Categories: Gynaecology

Know your Menopause

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a natural process that occurs in all women usually between the age of 45-55 years. When the menstrual period in a woman ceases for about 12 months is called Menopause. Though it is a natural process, it varies from woman to woman.

Frequencies of periods usually start to decline before it comes to a complete halt. In some cases, it may stop without such a decline.

Causes of Menopause:

Menopause is the result of the natural decline of the reproductive hormone oestrogen and progesterone and in turn, stops to produces an egg every month.

Although there is no clear cause of premature menopause family history of early menopause or certain infections and immune disorders may be the reason for it.

It may be also the result of treatment such as surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy), some breast cancer treatments, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy.

Sometimes it may also occur by an underlying condition, such as Down’s syndrome or Addison’s disease.

Symptoms of the Menopause:

Most women will experience menopausal symptoms. But as I said earlier, that it varies from women to women. It is an individual experience. It may be from mild to severe and even no symptoms but they have a significant impact on your day to day activities.

Common symptoms include:

  • Hot Flushes – A sudden feeling of feverish heat over the face, neck & chest and profuse sweating
  • Night Sweats – significant perspiration during sleep
  • Vaginal dryness along with itching and irritation may lead to painful sex
  • Hot Flushes and night sweats can lead to insomnia effecting sound sleep
  • Low mood or anxiety-like losing of fertility and youth age takes over and this affects the behaviour as well as daily routine life.
  • Loss of libido – reduced sex drive
  • Problems with memory and concentration

There is no fixed time limit to these symptoms to start and last. It can begin months and sometimes even years before your periods stop and last around 4 years after your last period, as it varies from woman to woman.

Medical Assistance:

It is always advisable to consult your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of menopause before the age of 45 years.

or

Menopausal symptoms are severe enough and affecting your health and well being.

Your doctor will carry out a blood test to assess your hormone levels and decide the treatment.

Treatments for Menopausal Symptoms:

Your doctor can help in assessment, counselling, medical treatments, or alternative therapies and suggest certain lifestyle changes which in turn can bring your life back on track for your day-to-day activities.

These include:

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) – tablets, skin patches, gels, and implants that relieve menopausal symptoms by replacing oestrogen.
  • Vaginal oestrogen creams, lubricants, or moisturizers for vaginal dryness.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – a type of counselling therapy that can help with low mood and anxiety.
  • A nutritious and balanced diet chart, regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and fit body can altogether improve menopausal symptoms.

Always remember

Age is just a number,

Menopause may force to feel the summer

But

You with your doctor can do the wonder

Always make you feel Healthy & Younger

Dr. Ritika Kedia, Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Brahmananda Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Jamshedpur

Narayana Health

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