Menopause is considered a major health milestone in women’s menstrual cycles. It represents a tough phase of life that occurs probably between the age of 45 to 55 years. Besides, there also is a chance of premature and early menopause as a result of aging.
Additionally, menopause transition (MT) is far beyond reproduction for women. The other symptoms also accompany menopause, such as biological, behavioral, psychological, and social changes that shape women’s midlife and future health.
In this article, you will get to know about the impacts of menopause on women’s health and how to do menopause care after knowing the symptoms.
How does menopause occur?
The end of the monthly menstrual period, which is also known as Menopause, actually occurs due to the loss of ovarian follicular function. In this condition, the ovaries of women (above 40) do not release eggs for fertilization.
Further, the menstruation cycle explains a woman’s reproductive life span and can vary in terms of regularity and length of period. But the natural consecutive occurs in the middle of 45 to 55 years.
After analyzing 12 consecutive months without menstruation there is no other cause detected, such as physiological or pathological, in research. Yet, there can be other reasons for premature menopause, such as certain demographic, genetic factors, and surgical procedures.
Signs & Symptoms of Menopause
Generally, menopause symptoms are unique in every woman, but if it happens suddenly then it is severe in intensity.
Some of the early menopause signs are less frequent menses, heavier or lighter menses, and vasomotor symptoms such as hot flashes, flushing, and night sweats.
Despite this, there are some other common symptoms, including, sleep problems – insomnia, anxiety, depression, dryness in the vagina, skin, eyes, and mouth, loss of hair, muscle aches, headaches, memory problem, increased urination, decreased muscle mass, stiffness, slow metabolism, reduced breast fullness and many more as per the woman’s body structure.
Impacts of Menopause on Women’s Health
Menopause has marked the end of a woman’s reproductive years. It means that she can not become pregnant except by using fertility treatment. It leaves with very little estrogen in women’s ovaries, which raises the risk of certain health problems. Other health problems include heart disease, stroke etcetera.
Six Common Health Problems a Woman Suffers After Menopause
Here, you’ll read a brief description of some common health problems after menopause:
Low levels of estrogen increase the risk of heart disease in women when they cross the age of 55. It happens because estrogen helps your body to maintain a healthy balance by keeping the blood vessels open and relaxed. Otherwise, cholesterol can become a threat to the human heart.
Even the risk of strokes for women increased twice in every decade after the age of 55. The lower level of estrogen builds up cholesterol on artery walls which leads to the brain.
Osteoporosis condition weakens your bones, which results in easy breakage of bones. Even lower estrogen after menopause can cause the quick loss of bone mass.
After menopause bones are broken down quickly and dissolved into the blood. In older women, this condition raises the risk of blood pressure and can damage your kidney also. Not only this, it may put an adverse effect on the memory and ability to think.
Most postmenopausal women have seen holding trouble in their urine. It might be due to weakness in their Urethra because of lower estrogen.
Even the oral issues have been detected, dry mouth and the risk of cavities are common in postmenopausal.
How to treat or manage menopause
To save your quality of life from getting affected by menopause, you may require the proper treatment or do menopause care. After knowing the symptoms, mentioned above, you may get an idea about the level of menopause you’re facing.
However, hormone therapy considers an effective form of treatment for females below the age of 60. Also, a woman can get this treatment within ten years of the onset of menopause at a women’s health clinic easily. It helps you in reducing the symptoms, such as night sweats, hot flashes, flushing, osteoporosis, and vaginal atrophy.
Home remedies for Menopause Symptoms
You can use these alternative treatments to reduce signs and symptoms without the help of therapists. You just require easy remedies and bring some changes to your lifestyle.
Pick up a loose and layered dress to manage hot flashes. Also, make sure to keep the room temperature cool to avoid night sweating.
Manage your weight by consuming low calories daily. You can also go for everyday exercise sessions for 25-30 minutes in the comfort of your place.
Choose the right menopause diet, including a wide variety of vegetables, grains, and fruits that are rich in nutrients.
To avoid anxiety issues and for relaxation, you can do meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga every day.
Quit smoking and alcohol to manage your lifestyle in a proper way.
You can use natural supplements to get relief from menopause signs and symptoms.
Highlights: In The End
To highlight the menopause factor in the lifecycle of women, this article consists of all the essential information. The above-given information helps you to understand the adverse impacts of menopause and how to bring it to moderate from mild. Being a woman, it is necessary for you to care for your body and nourish it with the proper nutrients. Not only this but bring changes to your lifestyle with daily exercise and natural supplements to avoid any mishappening and life threats.
