Menopause is the natural transition that occurs when a woman reaches the end of fertility. It is confirmed when a woman hasn’t had a period for at least 12 months.
Menopause is different for every woman. While the average age for menopause is 51, menopause typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 60. Some women do not experience any discomfort, while others have a difficult time and experience a number of unpleasant symptoms. Knowledge about the physical changes and symptoms that may occur, and awareness of your treatment options, can be empowering as you approach this time of life.
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Questions and answers about Menopasual Treatment
What causes menopause?
As a woman gets closer to menopause, her ovaries slowly begin to produce less estrogen and progesterone (female hormones). Once estrogen levels dip below the level required to thicken the endometrium each month, periods cease. This is menopause. This decline in the production of estrogen can bring other physical changes which are considered symptoms of menopause
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Every woman has her own unique experience of menopause. There are a number of symptoms and signs of menopause that may occur, but they don’t occur in every case and don’t always occur in the same intensity or for the same period of time. Some common symptoms are listed here.
- Changes in menstrual cycle – As hormone levels change, women often begin to notice changes in their menstrual cycle. Bleeding may become lighter or heavier or there may be more or less time between your periods.
- Hot flashes – The most common symptom of menopause is the experience of hot flashes. You can feel a sudden warmth or heat in the face, neck or chest. This can occur at any time of the day or night. This can be unpleasant, and can be accompanied by other symptoms like sweating, heart palpitations, redness, nausea, and tiredness.
Most women experience hot flashes in the years after menopause, and sometimes in the years before as well. Hot flashes normally cease over time, but there are things you can do to help manage them:
- Avoid hot or spicy food, caffeine and alcohol
- Sleep in a cool environment
- When a hot flash starts, go somewhere cooler or have a cold drink
- Dress in light layers so you can remove clothing when hot
- Dress in cotton clothing or other breathable material
- Carry a mini fan or something else to fan yourself with
- Vaginal symptoms -Decreasing levels of the hormone estrogen can lead to symptoms such as vaginal dryness and a loss of vaginal elasticity. This can lead to discomfort or pain during sex. Some women also experience an increased vulnerability to certain infections.
- Urinary symptoms -Low levels of estrogen can also cause changes in the urinary tract, which can lead to more frequent urination and sometimes an increased vulnerability to urinary tract infection. We achieve excellent results in the treatment of this condition with non-hormonal, laser therapy RENOVALASE. Over time, some women experience decreased bladder control and incontinence. Pelvic floor exercises can help prevent this, or treat the problem if it already exists with TESLA CARE FMS.
- Sleep disturbance – Some women experience difficulty sleeping during menopause. This might include insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, or finding sleep unrefreshing. This symptom may present on its own, or it may be a result of other symptoms such as night sweats and more frequent urination. Lack of sleep can exacerbate other symptoms like emotional changes and fatigue.
- Emotional changes -Women may experience emotional changes during menopause, including mood swings, irritability, and difficulty with concentration and memory. There are a number of things that may contribute to this, including changes in hormone levels, lack of sleep, and life changes that occur with age. Major emotional changes should be taken seriously. Clinical depression is not a normal symptom of menopause.
- Sexuality -Women often experience changes in their sexual desire as they go through menopause. It is common to become less interested in sex during this time. This loss of libido may be related to fluctuating hormone levels or other physical changes like vaginal dryness or fatigue from lack of sleep.
- Trouble concentrating or remembering things – This might be caused by lack of sleep that often happens at menopause, or by the lack of estrogen. Some experts suspect that estrogen is important for good brain function.
- Other chances -Other changes can occur during menopause, including weight gain, bloating, dizziness, headaches, joint pain, aching muscles, dry or itchy skin, and hair loss, thinning hair or hair texture changes. Some women experience problems with their dental health during menopause, which may be related to bone loss and osteoporosis.
Is there a test for menopause?
— There is a test that can point to menopause. But doctors usually use that test only in women who are too young to be in menopause or who have special circumstances.
Can I still get pregnant?
— As long as you are still having periods, even if they do not happen often, you could get pregnant. If you have sex and do not want to get pregnant, use some form of birth control. If you haven’t had a period for a full year, it is probably safe to say you have been through menopause and can no longer get pregnant.
How are the symptoms of menopause treated?
— Not all women want treatment to relieve symptoms of the menopause, but treatments are available if you find the symptoms particularly troublesome. The main treatment for menopausal symptoms is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), although other treatments are also available for some of the symptoms. There are two main types of HRT:
- combined HRT (estrogen and progesterone) – for women with menopausal symptoms who still have their womb (estrogen taken on its own can otherwise increase your risk of womb cancer)
- estrogen-only HRT – for women who have had their womb removed in a hysterectomy
As an alternative therapy for vaginal dryness we use the Er: Yag Laser (RenovaLase ™), which stimulates the cells of the vaginal mucosa, promotes hydration and moisture of the vagina.
Can I do anything on my own to reduce the symptoms of menopause?
— Yes. Women’s experiences of menopause vary, but certain lifestyle changes and healthy habits can make the experience easier.
- Eating a healthy diet is important at every age, including during menopause. Calcium and Vitamin D intake become particularly important at this time, as they strengthen bones and can help prevent osteoporosis. The recommended dose of calcium during menopause is 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams per day. Some women find that it helps their menopause symptoms to eat soy-based products, which are rich in phytoestrogens, and to limit caffeine and alcohol.
- Like diet, exercise is important at every stage of life. Regular exercise improves general health and fitness, helps maintain a healthy weight, and is good for mental health. Weight-bearing exercise can play an important role in preventing osteoporosis.
- Relaxation is important for health and wellbeing. Allowing time for relaxation can prevent mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It can also help you sleep better and assist in the management of other physical symptoms of menopause. Taking a walk or reading a book can be helpfull.
When should I see my gynecologist besides my annual check-up?
You should call for an appointment if you:
- Have your period more often than every 3 weeks
- Have very heavy bleeding during your period
- Have spotting between your periods
- Have been through menopause (have gone 12 months without a period) and start bleeding again, even if it’s just a spot of blood.