Menopause: What you should know?
What is menopause?
Menopause is a natural process in which the female body ceases to menstruate. Medically, it is considered as menopause when you do not menstruate for 12 months continuously. It is the natural stop to fertility in women.
Menopause occurs normally between 40 and 50 years of age. If menopause happens before 40 years of age due to various factors, it is called as premature menopause.
Why menopause occurs?
A female is born with millions of ovum or eggs stored in the ovaries. Each month a matured egg is released from the ovary to get fertilised with the sperm. The uterus wall gets thickened to prepare for the fertilised egg. When the egg is not fertilised, the uterus lining is shed as menstrual bleeding through the vagina which is called as menstruation.
Ovaries also produce hormones known as oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for maintaining the reproductive cycle. As age goes up, the ovaries stop producing the hormones leading to the absence of menstruation.
Menopause does not happen at once. Instead it is a slow process that takes a few years. Natural menopause can be understood in three stages namely perimenopause, menopause, and postmenopause.
Early menopause can occur due to ovarian disorders, medical procedures, or genetic factors. You will have a surgical menopause if you undergo hysterectomy or if ovaries are removed. Damage to ovaries caused by certain treatment procedure can also result in induced menopause.
Symptoms of menopause
Women pass through different physical as well emotional changes during the period before menopause, which is referred to as perimenopause. Although it is a biological process, women experience certain symptoms as they approach towards menopause. It includes:
- Irregular periods: Due to the change in hormonal levels, women normally experiences irregular or heavy bleeding in the perimenopausal stage. You may experience periods once in 2-4 months.
- Vaginal dryness: The vaginal moisture will decrease as a result of lower hormonal levels.
- Hot flashes: A sudden feeling of high temperature on the upper part of the body.
- Sleep problems
- Sweat in the nights
- Tendency to urinate frequently
- Change in body weight
- Mood swings
- Slow down in metabolism
- Hair fall
Menopause is a natural process that happens with aging, but its symptoms may be hard to deal with. Menopause treatment will help you to get relief from its symptoms. You can meet your gynaecologist at the onset of symptoms of menopause to take the preventive healthcare for a healthy life ahead.
Hormone replacement therapy
Hormone replacement therapy is a major menopause treatment method to supply the body with hormones oestrogen or progestin. This will help in bringing down the discomforts of menopause. It will help you to decrease the risk of heart diseases as well.
This is another menopause treatment in which the vagina is supplied with small doses of oestrogen hormone. The hormone will solve vaginal dryness, and pain during sexual intercourse.