Women and Menopause


Menopause is an irreversible process and inseparable of the aging in a woman’s reproductive system, after which she can no longer menstruate. Climacteric is the general term for the time from the period of this transition to the early postmenopausal phase of a woman’s reproductive life cycle.

Perimenopause refers to the time before menopause when vasomotor symptoms and irregular menses often commence. Menopause, by definition, begins 12 months after the final menses and is characterized by a continuation of vasomotor symptoms and by urogenital symptoms such as vaginal dryness and dyspareunia.


The symptoms can be attributed by the facts that some women just stop having periods. Others go through several years of symptoms. The most common symptom of menopause is hot flashes. Other physical symptoms might be aching joints and muscles, fatigue, weight gain or skin changes. Blood tests can confirm menopausal status.

Most of the common symptoms that occur during menopause can be illustrated as follows:

• Hot Flashes: A hot flash is a feeling of severe heat in the upper part or all of the body. The face and neck may become flushed, with red blotches appearing on the chest, back, and arms. This is often followed by teeming sweating and then cold shivering as body temperature readjusts. A hot flash can last a few moments or 30 minutes or longer.

• Genitals: Problems with dryness, itching, pain during sexual intercourse, or irritation of the tissues in and around the vagina;

• Urinary System: Problems with abrupt or frequent urinating;

• Mental Health: The menopausal woman shifting from raging, angry moods into depressive, doleful slumps with no apparent reason or warning.

• Blood Vessels: Quick body temperature changes (hot flashes) and waking during the night

• Brain/Nerves: Moods that change frequently or a tendency towards sadness or anger.

• Bone: A higher risk of weaker bones, osteoporosis, and bone breaks;

• Heart: Acceleration of risk factors associated with heart attacks and other heart problems

• Skin: Problems with thinner skin, wrinkling, and blemishes as estrogen levels drop.

Lifestyle & preventions

Although menopause is a natural occurring thing of life that cannot be prevented, there are simple steps you can take to help make this an easier experience.

1. Quit Smoking. Smoking increases the chances of heart diseases, cancer and osteoporosis.

2. Regular Exercise. Exercise helps keeping heart healthy, bones and muscles strong, and energy level and metabolism high.

3. Healthy diet. A healthy diet impacts every aspect of your health – from heart health to cancer risk to bone health.

4. Stay cool during hot flashes. Avoid things that can cause or increase the intensity of hot flashes, such as hot drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, hot weather or hot rooms.

5. Ease vaginal dryness. Use of over-the-counter water-based lubricants can be used to ease the discomfort of intercourse due to vaginal dryness.

6. Improve bladder control. You can improve bladder control with exercises. Anyone can do these and at any time.

7. Talk about it. Menopause is a normal, natural part of life. Talk to your doctor about what you are experiencing. Share with your partner know how you are feeling.

8. Relax and de-stress. Stress and a hectic lifestyle can certainly increase and intensify any symptoms you may experience. Relaxing will give you an over-all sense of well-being.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a medication-based system of replacing the estrogen and possible progestin lost during menopause. Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) contains estrogen only and is usually prescribed for women who have had surgically-induced menopause. Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) contains both estrogen and progestin and is usually prescribed for women experiencing natural menopause.

Benefits of HRT

HRT is beneficial in both protecting a woman against the long term effects of menopause as well as treating the immediate symptoms. By replacing the estrogen lost, HRT helps to prevent osteoporosis and may protect against heart disease. In addition, HRT relieves the hot flashes and vaginal dryness that many women experience.

Risks of HRT

In recent studies, women who have undergone HRT have experienced higher incidences of breast and endometrial cancers. For this reason, doctors are being encouraged to prescribe HRT for the shortest amount of time possible, and to encourage women to take other measures to protect against heart disease and osteoporosis.

To prevent bone loss:

Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Other treatments for preventing bone loss and osteoporosis (severe loss of bone) include calcium tablets and Vitamin D. These can be taken separately or combined in a pill.

To prevent heart disease:

A healthy diet and regular exercise can help to keep your heart healthy as you age. If your cholesterol is high, however, you may need cholesterol-lowering drugs. These drugs are called the “statin” drugs, such as lovostatin, simvastatin, and pravastatin.

Thus, Physical changes do occur with menopause and with aging. But the changes that happen during this period can be minimized by healthy living and a sense of purpose in life. So start exercising and lead a happy and healthy life.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

Losing weight will keep you healthy and have a long life. Cheer Up!

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