Her Smart Choice understands your problems and can use its effective tips and treatments to help you survive easily in the postmenopausal period. The on time medication provides ten times better relief than delay, so chat with us and get satisfactory replies to your queries.
Women’s health should be the highest priority, especially when she is of reproductive age. This is due to the fact that women of this age range have unique needs and challenges that have to be met in order for them to remain healthy and safe.
For instance, issues such as contraception, fertility, sexual health, and mental health all need to be acknowledged at an early stage.
If you’re a woman of reproductive age, you should be visiting a gynecologist at least once a year.
But what exactly is a gynecologist?
And what can you expect during your visit?
Here’s everything you need to know about this vital healthcare provider.
What Is a Gynecologist?
A gynecologist is a health practitioner who specializes in women’s health. Many women see their primary care physician for their annual wellness exam and Pap smear but there are some occasions when it is necessary to see a gynecologist.
Life lesson: Your annual gynecologist appointment is one of the most important things you can do for your health—yet many women still don’t understand what a gynecologist does or when to see one. Here we dispel the myths and give you the facts about this essential doctor.
Reasons To See A Gynecologist
Here are some reasons why you may need to schedule an appointment with gynecologists.
A gynecologist can provide insight into a woman’s family background, allowing her to recognize her risk for certain diseases and understand the implications of passing them on to future generations.
Furthermore, by exploring a woman’s family background, she may also be able to determine whether she has an increased risk of inheriting specific hereditary conditions. A gynecologist can help to fill in gaps in family history which may help aid with individualized assessments of women’s health and any associated preventive measures that need to be taken. Having access to the knowledge and unique insights offered by a genealogist ensures that all women have greater awareness of their own potential health risks, equipping them with the information and support needed for protection of their long-term health.
When To See A Gynecologist
Women should see a gynecologist for the first time when they turn 18 or become sexually active.
Women should see a gynecologist once a year for a routine checkup, even if they are not sexually active.
If you are experiencing any changes in your body, such as discharge, pain, or irregular periods, you should make an appointment with a gynecologist.
You should also see a gynecologist if you are thinking about becoming pregnant or have any questions about contraception.
Gynecologists can also provide information and support if you have been diagnosed with an STD.
What To Expect During A Gynecologist Visit
Visiting the gynecologist can be a daunting experience, especially if you’ve never been before. But there’s no need to worry!
If you’re like most women, you probably have some questions and concerns about visiting a gynecologist. Here’s what you can expect during your first visit.
During your first visit, your doctor will likely take a medical history and perform a physical exam.
They may also order tests, such as a Pap smear or urine test, to screen for certain conditions.
Be sure to ask any questions you have so that you can feel comfortable and prepared for your next visit.
Qualifications Of A Genealogist
A gynecologist should have a medical degree from an accredited institution
They should be licensed to practice medicine in the United States
They should have completed a residency in obstetrics and gynecology
They should be board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
They should have experience working with patients of all ages
They should be able to provide comprehensive care for their patients, including preventative care, pregnancy care, and menopausal care.
What Is A Board-certified Gynecologist?
A board-certified gynecologist is a health professional who specializes in the reproductive and sexual health of people with female anatomy.
They seek to promote healthy reproduction, prevent diseases, diagnose and treat disorders of the reproductive system and identify any risks associated with pregnancy or motherhood.
Board-certified gynecologists are specialized experts in illnesses related to female sexuality, as well as empaths and confidants throughout significant life transitions involving reproduction.
From adolescence to menopause, gynecologists provide comprehensive annual exams and screenings, personal health advice tailored to each individual’s body and lifestyle choices, emergency care for gynecological needs, contraception counseling and access, surgical consultation for issues such as fibroids or cancer treatment.
A visit to the gynecologist or women’s health clinicshould be a regular part of your healthcare regimen for maintaining a healthy reproductive system. While it’s wise to schedule an appointment here and there for any worries or concerns, regularly scheduling visits into your routine can help catch issues before they become serious.
During your appointment, you can generally expect medical history questions, a discussion about current health and lifestyle changes, advice on birth control, if necessary, and sometimes lab tests. Depending on the concern and/or doctor’s orders, they may also perform an exam to get detailed information about potential issues.
Rest assured that gynecologists are highly trained professionals and will make sure to answer any questions you may have or offer additional advice on staying healthy.
Hot flashes and night sweats! I was kind of prepared for it. I knew that somewhere around my 50’s, I would start getting these symptoms or maybe a few years earlier. I also knew there would be mood swings; I would be more irritable or angry and so on.
