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MENOPAUSE

Menopause is the time when menstrual periods stop for one year.

Women enter a new phase in their life. Just as every season of the year has its own beauty; menopause brings new features to a woman’s life, which can be very enjoyable. Forget about birth control pills, what a relief! No need in buying tampons, pads, or special underwear, what a savings! You can bathe and swim throughout the whole month; you don’t need to stop your sexual activity because of menstrual flow, and so on. However, if someone wants to get pregnant, help is available. Problems can arise during menopause, but you have to remember, all of them amendable. Help, suggestions, and remedies are in the hands of your doctors. Once seen as a passage to age and physical decline, the menopausal transition is now regarded as a period during which good health, high quality of life, and vigor can be anticipated.

The average age for menopause is 51. However, menopause is different for everybody, and the menstrual period can stop between the ages of 30 and 60. This time of life involves a series of changes in a woman’s body. Years before menopause starts, symptoms can appear. This period is called PERIMENOPAUSE, and usually lasts from 3 to 6 years, and sometimes up to 12 to15 years before stopping periods. We also recognize early menopause when menstruation stops before age 40, and surgical menopause after surgical removal of the ovaries.

Menopause symptoms can be very prominent or menopause can be silent. A woman may know about her menopause only because her period has stopped. Symptoms of menopause could be very severe and are cause by hormonal imbalance.

There are two main hormones, produced by the ovaries; estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is produced throughout the menstrual cycle, and progesterone is produced mostly during the second part of the cycle, preparing endometrium (inner lying of the uterus) for pregnancy.

What can I expect during menopause?

Possibly no symptoms, just a sensation of no menstrual period. However, 82% of all women experience symptoms of menopause. Menopause usually presents an appearance of irritability, depression, night sweats, sometimes persistent lasting sweats throughout the day, occasional hot flashes and, sometimes one following the other, etc.

Menstrual changes

Period tends to become irregular around the time of menopause, but you should be aware of it, because it can be a sign of a problem, as well as:

  • Change in your monthly cycle.
  • Heavy bleeding with cloths.
  • Bleeding between menstrual periods.
  • Menstrual period with interval less than 21 days.
  • Bleeding after intercourse.

Removal of the uterus (Hysterectomy) ends menstrual period, but it will not cause early menopause, unless ovaries also are removed. If the ovaries remain after surgery, most women go through menopause around normal age.

Hot flashes

The most common symptom of menopause are hot flashes. Hot flashes are a sudden feeling of heat that rushes to the upper body and face. You may also break out in a sweat. Hot flashes can happen at any time; day or night. They can come several times a day or a few a months. Most of the time hot flashes get accompanied by severe sweating.

Sleep problems

Hot flashes and night sweats can destroy night sleep. Some women approaching menopause may find it takes longer to get to sleep.

Vaginal and Urinary Track changes

Lack of estrogen causes dryness of the vagina. This can cause pain during sexual intercourse and also can make vagina more prone to infection, burning and itching. The urinary tract also changes with the age since urethra has a lot of estrogen receptors. Some women will urinate more often; some have increase of bladder infections.

Bone changes

Bone loss is a normal part of aging. At menopause, the rate of bone loss increases (osteoporosis), increasing the risk of fractures.

Emotional changes

Some moods swings and depression can occur.

Menopause and sexuality

The lack of estrogen makes the vagina dry. However, regular sex may help the vagina keep its natural elasticity. Some women find that they have less interest in sex around and after menopause. Lower hormone levels may decrease the sex drive. It may affect your ability to have an orgasm or it may take longer for you to reach orgasm.

Management of Menopause

Recommendations on how to stay healthy and happy

Today, woman can expect to live 1/3 of their lives after menopause. Physical changes that occur around menopause should not prevent you from enjoying this time of your life.

Good Nutrition

A well balanced diet is the key to good health. Before, during, and after menopause include foods high in fiber and protein, and low in cholesterol and carbohydrates. Include calcium (1500 milligrams a day) with vitamin D (400 to 800 milligrams), it will keep your bones strong. Drink 8 glasses of fluid daily, including lots of water. Other vitamins supplements can be discussed with your doctor.

Exercise

Regular daily exercise is one of the best things you can do for better health.

Hormonal Replacement Therapy (HRT)

HRT can help relieve the symptoms of menopause. It replaces female hormones no longer produced by the ovaries. For women with a uterus, Estrogen is usually given with Progesterone. This helps reduce the risk of cancer of the Endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) that can occur when Estrogen is used alone. We tailor a regimen, dose, and type of hormones individually for every patient. But it is important to start at the lowest dose. Hormones can be prescribed in pills, vaginal rings, tablets, creams, patches, or injections.

Benefits of HRT: Relieve all symptoms of menopause, protects against bone loss, and decrease risk of colon cancer, etc.

Risk of HRT: Slight increase risk of breast cancer in women who use combine hormonal therapy and depending on the length of time used.

Women who use estrogen alone do not have an increase risk of breast cancer. Both hormones Estrogen and Progesterone cause moderate increase risk of stroke and blood clots.

Bio identical Hormonal Therapy (BHT)

However, some women prefer BHT or “natural” hormones instead of conventional HRT. In respect of “natural” hormone therapy we can offer a variety of products consisting of soy ingredients, black cohosh, Mexican yams, and other phytoestrogens. Bio identical hormones are related to hormones which are found in the normally menstruating female (Estradiol, Estrio, Estron, Progesterone, Testonsterone, and Dhea). In the compound pharmacy these hormones are chemically duplicated and are in no way natural.

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