Introduction to Menopause
Menopause marks the end of the reproductive stage in women. This natural process typically begins between the ages of 45 and 55, although it can vary. Menopause is not just a physical change but also an emotional one, highlighting the importance of a comprehensive understanding.
Signs and Symptoms
Common symptoms include hot flashes, sleep disturbances, and mood swings. These symptoms reflect the hormonal adjustment in the body. While they can be challenging, there are multiple strategies to manage them, promising improved quality of life.
Long-Term Health Impact
Menopause can affect bone and cardiovascular health due to the decrease in estrogen. However, through a balanced diet, exercise, and, in some cases, medication, health deterioration can be prevented.
Treatments and Hormonal Therapies
Hormonal therapy is an effective option for many symptoms. Its use should be personalized and supervised by a doctor. Remember that each woman is unique and deserves treatment tailored to her needs.
Genetic Aspects and Lifestyle
Although no specific gene has been identified that causes menopause, lifestyle significantly impacts it. Healthy habits can alleviate symptoms and improve adaptation to this new stage.
Conclusion and Message of Hope
Menopause is a journey of transformation and renewal. With the right information and support, it is possible to navigate this stage with confidence and positivity. For more information and support in this process, do not hesitate to consult with your doctor and follow us for more updates.
A woman reaches menopause when she has not had a menstrual period for one year. Changes and symptoms can start several years earlier. These include:
Changes in menstruation: Longer or shorter, heavier or lighter, more or less time between periods Hot flashes and/or night sweats Difficulty sleeping Vaginal dryness Mood changes Difficulty concentrating Less hair and more facial hair
Managing Hot Flashes The following non-hormonal treatments can help control hot flashes:
Wear light and layered clothing. Try to keep your environment cool. Practice deep and slow breathing when a hot flash begins. Try taking six breaths per minute. Try relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi, or meditation.
Monitoring what you eat or drink can improve your symptoms and help you sleep:
Eat at regular times every day. Consume a healthy diet low in fat and include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Milk and other dairy products contain tryptophan, which can help induce sleep. If possible, avoid coffee, caffeinated cola drinks, and energy drinks entirely. If you can't avoid them, try not to consume any after the early afternoon. Alcohol can worsen your symptoms and often leads to more disrupted sleep. Nicotine stimulates the body and makes it harder to fall asleep. This includes both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. So, if you smoke, consider quitting.
A class of antidepressant medications called SSRIs has also been shown to help with hot flashes.
Intimacy Vaginal dryness can be relieved by using a water-soluble vaginal lubricant during sexual intercourse. Do not use petroleum jelly.
Over-the-counter vaginal moisturizers are also available and can help improve vaginal dryness. Ask your provider about estrogen creams for the vagina. Once you have not had a period for 1 year, you can no longer get pregnant. Before that, use contraception to prevent pregnancy. Do not use mineral oil or other oils if you use condoms, as they can damage latex condoms or diaphragms.
Kegel exercises can help with vaginal muscle tone and can help you control urine leakage.
It is possible to continue having sexual intimacy after menopause. Ask your provider for help with menopause symptoms that interfere with sexual intimacy.
What Else Connect with others. Find a trusted person (such as a friend, family member, or neighbor) who will listen and offer support. Often, just talking to someone helps alleviate some of the anxiety and stress of menopause.
Exercise a lot. It can help you feel healthier and will keep your bones strong.
You need enough calcium and vitamin D to prevent bone thinning (osteoporosis):
You need about 1,200 mg of calcium per day from food sources or supplements. Eat calcium-rich foods such as cheese, leafy green vegetables, skim milk, and other dairy products, salmon, sardines, and tofu, or take a calcium supplement. You can make a list of the calcium content in your food to find out how much you generally get from your diet. If you are below 1,200 mg, add a supplement to make up the rest. You need 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day. Food and sunlight provide some vitamin D, but most menopausal women need to take supplements of this vitamin. Current research suggests that even a higher dose of vitamin D may also be beneficial for strengthening bones and blood vessel health. Talk to your provider about what would be best for you. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can be taken as separate supplements or combined into one. If you have a history of kidney stones, talk to your provider first. After menopause, a woman's risk of heart disease and stroke increases. Ask your provider about what you should do to control your blood pressure, cholesterol, and other heart disease risk factors.
When to Call the Doctor Contact your provider if you find that you are unable to manage your menopause symptoms with home care alone.
Also, call them if you have any unusual menstrual bleeding or if you have any spotting or bleeding 1 year or more after your last period.