Menopause : The cause , effect and ways to cope

What is Menopause?

Menopause is a normal transition that all menstruating women undergo as a part of the aging process. A woman has a definite number of eggs stored in the ovaries. Menopause happens when the ovaries stop releasing eggs and thus comes the end of menstruation and beginning of menopause.

When to expect Menopause?

Menopause is a normal aging process when it happens after the age of 40. But some women can go through menopause early. Menopause that happens before the age of 40 is called premature menopause and there could be various factors contributing to this.

Stages of Menopause:

Menopause occurs in three stages. They are perimenopause, Menopause and Post menopause

  • Perimenopause: This is the stage one and usually begins several years before actual menopause can set in. The ovaries gradually make less estrogen during this stage. It is in the last 1 to 2 years of perimenopause, the drop in estrogen quickens and many women have start experiencing menopause symptoms
  • Menopause: This is the stage when it's been a year since a woman had her last menstrual period. At this stage, the ovaries have stopped their routine of releasing eggs and estrogen secretion stops too.
  • Postmenopause: The period when it has been a couple of years since the last menstruation is termed as postmenopause. During this stage, menopausal symptoms like hot flashes reduce for most of the women. Some women have termed this phase liberating but a proper health care regimen is vital at this stage as women are prone to health risks related to the loss of estrogen.

The Symptoms

Below are the most common symptoms or problems faced by most of the women. Not every woman faces this entire problem. Each woman's experience with menopause will be as different as her. But you can look for these signs to prepare yourself for the new change in your body.

  • Hot Flushes
  • Irregular or skipped periods
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Joint and muscle aches and pains
  • Palpitations
  • Changes in libido (sex drive)
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Bladder control problems

Coping Strategies

There are a host of treatments that can help cope with the symptoms of menopause. Beyond seeking medical advice, you may find relief by trying some of these life style modifications for a smooth transition

Light-colored clothing made of natural fibers and/or clothing worn in layers can help lessen hot flashes. Also avoiding hot places, hot spicy food, drinking plenty of water will ease the hot flushes.

Meditation, Exercise, healthy diet will help in easing out irritability, mood swings , insomnia associated with menopause

Incorporating flax seeds in your diet will help in relieving hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Also using vaginal lubricants can reduce dryness.

Developing a good social circle, trying out new hobbies talking about your symptoms will help alleviate stress and fight depression.

To sum it up a healthy lifestyle including a good diet that is rich in calcium, fruits and vegetables, exercise, spending time in cool environment, meditation will alleviate the symptoms of menopause.

But if you find it difficult always talk to a health care provider who can guide you with medications if needed.

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