But, I had reassured myself again and again that it was going to be just a natural phase of menopause that I couldn’t avoid. However, though most of the things I knew about menopause were correct, there was a small misconception I had and that was about the age!
I was under the impression all these symptoms wouldn’t start when I got closer to 45. So, when I was around 40, I was relaxed thinking I have a few more years to go before I need to face menopause.
But, during that age itself, I started getting those annoying symptoms. I used to feel a sudden surge of heat in my body. I used to get all sweaty even when the weather was pleasant. My moods had become unpredictable.
I started to wonder if it could be due to menopause. But I was still menstruating regularly. So, it didn’t make sense because menopause is actually a phase when the woman stops getting her periods.
So, why was I suffering from all these symptoms? It was very important for me to know that. I also wanted to find out how I could get relief because those hot flashes, mood swings, and sweating had started affecting my life in a huge way.
Since I wanted to get a clear idea of whether these symptoms had anything to do with menopause, I decided the best person to approach for advice was a gynecologist. When I met my gynecologist, she told me I was suffering from a phase called perimenopause. I came to know many facts about perimenopause from her which I want to share with you today.
What is Perimenopause?
“Most women think ‘this can’t happen to me as I am still menstruating,'” said my gynecologist.
However, the symptoms most women brush aside thinking they are not linked to menopause are actually due to a phase that occurs before menopause. And this phase is called perimenopause.
It is the time when the production of estrogen in the ovaries begins to reduce gradually.
Perimenopausal symptoms usually last up until menopause when the ovaries stop producing or releasing eggs. In the initial 1 or 2 years of perimenopause, the decline in estrogen levels speeds up.
“Perimenopause is a transitional time that can occur around the age of 35. Women may begin feeling symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, and increase sweating”, said Corio, a gynecologist in New York.
However, not all women experience the same set of symptoms due to perimenopause. Some women are able to sail through this phase without much discomfort while others develop severe symptoms that interfere with their routine life significantly.
The Change Before “The Change” Hot Flashes, Infertility, Happening Earlier Than You’d Expect
What are the common symptoms of Perimenopause?
The symptoms of perimenopause are quite similar to those of menopause. The only striking difference is perimenopause occurs before menopause. The symptoms may include:
These are the common symptoms of perimenopause. In rare cases, women may develop tenderness in the breasts along with pain or discomfort in the vagina during sex that could be linked to vaginal dryness.
They may also experience involuntary leakage of urine, especially while coughing or sneezing along with urinary urgency or a frequent, urgent need to pass urine.
Difficult in getting sound sleep is also one of the symptoms of perimenopause that can affect the daytime productivity of women and worsen their mood swings and irritability. The loss of sleep can also lead to low energy levels and fatigue.
However, I still didn’t understand what menopause, perimenopause or anything related to women’s reproductive functions could affect my body temperature or sweating. In fact, I always had this question in my mind.
My gynecologist explained to me why I was experiencing these symptoms. She told me hot flashes involve a sudden sensation of a wave of warmth or heat through the body that is usually accompanied by sweating, rapid heartbeat, and redness or flushing of the skin. The hot flashes usually last for about 1 to 5 minutes and are followed by a cold chill.
It is estimated that nearly 75% of women experience hot flashes during perimenopause.
Experts have attributed this sign to the decline in the levels of estrogen that occurs as women move towards the menopausal phase. As estrogen levels decline, the hypothalamus, a part of the brain which regulates body temperature, perceives an increase in body temperature. So, to bring the temperature back to normal, the brain releases hormones that work by increasing the heart rate and inducing dilation of the blood vessels.
This leads to a sudden surge of blood through the face and skin aimed at dissipating the heat across the body tissues. The increased blood flow is what is primarily responsible for the hot flashes most women experience every now and then during the perimenopausal and menopausal period.
Similarly, the natural cooling method triggered by the body to reduce the temperature works by increasing sweating, which explains why I was getting sweaty in spite of the weather being so pleasant.
I also wanted to know more about why women’s ability to conceive reduces with age and whether it was due to perimenopause. The doctor told me the decline in fertility is linked to both aging as well as perimenopause.
The drop in estrogen production during perimenopause inhibits the production and release of eggs from the ovaries thus causing a failure to get pregnant.
However, the gynecologist also told me that some women are able to conceive even during perimenopause, though the chances are extremely low. Even Corio had mentioned that all women need to know this.
She told me, ”Your chances of getting pregnant reduces after the age of 24. I see it often, women are just 32-year-old and 35-year-old, and their eggs are not viable for conception. The egg quality is poor. They are already in perimenopause and they do not even know it.”
