Menopause is probably the toughest time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most neglected parts of women’s health. Women often don’t understand who to consult. Doctors are also not adequately trained to manage menopause beyond the medical aspect alone.
Menopause through medically is defined as the absence of periods for at least a
In men, the testosterone levels can wane, but it is very slow and at a much later age than women. Due to the gradual reduction, they do not face the kind of symptoms that women face, as the body is able to adjust to the reduction in testosterone levels.
Women show more symptoms, as the waning of oestrogen levels is much more abrupt.
Not really. The average age of menopause is still late 40’s to early 50’s.
Probably because of increased awareness, more women with early menopause are able to notice the changes as compared to earlier, and can seek active medical advice and treatment.
You may notice psychological changes such as feeling low and depressed, tired, poor energy, not motivated to do daily activities, mood swings and irritability. You could also experience hot flashes, dizziness, sweating and temperature lability. Urogenital symptoms include dryness of the vagina, difficult or painful intercourse, frequent urination and recurrent urinalysis infections.
You could also have joint pains, body ache, skin dryness, wrinkling, swelling of the face and feet or muscle cramps.
The biggest risks that women face are osteoporosis and increased cardiovascular problems. The oestrogen hormone is responsible for keeping your bones and heart healthy. In the absence of oestrogen, the bones become weaker. Women lose about 5% of their bone mass in the first 5 years after menopause.
Women also become more vulnerable to heart diseases. This is why it is important that during this phase, you increase your efforts to remain healthy by having a healthy diet and regular exercise. You must also screen yourself regularly for cervical and breast cancer.
Giving hormone supplements can have negative effects as shown in some studies. However, these studies were done in women who had been through menopause more than 10 to 15 years back.
In newly menopausal women (less than 10 years postmenopause with no history of deep vein thrombosis, HTN, morbid obesity or smoking history), hormone replacement therapy works very well for hot flashes.