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MENOPAUSE

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Best Treatment for Menopause By Dr. Dimple Doshi

The meaning of the word menopause in women is the permanent stopping of menstruation.

The female hormone namely estrogen produced by the ovaries is responsible for the cyclical menstrual bleeding in women.   Menopause starts because of a decline of ovarian function due to age, surgery, or any ovarian disease and so the estrogen produced by the ovaries is no longer available in a woman s body leading to all menopausal symptoms.

The word menopause in women implies a lot of relief for some while it is one of the most dreaded things one can have in her life. Because for some, cyclical menstrual bleeding signifies youthfulness and feminity. Apart from that menopause may be accompanied by not only hormonal and body changes but also stressors like caring for or death of elderly parents; empty nest syndrome when children leave home or the birth of grandchildren which displaces you to the category of senior people..

DIAGNOSIS OF MENOPAUSE

If a woman is aged over 45 years and has not had a period for at least 12 months, or has menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings etc;  this is adequate information to diagnose menopause and perimenopause respectively. Blood tests like FSH are used when menopause is suspected prematurely or before 40 years. Sonography may confirm small uterus and ovaries.

MENOPAUSE AGE

Average menopause age is between 49 to 52 yrs.

Usually your menopause age is  determined by the age at which your mother or sisters or maternal grandmother attained menopause.

Menopause age varies in different regions like:

44 years in India and Philippines

51 years in the United States

52 years in the United kingdom

50 years in Ireland

In rare cases, a woman’s ovaries stop working at a very early age of less than 40. This is known as premature ovarian failure  leading to premature menopause and  it affects 1 to 2% of women .

STAGES OF MENOPAUSE

What are the four stages of menopause?

What Are the Stages?

  • Perimenopause. Your cycles will become irregular, but they haven’t stopped. Most women hit this stage around age 47. …
  • Menopause. This is when you’ll have your final menstrual period. …
  • Postmenopause. This begins when you hit the year mark from your final period.

MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS:

Menopause is a natural process. Menopause Treatment depends on  its severity The aim of menopause treatment is to focus on symptomatic relief.

Vaginal dryness :

It is treated with topical lubricants or oestrogen.

Lack of lubrication is a common problem during and after perimenopause. Vaginal moisturizers and lubricants can help women with overall dryness especially aggravating during sexual intercourse..

Low-dose vaginal estrogen products such as estrogen creams  are used to help vaginal thinning and dryness problems also known as vaginal atrophy    . The advantage of local estrogen application is that it minimally increases the levels of estrogen in the blood stream.

Hot flushes

Medications can reduce the severity and frequency of hot flushes.

   Lifestyle measures such as

drinking cold liquids,

avoiding hot flashes triggers such as hot drinks, spicy foods, etc;

staying in cool rooms,

using fans,

removing excess clothing,

and., may partially help

  • Osteoporosis or brittle bones : It can be minimized by smoking cessation, adequate calcium and vitamin D intake and regular weight-bearing exercise.
  • Oral hormone therapy  or HRT( hormone replacement therapy )may be used in special situations.
  • Psychological counseling or support groups can sometimes be helpful to handle sad and depressed feelings women may be having as they pass through what can be for some a very challenging transition time.
  • Latest advances in menopause treatment:
  • Stem cell therapy which uses your own bone marrow cells which can be transplanted into the ovary in order to regenerate its cells and functioning. But it will still take time and further studies to determine how safe and effective stem cell treatment is for restoration of ovarian functioning.

MANAGEMENT OF MENOPAUSE

The symptoms of menopause can be managed well by adopting certain measures such as

1] Diet:

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.

2] Exercise:

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.

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