All About Menopause – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

About Menopause

Menopause is the biological stage in a woman’s life that signals the end of menstrual cycles. The diagnosis is firmly established when a lady goes for about 12 or more straight months without experiencing menstruation or monthly cycles. 

The age where menopause occurs is quite distributed. You can reach the age of menopause anywhere between your 40s and 50s. It is largely observed that the average menopause age is 51 for regions such as the United States.  

What Does Menopause Imply for My Fertility? 

For every woman whether heterosexual women and all other orientations, menopause is one of those natural conditions that officially signals the end of fertility.  In other words by the time a woman enters full menopause, then that is the end of her fertility. 

Most women in the world will experience menopause starting the period towards their 40s. By the onset of the 50s, full menopause sets in. 

Should I Worry About Menopause?

There is no need to get worried about menopause and in fact you might not need to make any major lifestyle adjustments. This is a properly natural process and every woman will get to the age for menopause as she goes through her life. The only bit you need to know is that the symptoms that accompany the set-in of menopause can make you a little uncomfortable. You may experience issues like high body temperature and lack of sleep. Otherwise, there is nothing risky about menopause. Menopause is not a medical condition and does not cause death in women.  

Symptoms 

Menopausal women will experience some of the following symptoms during menopause, especially during the early days at the onset of menopause:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in your mood
  • Slow metabolisms
  • Gain in weight
  • Abnormal sweating especially at night
  • Dry skin and thin hair
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Flashes of high body temperature
  • Breasts may feel like they are no longer full 
  • Inconsistent periods
  • Night sweats
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Cold flashes
  • Heavy menstruation
  • Irregular menstruation
  • Lack of menstruation 
  • Poor blood flow

Is Skipping Periods a Sign of Menopause?

If you notice that you are always skipping periods and yet it is not because you are nearing the menopausal stage, then you should consult a doctor to rule out any medical issues. While it is normal for ladies to skip periods sometimes for a month or several months, it helps to be certain that the skipping is not caused by risky issues. Otherwise, in most cases, the skipping could as well be perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.  

What Causes Menopause?

Menopause is  a natural phase of life that women go through. These are the factors that cause menopause:

Decline of reproductive hormones

In the years towards your 40s or late 30s, your body enters a gradual slow down in the process of making of the reproductive hormones that regulate and coordinate the menstrual process. These hormones (estrogen and progesterone ) are produced by the ovaries. When the hormone levels for examples estrogen levels decline as a result of reducing production then fertility declines as well. The production of estrogen is particularly crucial and a decline in the levels of estrogen production kicks off menopause.  The period that leads to menopause is referred to as perimenopause and therefore any medical advice on perimenopause would also be of great help to help you prepare.  

This decline as a result of estrogen deficiency is gradual, starting at the early 40s or late 30s when the menstrual cycles start to get shorter or longer, less regular, heavier or lighter, and so on. This goes on until about 50-51 years when the ovaries cease producing any eggs and therefore full menopause officially sets in.  Though estrogen products such as estrogen creams exist, the process always takes its course and cannot be stopped.  

Premature menopause

Yes, your menopause can set in prematurely if your ovaries fail to produce the progesterone and estrogen hormones. This condition is referred to as primary ovarian insufficiency in medical terms. The factors that cause primary ovarian insufficiency are mostly genetic or due to autoimmune disease. If you experience premature menopause then please see your doctor. The doctor will most likely put you through a therapy that will get you through this period and manage it until your natural menopause sets in.  

Removal of ovaries through surgery 

Some women may prefer to remove their ovaries and this will instantly cause menopause. The periods will stop, accompanied by flashes of high body temperatures. The post-surgery effects can be severe because of the abrupt changes in hormones. Midlife women with active lives represent the most significant category of women who are most likely to opt for this option. Those who choose this option can still continue to live healthy lives including an active sex life.   

Radiation therapies

Common therapies that are performed especially on cancer patients, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy have been found to contribute to menopause induction. The ovaries will be affected only if the ovaries are exposed to radiation. Otherwise, radiations on other parts of the body will not affect the ovaries hence will not induce menopause.  

