Menopause: Understand the Transition and Find Relief for Your Symptoms
Menopause is the natural end to a woman’s reproductive years. After reaching menopause, women no longer have regular menstrual cycles. Instead, they experience a period of menopause called post-menopause. Although menopause occurs naturally, hormone replacement therapy can help women experience the process without negative side effects.
- Menopause starts at age 45-50 years old.
- Symptoms start around age 50-55 years old.
- Symptoms last about 5-10 years.
- You may experience hot flashes, mood swings, vaginal dryness, night sweats, headaches, insomnia, and weight gain.
- After 10 years, symptoms disappear.
- If you have had a hysterectomy (removed uterus), you won’t go through menopause.
- If you have had, you might not go through menopause either.
Because there is so much information about menopause, it’s understandable why many people find it hard to understand what it is and what to expect during this stage of life. Menopause is a natural process that happens to adult females without fail once they reach adulthood.
Although it can happen earlier for some women when they are through their childbearing year’s first-a generation or maternal puberty first- generation. Or it can be maternal puberty first-generation or maternal puberty first-generation or maternal puberty. Women experiencing this transitional stage should be aware that they are not alone in their experiences, as there are many ways to prepare themselves mentally and physically for this change. They can handle this change after discussing it with others who have gone through similar experiences and receiving support from others who have done so.
The three stages of Menopause: Understanding the menopausal transition
- Pre-menopause: Pre-menopause begins at the age of 40 years old and lasts until the age of 50 years old. During this stage, women have not yet entered their period and they do not experience any symptoms associated with menopause. Some women may even think that they are still in their 20s.
- Peri-menopause: Peri-menopause starts after the age of 50 years and continues until the age of 55 years. During this phase, women start experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances, vaginal dryness, and urinary incontinence. These symptoms are often referred to as “the menopausal transition”.
- Menopause: Menopause occurs once a woman has gone 12 months without her menstrual cycle. During this time she experiences no symptoms associated with menopause. However, she should still take good care of herself. She should eat well, exercise regularly, manage stress levels, and avoid smoking cigarettes.
During perimenopause, women may experience hot flashes, sleeplessness, and other peri-menopausal symptoms. This is because their bodies stop producing estrogen and progestin hormones, which affect mood and body function. Some women experience these uncomfortable symptoms throughout their whole adult life after going through perimenopause experiences with menopausal symptoms like night sweats and weight gain.
The menopausal transition signals the end of perimenopause and the beginning of post-menopause. This is when women stop producing eggs and have no more children. After this stage, women are no longer referred to as being in their childbearing years. The postmenopausal stage marks the end of a woman’s reproductive years and her ability to produce eggs again. In this phase, women may experience more severe hot flashes as their bodies undergo more extensive changes. Women in post-menopause also experience an increased risk of osteoporosis as their estrogen levels decline further. Taking calcium and vitamin D supplements helps to reduce this risk.
Regular physical activity helps with menopausal symptoms. For example, Women who are pre- or early-menopausal experience less fatigue and other problems through regular exercise. In addition, they feel healthier and look better as they move around easily and reduce excess weight. Regular exercise also reduces anxiety in postmenopausal women by increasing blood flow and reducing blood pressure levels. It also decreases the incidence of muscle cramps and osteoarthritis by reducing stress and strengthening bones.
What are the symptoms a woman faces while going through menopause?
Menses typically cease at the onset of menopause. This cessation can occur gradually or abruptly, but it doesn’t matter as both options are common during this stage of life. Throughout this stage, women can experience many physical and emotional changes due to the lack of estrogen in their bodies. Some of these changes include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and skin manifestations such as wrinkles, excess skin, and acne. Menopause also affects a woman’s sense of well-being- she may feel tired, depressed, and moody at times due to the diminishing estrogen levels in her body. Below are some symptoms:
- Hot flashes: Hot flashes are a symptom of perimenopausal women. These hot flashes occur due to fluctuating levels of estrogen. Estrogen is the female hormone responsible for maintaining sexual desire and regulating menstrual cycles. When estrogen levels drop, hot flashes may occur. Hot flashes are characterized by sudden feelings of warmth and sweating. Women who experience these hot flashes often feel tired, irritable, and have mood swings.
- Vaginal dryness: Vaginal dryness is a common problem among postmenopausal women. As estrogen levels decrease, vaginal lubrication decreases. Vaginal dryness can lead to painful intercourse and discomfort during sex.
- Mood changes: Mood changes are another common symptom of menopause. Postmenopausal women may experience depression, anxiety, anger, and irritability.
- Memory loss: Memory loss is another common symptom of menopausal women. Memory loss occurs when brain cells die off.
- Weight gain: Weight gain is another common symptom of perimenopausal and menopausal women. Fatty foods and sweets cause weight gain.
- Urinary incontinence: Urinary incontinence is a condition where urine leaks out of the bladder unexpectedly. It is caused by weakening muscles around the urethra.
- Osteoporosis: The disease osteoporosis causes bones to become brittle and easily break. Osteoporotic fractures can result in severe pain and disability.
What are the treatment options for menopause?
- Hormone therapy (HT): Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the use of hormones to treat hormone imbalances. There are two types of HT: estrogen-only and combined estrogen/progesterone. Estrogen-only HT is treat hot flashes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, and mood swings. A combination of estrogen/progesterone HT treats osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, and sleep disorders.
- Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are natural products derived from herbs, spices, roots, bark, flowers, seeds, and fruits. Many herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat various conditions including menopausal symptoms. These remedies may be taken orally or applied topically.
- Dietary supplements: Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, and other substances that are added to foods or beverages to increase their nutritional value. Most dietary supplements are sold over the counter without a prescription. However, some supplements require a doctor’s approval.
- Yoga: Yoga is a mind-body exercise that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and relaxation techniques. Yoga helps improve flexibility, balance, posture, and concentration. It also reduces stress and anxiety.
- Massage: Massage is the manipulation of soft tissue using hands, fingers, elbows, forearms, knees, feet, or any combination thereof. Massages help relax muscles, release tension, and reduce pain.
- Acupuncture: The practice of acupuncture involves inserting fine needles into specific points on the body to relieve pain. Acupuncturists believe these points control different parts of the body.
- Meditation: Meditation is a technique that focuses the attention inwardly toward the self. You can practice it alone or in groups. Meditation helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression.
Menopause is a natural process that occurs when a woman no longer bears children or has a hysterectomy. Although it inevitably triggers several changes, menopausal women are ready to tackle their physical and emotional issues with proper medical treatment. As such, they should consider using hormone replacement therapy if they experience severe post-menopausal symptoms despite having an age of at least 50 years old.
A woman should consider medical options if she experiences severe post-menopausal symptoms despite having an age of at least 50 years old. Hormone replacement therapy is one such option that effectively treats some menopausal symptoms. Additionally, stress management is crucial for menopausal women as they all have different symptoms and issues.