Generally, women normally experience menopause as they age. It is a certain fact that all women go through the menopause. Menopause refers to the time in every woman’s life when her period stop and her ovaries lose their reproductive function. Usually, this occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. However, in a few exceptional cases, a woman may become menopausal in their 30s, or even younger. This is then recognized as premature menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency. When the monthly cycle stops completely, there would be no more ovulations, no more periods, and no more pregnancies.
However, for many women, this natural process is a time of anxiety and distress due to the various symptoms that accompany it. For all women, menopause is a personal experience, not just a medical condition. The reduction in oestrogen secretion from the ovary as women advance into their 40s causes most symptoms that can be distressing and may require medical attention.
Effects of Menopause
The following are the effects of Menopause
- Irregular vaginal bleeding: Some women experience deviations with their normal pattern of bleeding before menopause whereas others notice excessive bleeding. Your menstrual period may show more frequently or get farther apart. Do not worry, there is no “normal” pattern of bleeding.
- Hot Flushes: one of the most common symptoms of menopause, occurring in three in every four menopausal women. A hot flush is a feeling of warmth that spreads over the body and is often most pronounced in the head and chest. A hot flush is sometimes associated with flushing and its sometimes followed by perspiration. It usually lasts from 30 seconds to several minutes
- Night sweats: This sometimes accompanies hot flushes. This may result in awakening and difficulty getting a sound sleep again with complaints of unrefreshing sleep and daytime tiredness.
- Vaginal Symptoms: results from the thinning, dryness, and loss of elasticity of the tissues lining the vagina as oestrogen level falls. Notable symptoms include dryness of the vagina, itching, irritation, and/or pain during sexual intercourse. These changes can increase your risk of vaginal infections.
- Urinary symptoms: There are changes to the urethra (the tube leading from the bladder to discharge urine outside the body). The woman is at increased risk of urinary tract infection, feeling the need to urinate more frequently, or leakage of urine. The incontinence can cause a strong, sudden urge to urinate and it can take place during straining when coughing, laughing, or lifting heavy objects.
- Emotional symptoms: menopause can also affect mood and cognitive performance including fatigue, memory problems, and irritability.
- Physical changes: the distribution of body fat may change, with body fat being deposited more in the waist and abdominal area than in the hips and thighs. Some women report weight gain.
What can be done?
A healthy lifestyle can minimize the effects of menopause in women, helping to keep the heart and bones strong.
- Maintain a healthy diet: The fall in hormone levels (namely, oestrogen) that accompanies menopause can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. A healthy diet is essential; keep it low in saturated fat and salt to reduce blood pressure, and rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen bones.
- Regular exercise: this helps to convert stress into positive energy while guarding against heart disease.
- Stop smoking: This lead to earlier menopause and trigger hot flushes. If you smoke you also run a higher risk of developing osteoporosis and coronary heart disease.
- Make use of health screening services: studies have shown that late menopause leads to an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Stay calm and positive: Stress and depression can occur with hormonal imbalance in menopause. Appropriate counseling and relaxation techniques help cope with anxiety.
- Hormonal Replacement Therapy: is the most effective and widely used treatment for menopausal symptoms. As the name suggests, it is simply a way of replacing the hormone oestrogen that is lost during menopause.
For more information on menopausal symptoms, call/chat with our professionals at eDokita (a telemedicine organization) 24/7. Your health is our concern. Download edokita app on playstore to consult a doctor today.