Treatment

Once again, menopause is not a health issue but just a biological occurrence that happens to every woman on earth. However, the accompanying effects can be overwhelming and might need some light treatment or medical advice depending on your case.  

The following treatment options for menopause can help you get through the period and lessen any harsh effects.  Please note that clinical treatment may be necessary when symptoms are extreme.  

Get hormonal therapy

The purpose of hormonal therapy is to help bring a balance to the levels of hormones in the body through supplemental hormones. This therapy can be administered in different formats such as through patches on the skin or even creams. It helps to reduce or eliminate some symptoms of menopause such as high temperatures.  

You should not use hormone therapies if you have risk factors such as blood clots, irregular blood pressure, low blood levels, low blood sugar,  liver diseases, breast cancer, heart conditions like heart disease, etc.  Additional blood tests might be necessary to establish suitability for hormone therapies as treatment options for you. 

Home Treatments For Menopause

Since menopause is a natural process, you can just relax, take it easy, and treat any disturbing symptoms at home especially if they are not so severe as to warrant medication. Home remedies are largely nonhormonal treatment options that seek to ease the symptoms. Try these home-based treatments: 

Balanced diet

Maybe this needs no emphasis but suffice to say that a healthful diet is in itself a form of treatment. Any health professional will tell you that a balanced diet will go a long way in lessening the intensity of menopause effects as you go through this natural transition. A healthful diet should not be so difficult to find. A diet routine that features the common proteins, fruits, vitamins, and reasonable carbs and are good enough for a balanced diet. 

Communicate to family and friends 

Talk to your close family members and friends about your current feelings as you go through this transition. Let them know that you are at a period where you are experiencing mood changes, depression, and even anxiety among other symptoms of menopause. The communication will let your family understand what you are going through and will make them be more attentive to your needs. They will also be more understanding for example during your mood changes. 

Relax more

Relaxing is one of the most effective treatment option for menopause symptoms. The good thing about menopause is that you already know what is happening and why, so you can always choose to relax and let the transition take its course. Some of the best alternative treatments involving relaxation include meditation, yoga as well as box breathing among others.  

Stay comfortable, keep cool

Do everything you can to remain comfortable throughout your daily life. Things that look pretty obvious such as dressing in loose clothes,  keeping your house neat, using comfortable beddings, wearing comfortable shoes, and using light comfortable blankets at night can go a long way to help ease most of the uncomfortable symptoms of menopause. These are easy complementary treatments.  

Regular exercise

Regular exercise can be an effective home treatment option. Indeed the importance of regular exercise in maintaining a healthy body can never be overstated, and menopause is one of those periods where exercises will come in handy to ease off the uncomfortable effects. Indeed one of the most important activity during menopause include regular exercise routine.  

Make a daily routine that incorporates about 15-25 minutes of exercising per day. Regular exercises will work on your moods for the better, improve sleeping, contribute to high body energy, and help to regulate temperatures hence reducing the effects of hot flashes.  Try common exercises such as Kegel exercises, aerobic exercise, deep breathing exercises. Whichever exercise you choose, be sure to perform plenty of exercise.  

Quit smoking

Exposure to smoke during menopause, whether direct or indirect, can worsen the menopause symptoms and make you really uncomfortable. You, therefore, need to stop smoking completely if you already smoke, and or take care to avoid secondhand smoking. Related to smoking are alcohol and other drugs. Excess drinking during the menopause duration can complicate the process and lead to severe health issues.  

Conclusion

Menopause is not a health issue but a natural process that simply means fertility is coming to an end.  Menopause should not worry you because it has to happen anyway and there is no way of stopping it. 

If you find that the symptoms of menopause are severe, then the remedies given above should help you ease them out and feel comfortable.  If symptoms are very severe, then talk to your doctor in advance about treatments. 

Do you have any questions about menopause? Please feel free to ask in the comments section.