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Everything you need to know about Menopause

December 3, 2020

What is Menopause?

Menopause may be defined as the point of time when menstrual cycles permanently cease due to a decrease in female hormones as an effect of ageing.  Menopause marks the end of fertility permanently in females. The average age of women for menopause is around 51 years of age with perimenopause ranging from 47 to 51 years.

How to Diagnosis?

Menopause can be diagnosed in a woman if there is no sign after menses for 12 consecutive months. The diagnosis can be made by taking a proper history of the patient. There are certain laboratory tests for confirmation of menopause.

Follicle-stimulating hormones (FSH) is said to be increased during menopause. There is a decrease in the level of estrogen in women undergoing menopause. Any hormonal therapy or birth control pills will invalidate the FSH and estrogen tests. So these conditions are taken into consideration while diagnosing for menopause.

There is a certain medical condition that results in a lack of period. To rule out such conditions your doctor might do a thyroid function tests, prolactin level and other possible tests depending upon your physical history.

What are the signs and symptoms for Menopause?

Hot flashes and night sweats. An estimated 35%–50% of menopausal women suffer sudden waves of body heat with sweating and flushing that last 5–10 minutes, often at night as well as during the day. They typically begin in the scalp, face, neck, or chest. Hot flashes often continue for a year or two after menopause. In up to 10% of women, they persist for years beyond that.

Vaginal dryness. With menopause, falling estrogen levels can cause vaginal tissue to become thinner and drier. Vaginal dryness can cause itching and irritation. It may also be a source of pain during intercourse, contributing to a decline in sexual desire at midlife.

Uterine bleeding problems. With less progesterone to regulate the growth of the endometrium, the uterine lining may become thicker before its shed. Also, fibroids and endometriosis both of which are fuelled by estrogen may become more troublesome.

Sleep disturbances. About 40% of menopausal women have sleep problems, night sweats and disrupted sleep.

Mood symptoms. 10% -20% of Women experience mood symptoms during menopause. The best predictors of mood symptoms at midlife are life stress, poor overall health, and a history of depression.

Other problems. Many women complain of short-term memory problems and difficulty concentrating during the menopausal transition.

Medical problems related to menopause

As the level of reproductive hormones is reduced in menopause, it increases the risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, and cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction and stroke.

How to overcome problems in menopause?

Following a healthy lifestyle including a nutritious diet, regular exercise, supplementation with vitamin D and calcium, and elimination of cigarettes and alcohol can help in lowering the risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, and cardiovascular disease.

There is hormone replacement therapy consisting of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. These hormonal therapies help in reducing symptoms of menopause in a woman. Hormonal therapy has a risk of inducing breast cancer, blood clots, myocardial infarction and stroke. So the lowest possible dose is recommended.

Apart from the above treatment modalities, there are non-hormonal medications for treating vasomotor instability that include a low dose of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), antidepressants such as fluoxetine, paroxetine, citalopram and sertraline. Gabapentin and clonidine are also used for vasomotor instability treatment.

A healthy diet including foods containing phytoestrogens such as soybeans, chickpeas, and flaxseeds can also relief vasomotor problems.

Osteoporosis can be treated with non-hormonal bisphosphonates and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM).You should always consult your doctor and discuss the proper treatment option for menopause instead of self-medication.

Menopause is not a disease or a medical condition, it is a normal part of life, every woman has to undergo. Menopause affects every woman differently, some women may experience problems due to these menopause symptoms. For others, menopause may not be as troublesome

Want to consult the best gynecologists in India? Please find the links below.

  1. Best Gynecologists in Bangalore
  2. Top Gynecologists in Chennai
  3. Top Obstetricians & Gynecologists in Mumbai
  4. Top Gynecologists near me in Pune
  5. Best Obstetricians & Gynecologists in Chandigarh
  6. Top Obstetricians & Gynecologists near me in Gurgaon
  7. Best Gynecologists near me in Noida

 

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