Being aware of the fact that fertility can decline as age increases, especially when we enter perimenopause, can allow women to make appropriate decisions about pregnancy planning.
The decline in estrogen levels can also cause vaginal atrophy causing dryness and thinning of the vaginal tissues. This leads to a feeling of tightness, pain, and soreness in the vagina during sex. This affects women’s sexual pleasure and reduces their libido.
How long does perimenopause last?
On average, the duration of perimenopause is about 4 years. However, in some women, this phase may last just for a few months, while in others, it may begin at an early age and continue for 8 to 10 years. Perimenopause can be said to have ended when the woman has not had her periods for 12 months.
How to differentiate perimenopause from normal menstrual irregularities?
I was getting my menses regularly. However, I had noticed there were some changes in the flow. My menstrual flow was heavier than ever and I was also passing clots. I wanted to know whether these changes were also due to perimenopause and the hormonal change occurring due to it.
The gynecologist told me that most women get irregular periods during this phase. However, some women may have normal and regular periods while some may experience regular periods though with a few changes in their regular pattern.
She told me that the effect of perimenopause on your menstrual cycles depends on how the levels of two female sex hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, change during this period. During perimenopausal phase, women may develop menstrual irregularities such as:
Passing of large blood clots
The periods last longer than usual
Spotting between periods
Spotting after sex
Periods come more frequently
Most of these abnormal changes in periods could be linked to the changes in estrogen production. At the same time, it can also be due to other causes such as the use of birth control pills, fibroids in the uterus, and blood clotting disorders.
In some cases, the spotting could also occur as a result of pregnancy. Most women do not consider pregnancy to be the cause of spotting especially after they have had kids or passed a certain age when they do not think they can get pregnant. However, it is essential to rule out this possibility as well because the ovaries are still producing eggs during perimenopause and hence, it is possible for women to get pregnant and experience spotting due to it.
In rare cases, increased bleeding, and frequent periods can also occur due to cervical, endometrial or uterine cancer. Hence, women are advised to contact a gynecologist when they experience a change in their menstrual cycles to find out if it is due to perimenopause or any other factor.
Menopause vs. Perimenopause
So far, I had a misconception that women can develop hot flashes and mood swings only due to menopause. But now that I had learned that even perimenopause can cause similar symptoms, I was obviously interested in knowing what the difference between these two phases was.
The doctor told me perimenopause is when you still get your periods whether regular or irregular. Hence, it is still considered your reproductive age. Menopause, on the other hand, marks the end of periods as well the women’s reproductive age.
You may enter perimenopause or menopause at an earlier age if you:
Have a history of early menopause in your family
Have had an oophorectomy or hysterectomy
Are a smoker
Have undergone treatment for cancer
What is the treatment for Perimenopause?
I was eager to know if there was a way to overcome the symptoms that I was being plagued with for many years.
The gynecologist told me I could get temporary relief from hot flashes by using low-dose birth control pills. However, if the symptoms are severe, it is advisable to choose other options such as birth control skin patch, progesterone injections, and vaginal ring.
She also recommended some lifestyle strategies to relieve the symptoms. Let me share them with you:
Get adequate sleep every day and try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
Limit alcohol intake
Maintain a healthy weight
The doctor’s advice gave me insight into what was happening to/with me, I had clarity. Now, I know why I was experiencing those symptoms that were supposed to occur in a few years from now. I was in perimenopause.
The doctor asked me to do some tests including blood levels of hormones. Based on the reports, she advised me to use a birth control patch. I also followed the advice related to my lifestyle as suggested by her.
The symptoms started subsiding slowly with the treatment. The doctor had also advised me to use calcium supplements as I had a higher risk of osteoporosis. My complete health check-up had revealed my bone mineral density was low.
The comprehensive treatment offered by the gynecologist based on my specific symptoms and overall health helped me overcome this phase with ease.
It’s been 2 years since I visited the gynecologist for the first time. I am taking treatment and doing tests regularly to check my hormonal levels. Within a few more years, I suppose, I would stop getting periods and enter menopause. However, I am confident, I wouldn’t have to face any difficulties during menopause as I am seeking regular advice from my gynecologist who recommends appropriate treatment based on my symptoms and hormonal levels.
Perimenopause is a change in women’s life that occurs before the major change of menopause. Women may experience hot flashes, reduced fertility, and other symptoms during perimenopause due to the decline in the production of female sex hormones. If you are suffering from such symptoms, it is best to contact a gynecologist so that you can receive timely treatment based on the correct diagnosis.
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