Menopause

What is menopause?

It is considered that a woman has entered this process when she has not had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months, and there are no other causes for this change.

Menopause is a normal change in a woman’s life when her menstrual periods cease. That’s why some people refer to the process as “the change of life.” During procedure, a woman’s body slowly begins to produce less of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This often happens between 45 and 55 years old.

As you approach this unavoidable process, you may have symptoms of changes that your body is going through. Many women wonder if these changes are normal, and many are confused about how to treat their symptoms.

Menopause Symptoms

Some women may not have any symptoms. However, while approaching this aging process, you may have:

  • Changes in your period – can vary the frequency of periods, and flow from month to month.
  • Abnormal bleeding and “spots” – are common when approaching this stage of aging. However, if your periods have stopped for 12 months straight and still has “spots”, you should report these symptoms to your doctor/gynae to rule out serious causes such as cancer.
  • Heat stroke – feel heat in the face, neck and chest.
  • Night sweats and sleeping problems – these can cause fatigue, stress or tension.
  • Vaginal changes – the vagina may become dry and thin, and can feel pain during intercourse and vaginal examinations. You may also experience more vaginal infections.
  • Loss of bone thickness – this can cause loss of height and bone breaks (osteoporosis).
  • Changes in mood – such as mood swings, depression and irritability.
  • Urinary problems – such as leaking, burning or painful urination, or losses by sneezing, coughing or laughing.
  • Problems with concentration or memory.
  • Less interest in sex and changes in sexual response.
  • Weight gain or increased body fat around the waist.
  • Thinning or falling hair in it.

What is premature menopause?

Premature menopause is menopause that occurs before 40 years of age – whether natural or induced. Some women reach menopause prematurely due to:

  • family history (genes)
  • medical treatments, such as surgery to remove the ovaries
  • cancer treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvic area

Premature menopause puts women at increased risk of osteoporosis in the future. It can also be a source of great distress, because many women under 40 want to have children. Women who still want to become pregnant can talk with your doctor about the egg donation programs.

What is post-menopause?

The term post-menopause refers to each year of life after menopause. It is the time after which you have not had a period for 12 consecutive months period – whether natural or induced menopause.

Treatment for menopause symptoms

In some women, many of the symptoms of menopause go away over time without treatment. Other women decide to get treatment for their symptoms and to prevent bone deterioration that may happen near menopause.

Hormone Therapy for menopause

We know that hormone therapy can be a way to overcome the symptoms of menopause if taken only for a short time and in the least amount possible.

Hormones DO NOT help to prevent heart disease or bones, stroke, memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease. In any case if you decide to use hormones, use them at the lowest dose that works for you and for the least amount of time necessary. Consult your doctor every 3 to 6 months to determine if you need them.

Because there are both benefits and risks associated with taking hormones, all women should think about these factors in relation to their own health and discuss these issues with your doctor. We’re still trying to learn more about the short-and long-term hormone therapy on women’s health.

Treatments may include prescription drugs that contain certain types of hormones that your ovaries stop producing near menopause. Hormone therapy can be either estrogen alone or estrogen with progestin (for women who still have their uterus or womb). Estrogen therapy is usually received via a pill, a patch to the skin as a cream or gel, or an intrauterine device (IUD for short) or vaginal ring.

How estrogen is taken depends on your purpose. For example, a vaginal ring or cream can relieve vaginal dryness, loss of urine, or vaginal or urinary tract infections, but does not relieve hot flashes. To prevent deterioration of the bones, you should also talk to your doctor about medicines that are beyond hormonal therapy.

Benefits and risks of hormone therapy

Benefits of Hormone Therapy: Hormone therapy can help with menopause to:

  • Reduce heat stroke
  • Treating vaginal dryness
  • Slowing down the deterioration of the bones
  • Reduce mood swings and depression

DO NOT use hormone therapy to prevent heart attacks, strokes, memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease. Remember that there are other medications that may be beneficial for your bones.

