An Inside Look Into Menopause, Its Symptoms, and Complications : Menstrual periods are a natural biological process that most women experience during puberty. It occurs in cycles of varying lengths of 21 to 35 days. As you approach your 50’s your menstrual periods may come to a stop, a period referred to as menopause.
As you approach menopause, you may experience various symptoms such as hot flashes, vaginal dryness, irregular periods, mood changes, and loss of breast fullness. These changes may affect your emotional health and lower your energy. Fortunately, your doctor can help you manage these symptoms.
Treatment for menopause
Treatment for menopause focuses on minimizing symptoms and managing or preventing age-related chronic conditions. Examples of treatments your doctor may recommend to you include:
- Women who cannot use estrogen therapy can benefit from this drug which is approved to treat seizures. It can help reduce menopause symptoms such as hot flashes.
- Vaginal estrogen. As you approach menopause, your vagina gets dry and may become a source of discomfort during sexual intercourse. However, your doctor may recommend a vaginal ring, cream or tablet, to help relieve dryness. They gradually release small amounts of estrogen, which is absorbed by your vaginal tissues.
- Low-dose antidepressants. Women who cannot take estrogen due to health reasons may use certain antidepressants to decrease menopausal hot flashes. They are related to a different class of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Your doctor may also recommend this treatment if you have mood disorders.
Health problems that may result from menopause
- Your risk of osteoporosis is higher in the first years of menopause as you may lose bone density at a rapid rate. Most women approaching menopause are prone to fractures in different body parts, including hips, spine, and wrists. Osteoporosis occurs when cartilage wears out, allowing bones to rub against each other and become brittle and weak.
- Cardiovascular disease. Estrogen levels in your body decline during menopause, increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, you can reduce this risk by eating healthy, engaging in physical exercise, and maintaining an average weight. Your doctor may give you tips on managing your blood pressure if you have high or reduced cholesterol levels.
- Discomfort during sexual intercourse. As you grow older, factors such as loss of elasticity and decreased moisture production can be a source of discomfort during sex. These factors may result in pain and slight bleeding. Most women’s desire for sexual activity also decreases at this point. Water-based lubricants and moisturizers help reduce friction during intercourse. Vaginal creams, rings, and estrogen tablets may also help if you have vaginal dryness.
- Urinary incontinence. The tissues of your vagina and urethra lose elasticity over time, resulting in involuntary loss of urine or frequent, sudden, and intense urges to pass urine. Women with urinary incontinence involuntarily pass urine with slight activities such as sneezing, laughing, and coughing. Kegel exercises may help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to relieve symptoms of incontinence.
With the help of your doctor, menopause should not be a stressful happening. Book a session with your specialist at Raveco Medical to learn more. Jackson Heights menopause can occur somewhere between the age of 40s and 50s. The average menopausal age for women in the United States is 51.
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