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Menopause- A Brief Discussion



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In this article I will list out the definition, age, symptoms and general treatments given to menopausal women suffering from its effects along with the other causes of amenorrhea.

A lot of women who are suffering from amenorrhea don’t know whether they have reached their menopause or they are having some other cause that is leading to the condition.

The menopausal transition period is typified by variation in the menstrual cycle length and skipped periods in females.

What is menopause?

Menopause is the term that is used for cessation or stoppage of menstrual cycle in females, retrospectively after 12 months of amenorrhea (absence of periods).

What is the average age of menopause?

Average age for a female to undergo menopause is between 50-51 years.

What are the hormonal changes during menopause ?

With ovarian failure, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels rises in the body and the estradiol levels gradually falls.

Are there any other causes of amenorrhea ?

Yes , there are many other causes of amenorrhea such as-

·         Concurrent medical illness

·         Pregnancy

·         Thyroid disease

·         Pituitary disease

·         Medications.

What are the symptoms associated with menopause?

The symptoms associated with menopause are-

·         Irregular bleeding

·         Hot flashes/night sweats

·         Disturbance in sleep

·         Sexual dysfunction

·         Urinary incontinence

·         Mood changes/ mood swings

How long does these symptoms lasts?

These symptoms typically last for a few months but can also extend for some years.

Hot flashes mostly affect the women undergoing or reached menopause. They occur most frequently during the night time.

Hot flashes occurs due to the deficiency of a hormone i.e., estrogen.

The estrogen level withdrawal in females lowers the temperature set point in the hypothalamus in order to reduce the thermostat. This results in the vasodilatation of the vessels in the hand and upper body so that the heat in the central organs looses at the peripheries.

What are the other causes of hot flashes ?

The other causes of hot flashes are-

·         Pheochromocytoma

·         Carcinoid

·         Pregnancy

·         Thyroid disease

·         Panic disorder.

What are the long term effects or risks of menopause ?

The long term effects due to menopause might lead to osteoporosis (bone disorder) and increase in cardiovascular disease (heart disease).

What are the diagnostic testing?

1.       Diagnostic testing in menopause in older women is generally unnecessary.

2.       Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) levels are high and estradiol levels are low.

3.       In females who do not qualify the age or suffering from any medical condition, other tests are indicated to rule out the possibility of amenorrhea.

What therapy and lifestyle changes are recommended to patients having hot flashes?

1.       Estrogen therapy

2.       Environmental changes – such as keeping the room at a lower temperature and dressing in layers may make hot flashes more tolerable.

3.       Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and serotonin nor epinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) are also effective for the vasomotor symptoms but not as effective as the estrogen therapy.

4.       The effectiveness of certain foods such as soy foods, soy milk, soy extract, red clover extracts have no definitive results and are questionable.

 

Note- If you are having amenorrhea or having certain symptoms and your age is not falling under the menopausal women criteria do visit your gynecologist for knowing the root cause behind it.

Always consult your doctor before following any treatment or adding any supplement in your diet. Make sure to tell them your complete history in the chronological order from the time you started experiencing certain symptoms.

Never ever feel shy to reach out to family members and your doctor if you experience any uneasiness or symptoms that are affecting your lifestyle adversely.

Hope you found this article useful.

Take care and stay safe.🥰

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