Risks of hormone therapy: In some women, hormone therapy may increase their chances of suffering:

  • Blood clots
  • Heart Attacks
  • Stroke (cerebral vascular accident)
  • Breast Cancer
  • Diseases of the gallbladder

In women who have their uterus, taking estrogen alone, without progesterone, increases your risk of endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of the uterus). Adding progesterone hormone therapy reduces this risk.

Side effects of hormone therapy

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement thereof
  • Headaches
  • Changes in mood
  • Sickness

Who should NOT take hormone therapy for menopause?

Women who:

  • They think they are pregnant
  • Have problems with vaginal bleeding
  • Suffering from certain cancers (such as breast or uterine cancer)
  • They have suffered a stroke or heart attack
  • Have had blood clots
  • Suffering from liver disease

Natural treatments for menopause

Some women choose to take herbal, natural or plant products to relieve your symptoms. Some of the most common are:

    • Soya. This contains phytoestrogens (estrogen substances from a plant). However, there is no evidence that soy, or other sources of phytoestrogens, truly relieve hot flashes. There are, however, risks of taking soy, especially the pills and powders, which are not known. You can also get soy foods. Some soy products include tofu, tempeh, soy milk and soy nuts. It is more likely that these products have effect in mild heat shock. Natural treatment for menopause
    • Other sources of phytoestrogens include herbs such as black cohosh (black cohosh) , wild yam, dong quai, and valerian root.
    • Bio-identical hormone therapy. Some women visit alternative medicine doctors who prescribe these products are made ​​of different similar to the woman’s body plant hormones. Each recipe is mixed by hand, and the dose may vary from one patient to another. Bio-Identical Hormone Therapy

Some of the products from plants appear to be more natural or safer than other types of hormones, but there is no evidence that they are, nor is there evidence that these are best to relieve symptoms of menopause. Be sure to talk about herbal products with your doctor before taking them. You should also tell your doctor if you are taking other medications as some herbal products can be harmful when combined with other drugs.

What else can I do to relieve my symptoms?

  • Heat stroke. Heat strokes can be caused by a hot environment; eating or drinking hot or spicy foods; alcohol or caffeine and stress. Try to avoid these triggers causes. Dress in layers and have a fan in your home or workplace. Regular exercise can relieve hot flashes and other symptoms. Ask your doctor about taking an antidepressant medication. There is evidence that these may be useful for some women.
  • Vaginal dryness. Wear a counter vaginal lubricant. There are also estrogen replacement creams that your doctor can prescribe. If you have spotting or bleeding while using estrogen creams, you should see your doctor.
  • Trouble sleeping. One of the best ways to sleep well at night is at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. However, avoid vigorous exercise too close to bedtime. Also avoid alcohol, caffeine, large meals and working right before bedtime. You can try drinking something warm, such as herbal tea or warm milk before bedtime. Try to keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature. Avoid napping during the day and try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Memory problems. Consult your doctor about mental exercises you can do to improve your memory. Try to get enough sleep and be physically active.
  • Mood swings. Try to get enough sleep and be physically active. Consult your doctor about relaxation exercises you can do. Consult with your doctor if you should take antidepressant medications. There is evidence that these may be beneficial. Consider attending a support group for women who are going through the same as you, or get counselling to talk about their problems and fears.

How I can stay healthy as my age progresses?

There are many ways to stay healthy during this stage of life. If you take these precautions, it is more likely to remain healthy only if taking hormones:

  • Be active and get more exercise. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. Try doing exercises that supports your weight, such as walking, running or dancing.
  • Do not smoke. If you smoke, quit.
  • Eat healthy. Consume many integrated grain foods, vegetables and fruits.
  • Reduce fats. Choose foods low in fat and cholesterol content.
  • Calcium. Enough calcium to keep your bones strong. Before menopause, you need to consume about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. After menopause, need 1500 milligrams per day.
  • Alcohol. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than one drink a day.
  • Control your weight. Ask your doctor about a healthy weight for you.
  • Talk to your doctor about your bone health. Ask if you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D. Have a bone density test if you are over 65 years of age, or if your doctor says you have high chances of developing osteoporosis. See if you should take medicine to keep their bones and slowing down its deterioration.
  • Control your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar level in your blood.
  • Periodic mammography. Have a breast exam and breast x-ray (mammogram).