Menopause

Menopause is the natural end to menstruation (monthly periods). Average age of menopause is 45 to 55 years . If menopause occurs prior to age 40, this is thought to be abnormal and is called premature menopause.

Menopause is the result of the depletion of egg cells from the ovaries and the reduction of female hormones. Menopause is a normal part of life. Surgery to remove the ovaries (oophorectomy) in premenopausal women causes menopause to begin prematurely (surgical menopause).

Stages—

  • Perimenopause

Begins 3-5 yrs before menopause

  • Menopause

Complete cessation of menstrual period

  • Postmenopause

Begins one to two years after last menstrual period

CAUSES—

Menopause is a natural aging process of ovaries. Menopause  occurs when number of  functioning eggs within the ovaries decline.  As menopause approaches, the remaining eggs become more resistant to FSH, and the ovaries dramatically reduce their production of estrogen.

Premature menopause may be the result of several conditions–

  • Family history of premature menopause
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • X-chromosome abnormalities
  • Surgeries(pelvic surgery, surgical removal of ovaries, chemotherapy , or pelvic radiation therapy)
  • Medications that lower estrogen levels
  • Smoking

Signs And Symptoms—

  • Anxiety
  • Difficult arousal and comfort during intercourse
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Diminished interest in sex
  • Disturbed sleep pattern
  • Face and neck flush
  • Headaches
  • Heavier or lighter bleeding
  • Increase in fat
  • Irritability and Depression
  • Joint and muscle stiffness or pain
  • Loss of elasticity in the skin
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Memory problems
  • Painful intercourse
  • Prominent facial hair
  • Reduced fertility
  • Shorter or longer cycles
  • Skin in genital area becomes drier and thinner
  • Spotting in between periods
  • Sudden onset of a feeling of heat
  • Thickening at the waist
  • Thinning of scalp hair
  • Urinary tract infection and incontinence
  • Vaginal infection potential increases

Investigations—

  • Blood tests (FSH, Cholesterol levels)
  • Bone density
  • Pelvic exam
  • Pap smear

Treatment—–

        Ayurvedic Medicines are very effective in menopausal symptoms. Free from side-effects of hormones, Ayurveda has proved to be a boon for women health. 

Prevention—

 Menopause is an aging process which can be delayed but not at all prevented. Precautions are required to reduce risk of diseases associated with estrogen loss, including osteoporosis and heart disease.

  • Increase intake of Phytoestrogens like, Isoflavones: soybeans, chickpeas, and legumes, Lignans: flaxseeds, whole grains, and some fruits and vegetables
  • Eat a Healthy Diet( low in saturated fat and high in fruits, vegetables, and grains.)
  • Eating more calcium-rich dairy foods (low-fat or non fat preferred), leafy green vegetables, and calcium-fortified foods and juices.
  • Vitamin D, found in sunlight and certain foods (fortified milk, liver, and tuna)
  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
  • Quit Smoking
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Manage Stress

1 thought on “Menopause”

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