Menopause is a stage of life most women go through. A reduction in the levels of reproductive hormones causes menopause. Many of us think that menopause is the process that leads up to the stopping of periods, but it isn’t. It’s when a woman stops having her periods permanently. The time before is called perimenopause or menopausal transition.
When menopause happens naturally, it happens between the ages of 45 and 55. There can be other causes for menopause as well. These include the following:
- Hysterectomy, or the removal of the uterus causes menopause. In this case the periods won’t stop immediately, the woman will go through perimenopause as well. If the ovaries and the uterus are removed, then the woman will experience menopause immediately.
- Cancer therapies like chemotherapy and radiotherapy can cause menopause, but it may not be permanent.
- People with conditions like Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, Addison’s disease, etc. may experience early menopause.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency is another condition that causes early menopause. This is because the ovaries are not able to produce normal levels of reproductive hormones. One can develop Primary Ovarian Insufficiency either because of genetic factors or autoimmune diseases.
Signs and symptoms during menopausal transition can last anywhere between a month to many years. The symptoms of perimenopause include hot flushes, irregular periods, urinary problems, night sweats, mood swings, difficulty in focusing, issues with sleep, vaginal dryness, slowed metabolism, thinning of hair, dry skin, and loss of breast fullness.
After menopause, if a woman does not take care of herself properly it could lead to many health complications. Some of these complications include:
- Cardiovascular disease – Due to the decline in levels of oestrogen in the body, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease increases. In order to avoid this, it is important for women who have gone through menopause to exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet and maintain their weight.
- Osteoporosis – During the first few years after menopause, women tend to lose a lot of bone density. This makes their bones weaker and more brittle, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. The intake of calcium and vitamin D, in doses advised by doctors, will decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis.
- Weight gain – Due to slow metabolism during menopausal transition and after menopause, women are highly likely to put on more weight. So, it is important to maintain your normal weight by eating healthy food and exercising regularly.
If a woman is experiencing severe symptoms then there are some treatments that can help ease these symptoms. However, it is best to consult a doctor first, so that he/she can assess the symptoms and see what treatment will best help the symptoms. Some of these treatments include Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), etc.
Lotus Hospitals has the best doctors and consultants to help you through your menopause.