What is menopause? It is a natural stage in the life of every woman, during which menstruation stops as a result of the weakened hormonal function of the ovaries. It is customary to talk about this phenomenon when a woman older than 40 years does not menstruate for 12 consecutive months.
When does menopause start?
Menopause occurs around the 50th year of life of a woman, but menopausal disorders can last for several years. Signs and symptoms of menopause are associated primarily with a decrease in the level of estradiol, the female sex hormone that is related to estrogen. The female body switches from a regular monthly cycle to lower hormone production.
Each woman adapts to hormonal changes individually. Symptoms of early menopause can occur even several years before the last menstruation. An equally individual approach should be applied when choosing the appropriate therapy.
- Hot flashes and night sweats;
- Sleep disorders – problems falling asleep and frequent waking up at night, which causes irritability during the day;
- Emotional and psychological disorders – depression, tearfulness, memory problems, etc.;
- Menstrual irregularities: menstruation becomes more scarce, irregular, bleeding occurs between menstruation;
- Skin problems – wilting of the skin, the appearance of cellulite, brittle nails, hair problems, acne, seborrhea, etc.;
- Dizziness is one of the signs and symptoms of menopause – often happens due to hot flashes and pressure surges;
- Weight gain;
- Vaginal dryness and decreased sex drive symptoms of early menopause are associated with a decrease in the release of natural tissue lubrication; dryness can cause itching and discomfort during intercourse;
- Painful urination, urinary incontinence – most often due to stress: when sneezing, coughing or lifting weights;
- Frequent inflammation of the vagina – dry mucous membrane contributes to the occurrence of infection;
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system during menopause – the protective effect of estrogen is lost, which increases the risk of developing atherosclerosis;
- Bone pain, osteoporosis that is associated with the rapid loss of mineral components of bone tissue;
- Frequent constipation that is caused by internal changes, as well as inappropriate diet and an unhealthy lifestyle.
Remember that menopause is not a disease, but a natural biological process. Menopause is not to be treated – you should only minimize unpleasant signs and symptoms of menopause and balance the hormonal environment, which is disturbed during climacteric changes. A doctor may recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) – sex hormone therapy.
How to lessen the signs and symptoms of menopause?
Remember that the “quality” of this period in life substantially depends on you. If you take care of your health, both physical and mental, you find out that menopause can be a period of “second youth”.
- Focus on yourself. This is the time when you have to focus on your needs, rediscover yourself and your partner, focus on your hobbies. Give yourself the opportunity to be a positive egoist – surely it will benefit you.
- If you smoke, quit smoking, or at least try to do it. Menopause is the right time for positive changes in your habits.
- Eat healthy, wholesome food – this helps you improve your well-being, eliminate constipation and the accumulation of extra pounds.
- Remember the increased need of your body for calcium and vitamin D – if your diet lacks these components, you should take appropriate dietary supplements.
- If you have urinary incontinence – provide yourself with an invisible safety net – urological pads.
- Lead an active lifestyle: physical exercises help you keep your body in good condition, the production of hormones of happiness will increase and this helps you feel better. If you do not have the strength to train, be more active in everyday life – take a walk, get off the bus one stop earlier to walk part of the road, climb the stairs without using the elevator, etc.
- Visit a doctor and don’t be afraid to ask questions – the doctor will clarify the situation and advise you on what to do to relieve the signs and symptoms of menopause.
- Regularly undergo examinations of vision, hearing, gynecological and mammalogical aspects of health, etc., take urine and blood tests: the sooner diseases that could develop during the menopause are detected, the easier it is to cure them.
Always remain yourself and remember that menopause passes, and you will have many more years to go, during which you will enjoy life.