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Menopause is the process through which a woman ceases to be fertile or menstruate. It is a normal part of life and is not considered a disease or a condition.
Symptoms may occur years before a woman’s final period. Some women may experience symptoms for months or years afterward.
In the United States (U.S.), the average age for menopause is 51 years.
Despite being a natural process in the body of any woman, menopause can cause drastic changes that trigger severe symptoms.
This article will explain the symptoms and causes of menopause, as well as how to diagnose and treat any symptoms that arise.
Healthy after 40
40 is an important milestone in a woman’s life. She can look forward to more time for herself and a productive few decades ahead of her. Yet this is often the time when a woman encounters a lot of health problems such as heavy or irregular menses, prolapse of the womb, leakage of urine on coughing, tumours such as fibroids and cancers such as those of the cervix (mouth of the womb), uterus (womb), ovary and breast. Medical problems such as diabetes and hypertension often begin at this age.
Care at this stage can pick up a lot of serious problems of the future. A regular blood test especially for sugar, cholesterol, thyroid, and kidney functions will pick up specific problems. An annual gynaecological examination and consultation can give a lot of information on how to deal with common problems. A PAP Smear can be taken at the same time. This is a simple test to diagnose cancer of the mouth of uterus and should be done regularly from the time a woman is sexually active.
Once a month breast self-examination helps pick up breast cancer, which is the commonest cancer amongst women in Mumbai. However by the time the tumour is felt by the hand it is already quite large and spread.Hence a yearly mammography should be done, which can pick up even very early cancer.
Cancer of the uterus & ovary are very silent . A patient starts getting symptoms when the cancer has reached a very late stage.Hence an yearly sonography would be the right thing to do. Bones tend to start becoming weak and fragile few years before menopause. Exercise and good diet with plenty of calcium will prevent this from happening. Addition to ones diet of soya products and lots of fruits and vegetables will help reduce menopausal symptoms. Early diagnosis of all conditions ensures complete and efficient treatment. It is important to not neglect any symptoms such as abnormal bleeding, vaginal discharge, abdominal bloating and discomfort, breast lump, bone pains etc. If you feel completely healthy too, an annual health check up is recommended. A woman is the backbone of the family – you owe it to yourself and to your family to take care of your health..
- Menopause marks the end of a woman’s fertility.
- Symptoms of menopause include night sweats, hot flashes, mood fluctuations, and cognitive changes.
- A reduction in estrogen levels can lead to the symptoms of menopause.
- There are a number of medical treatments and home remedies that can help with symptoms, including hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and self-management techniques.
- The average age of menopause in the United States (U.S.) is 51 years.
Signs and symptoms
While menopause is not a disease or disorder, it does trigger some profound changes in a woman’s body.
A diagnosis of menopause is confirmed when a woman has not had a menstrual period for one year. However, the symptoms of menopause generally appear before the end of that one-year period.
Changes to the menstrual pattern are the first noticeable symptoms of menopause. Some women may experience a period every 2 to 3 weeks. Others will not menstruate for months at a time.
Perimenopause is the 3-to-5-year period before menopause.
During the perimenopausal stage, a woman’s estrogen levels will drop significantly. This reduces her chances of becoming pregnant.
Dryness, itching, and discomfort of the vagina tend to occur during perimenopause.
As a result, some women may experience dyspareunia, or pain during sex. Women experience this pain due to lowering estrogen levels. These lower levels cause vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal atrophy is an inflammation of the vagina that happens as a result of the thinning and shrinking of the tissues, as well as decreased lubrication.