Menopause is not a disease that needs to be cured, but a natural life-stage transition. Menopause is an irreversible process and inseparable of the aging in a woman's reproductive system, after which she can no longer menstruate. Menopause is defined as the cessation of menstruation as a result of the normal decline in ovarian function. Technically, you enter menopause following 12 consecutive months without a period. Menopause has become increasingly medicalized, which means it is viewed as something that requires intervention and treatment rather than as a natural life transition that may benefit from support. Menopause signals the end of fertility and the beginning of a new and potentially rewarding time in a woman's life.
Menopause is also known as 'the change of life' and scientifically referred to as Climacteric. The term Menopause means the cessation of menstruation (“last menstruation”). However, it is commonly used to refer to the period in a woman's life when she passes out of her reproductive years. Menopause usually begins between the ages of 45 and 50 as the ovaries gradually cease to function. The number of follicles in the ovaries decreases. Production of the female sex hormones diminishes. The phase of fertility ends with the last menstruation which usually occurs around the age of 52. The symptoms can be attributed by the facts that some women just stop having periods. Others go through several years of symptoms. The most common symptom of Menopause is hot flashes. Other physical symptoms might be aching joints and muscles, fatigue, weight gain or skin changes. Blood tests can confirm menopausal status.
STAGES OF MENOPAUSE Menopause typically occurs in three stages. These three stages can span a time period of up to 15 years:
Perimenopause Beginning 8 to 10 years before menopause and affecting women in their forties and occasionally, women in their thirties, perimenopause lasts up until menopause. Perimenopause typically lasts about four years and ends the first year after Menopause. The ovaries gradually produce less estrogen with the decrease in estrogen accelerating in the final one or two years before menopause. Irregular periods are common during perimenopause, although other conditions such as hormonal imbalances, birth control pills, pregnancy, fibroids, and cancer can cause abnormalities in menstrual bleeding.
Menopause Menopause is the point at which a woman has her last menstrual period. Menopause is diagnosed when a woman has gone 12 consecutive months without a menstrual period. At this stage, ovaries no longer produce eggs as hormone production stops, and common changes become noticeable - including vaginal dryness and loss of sex drive.
Post-menopause Post-menopause refers to the years after menopause. During post-menopause, most women experience a decrease in their menopausal symptoms, although health risks linked to decreased estrogen for e.g. heart disease, osteoporosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer increase as a woman ages. A woman is said to be post-menopausal when she has not had a menstrual period for an entire year; the possibility of pregnancy disappears.
SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE About 75% of women report some troublesome symptoms during menopause, but the severity and frequency of symptoms varies from woman to woman. Similarly the duration and severity of symptoms is variable. The major symptoms of menopause are
Hot flashes or flush The most common and easy to recognize symptom of menopause is hot flashes. Hot flashes or flush is an uncomfortable warm feeling, particularly in the upper body. Hot flashes are commonly triggered by stress, being too hot, or consumption of spicy foods, hot drinks or alcohol.
Night sweats For many women, hot flashes occur during the day; for others, they come primarily at night, causing a woman to awaken feeling hot and drenched with perspiration. These are called night sweats. Because night sweats often interfere with sleep, women who experience night sweats may become tired and irritable.
Vaginal changes The vagina may become dry and thin, and sex and vaginal exams may be painful. You also might get more vaginal infections.
Mood changes Even though moodiness, irritability, and tearfulness are commonly attributed to menopause, studies are underway to determine which of these symptoms are actually due to Menopause versus other conditions such as medical depression.
Other symptons includes urinary problems, Headaches, Breast tenderness, Insomnia, Weight gain, Depression or irritability etc. These symptoms are apparently part of the Western ageing process for both men and women, so it's important not to blame every symptom that you experience on the Menopause.
Medical treatments for menopausal symptoms have been developed. Most notably, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), has been used to reduce the weakening of bones (known as osteoporosis). However, some women have resisted the implication that Menopause is a disorder, seeing it as a natural stage of life; freeing them from birth control and menstrual periods and leaves them feeling more empowered and energized than in their younger years.
You have to manage your diets and exercise levels reasonable for expecting better and better results. Significant supplementation with vitamin E has been known for some time to stave off heart disease in both men and women. Another wonderful reason for taking vitamin E is that it can end hot flashes in women going through menopause. There is also a wide range of natural products of menopause available, that may helps you to go through menopause more naturally & comfortably.