red and patchy. A woman starts sweating and her heart rate may suddenly increase, strengthen, or become irregular.
Hot flashes occuring during the sleep cycle are called night sweats. Night sweats also causes disturbed sleep. Disturbed sleep generally occurs due to insomnia and anxiety.
Menopause may disrupt a woman's urinary cycle. Women become more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTIs) during menopause, such as cystitis.
Women experience depression and low mood during menopause. Hormonal changes often trigger depressed feelings and mood swings. Women can also experience sex drive or low libido, due to these emotional changes. Some women may also experience short-term memory problems, lack of concentration and difficulty in focusing for long periods.
Treatment for menopausal symptoms includes hormone replacement therapy and self-management.
Women can rescue themselves from the symptoms of menopause by supplementing their estrogen and progestin levels. Hormone replacement therapy can be received through a simple patch on the skin. This patch releases estrogen and progestin. HRT has proved to be highly effective for many of the symptoms that occur during menopause.
It is possible to manage the symptoms of menopause without medical involvement.
Women experiencing menopause should eat a well-balanced diet that includes vegetables and fruits, whole grains, unsaturated fats and fiber and unrefined carbohydrates
Deep breathing techniques, guided meditation, and progressive relaxation help limit sleep disturbance. Stress aggravates hot flashes and night sweats. By avoiding known stressors and practicing relaxation techniques can help to relieve these symptoms.
There are some ways for a woman to comfortably accommodate the effects of menopause:
· Sleep cycle can be regulated by waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day.