Menopause is one of the milestones in a woman’s life as it marks the end of the reproductive cycle and fertility comes to an end. The end of menstruation can be considered liberating but the hormonal changes accompanying it can affect the quality of life of a woman. Here in this article, we will discuss menopause and the steps you can take to overcome this period and still lead a happy and fuller life.
What is menopause?
Menopause means the ovaries in women stop producing ovum or egg. This means that any woman who has begun to experience menopause that has not menstruated in the past 1 a year and now it is no longer possible for her to achieve pregnancy naturally. The average age of menopause is 51 around the globe with slight early onset in African women. The actual time when women will begin menopause depends on the race and health of the ovary. There is another term called perimenopause i.e. when a woman’s hormones show changes in preparation for menopause. This can start anywhere post the mid-40s.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
It depends on many varying factors and cannot be generalized to a certain extent. Some factors increase the intensity of menstruation such as pre-existing chronic conditions like cancer or surgical interventions such as hysterectomy or lifestyle factors like smoking. Some indications that perimenopause has begun are
- Reduced instances of menstruation
- The period which is irregular
- Night sweats or flushing
- The most common symptom that 75% of women experience is ‘hot flashes. Some other
Symptoms of Menopause are as follows
- Hot flushes
- Night sweats
- Mood swings
- Reduced mass in the breast
- Weight gain
- Vaginal dryness
- Less libido
What are the causes of menopause?
Women are born with all eggs stored in their ovaries. The ovaries also secrete hormones progesterone and estrogens which are responsible for controlling their menstrual cycles. Menopause occurs when Ovaries stop releasing eggs every month thus menstruation stops Normally menopause begins at age of 40 but in some women, it can begin early, and then it is called premature menopause. Reasons for this can be attributed to
- Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the ovaries)
- Chemotherapy (damage due to anti-cancer agents)
Management of menopause
The symptoms of menopause can be managed well by adopting certain measures such as
Take supplements for vitamin D or expose yourself to morning sunlight for 30 mins to get enough Vitamin D or you can get it from milk, cheese, soy almonds, etc. You can also get calcium from the aforementioned foods along with magnesium which will help prevent osteoporosis and also, strengthen your bones.
You can start exercising daily with moderate activity. This helps in
- More energy
- Feeling fresh
- Promoting overall health
Exercising also helps you prevent lifestyle diseases like hypertension, and diabetes and keep your body active throughout the day.
3] Stopping habits like smoking and alcohol:
These two habits only do to make your symptoms more aggressive thus increasing your discomfort and pain. Put a brake on them at once, smoking even secondhand is not good at all and it also increases your risk of cancer.
4] Taking a good night’s sleep:
It is recommended at least 8 hours of sleep daily. If you are suffering from insomnia then talk to your doctor for treatment
5] Hot flashes:
You can wear loose clothes and always keep a bottle of water with you always. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, hot weather, stress, etc.
6] Relaxation and meditation techniques:
You can opt for relaxation, yoga, or massage to help you release mental and physical stress.