Menopause is a natural phase for every woman. When a woman is not having her periods for almost a year, then it’s medically considered that her ovaries are not able to produce as they used to before. Symptoms of menopause include both emotional as well as physical signs, like mood swing, hot flashes, having problems in sleeping etc. However there are various medicines are available in the market, which can support women, during those initial months. Though most people experience menopause after turning 50, however, many women have also experienced it during their 40’s too. Because of family history or physical condition they can experience this early in their life.
Following are a few major facts every woman should be aware of:
- According to NAMS (North American Menopause Society), usually, women experience menopause after 50. Mostly they have their last menstruation in between ages 45-55.
- When a woman experiences menopause before her 40th birthday, then it is treated as an early menopause. It could be because of the excessive thyroid, or because of family history or for rheumatic ailments. Sometimes because of radiation or chemotherapy ovaries get damaged, which could also lead to an early menopause. According to North American Menopause Society, because of any type of medical problems, if you have cut out your ovaries, then you will start experiencing menopause right from that moment.
- Losing the density of bones is one of the major effects of menopause. As per NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation), almost twenty % of women experience this type of loss in bone density within 5-7 years after experiencing menopause. According to experts, this situation is avertable, if we start adding enough calcium in our diet, start exercises like weight-bearing etc., make sure that we are focusing on our vitamin D level & talk to your doctor about checking your bone density occasionally.
- Alternating estrogen levels can start from your 30’s or even 40’s. As per ACOG, its quiet a transformation from having regular periods to not having periods completely. The medical term for periods is perimenopause. Erratic menstruation means, cycles could be lighter or heavier or even shorter or longer, you can also experience skipping of cycles occasionally.
- As per ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists), menopause means a stage when your ovaries are done with manufacturing estrogen. Many women have irregular periods, so until you have a long year without having periods, you can’t come to the conclusion that you are having menopause.
- Weight gain, as well as hot flashes, are very common symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are kind of a feeling of extreme warmth, which could last for a few seconds or a few minutes. If you are experiencing hot flashes during your night sleep, then it’s known as night sweats. Some other signs of menopause are a headache, sleep problems, having problems in memorizing things, mood swing, vaginal dryness etc. Sometimes women have these problems during their perimenopause phase, for others, it starts after they have completely done away with their periods.
- Estrogen supports our heart & avert strokes, so when our body stops producing it, then we develop the risk of having heart ailments. So after menopause to keep our heart healthy & steady we need to follow a healthy lifestyle that includes a healthy diet in our daily life.
- You need to add exercises to your daily routine. It will help you to maintain your weight & reduce the bone loss after having menopause. It is also able to enhance the production of natural endorphins, which lead to lowering of the irritation as well as the mood swing. According to experts, healthy eating is another important thing you need to focus on in your daily life.
- After having monthly periods for decades, it’s a feeling of freeness. Especially if you are used to having painful, heavy periods, then it’s easy to say bye to this monthly headache. Ailments like endometriosis as well as fibroids just get addressed with menopause according to Deighan. Once your period stops, you don’t need to get concerned about getting pregnant.
- HRT or hormone replacement therapy is quite a popular procedure for supporting women with those menopausal signs. If you have already cut out your ovaries then getting estrogen along with progesterone or getting the only estrogen, can support your body from those symptoms. However using hormone therapy for a long period of time can instigate the chances of blood clots, health issues or even stroke. You need to discuss with your doctor about your physical condition & then go for hormone therapy. While it has some cons, on the other hand, it has some pros like reduce the chances of colorectal cancer, bone fractures etc.
So consider this as a normal part of every women’s life & try to focus on the positive aspects of menopause.