What is menopause and 5 effects for the body?

Menopause is only a transition to a new stage in life, not a health problem, a physiological phenomenon that begins when menstrual cycles end. The normal minimum age of onset is 40 years, the average age is around 51 years.

Article index

  • Menopause: what is it
  • Menopause comprises practically three periods: premenopause, menopause itself, and postmenopause.
  • Menopause: hormonal changes
  • Menopause: Hormone Therapy Isn't For Everyone
  • Early menopause

Menopause: what is it

In essence, menopause is the cessation of ovarian function, both estrogen and progesterone secretion and ovulatory function, due to depletion of the follicles. Each woman is born with a predetermined number of ovarian follicles, the number of which decreases rapidly until puberty, then monthly by ovulation. The fact that the number of follicles differs from one woman to another also makes the age at which menopause sets in different..

This physiological phenomenon is felt by some women as a liberation. However, hormonal changes in the body can cause discomfort and the impact on quality of life can range from mild to severe..

Menopause comprises practically three periods: premenopause, menopause itself, and postmenopause.

Premenopause, with an average duration of two years, is a transitional period in which menstrual cycles become irregular and estrogen and progesterone production decreases. At menopause, menstruation stops permanently, and postmenopause is the period from 2 to 6 years until the complete cessation of ovarian activity.

The changes involved in premenopause and menopause mainly include a decrease in fertility, until its complete disappearance. Women may also experience vaginal dryness or atrophic vaginitis (thinning, dryness, and inflammation of the vaginal wall). Both vaginal dryness and other problems associated with it can be relieved by using lubricants or treatments prescribed by your doctor..

Menopause: hormonal changes

The hormonal changes that occur in the body are frequently manifested (with greater or lesser intensity) by hot flashes and sweating. Hot flashes are the sudden sensation of heat felt in the upper body, starting with the face and continuing through the neck and chest. At first they manifest especially at night, are accompanied by sweating and often cause sleep disturbances.

Irritability, anxiety, and even depression are common during menopause. Hormonal changes, low libido, and sleep disorders contribute significantly to these problems. I'd add that according to research, two-thirds of women have trouble concentrating and memory problems..

During menopause, several physical changes are possible, such as weight gain, fat accumulation around the abdomen, breast tenderness, urinary incontinence, changes in hair color, texture, and volume. However, the link between these changes and menopause is not always clear. Some may appear independently, but at the same time with the transition, because age and lifestyle can also play an important role.

Menopause: Hormone Therapy Isn't For Everyone

After menopause, the risk of certain health problems seems to increase. I mean osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, or breast cancer. Menopause does NOT cause them, but the hormonal changes involved may play a role. If you are concerned about changes in the body, you can call an endocrinologist for hormone therapy. This treatment helps balance the body's hormone levels by providing additional estrogens and a synthetic version of progesterone. However, the use of hormone therapy can increase the risk of developing certain diseases and health conditions. Therefore, hormonal treatment is not recommended if there are health problems in your personal or family history, such as heart disease, high triglycerides, liver or bladder disease, breast cancer. .

To alleviate the symptoms of menopause, however, on the recommendation of the doctor, creams or gels (against vaginal dryness), a healthy lifestyle with more exercise, a light diet and natural remedies (against hot flashes and insomnia), as well as mild antidepressants. in cases where its administration is required.

Early menopause

Also known as premature ovarian failure, early or premature menopause is an increasingly common disease that affects women before their 40s and, in some cases, even before.

Installed before the age of 40, premature ovarian failure can have medical causes, the most important being the presence of autoimmune thyroid or joint diseases, ovarian infections, chromosomal abnormalities. Early menopause can also be caused by ovarectomy: removal of one or both ovaries, hysterectomy: surgical removal of the uterus, chemotherapy treatment, genetics, but also lifestyle: unbalanced diet, stress, smoking.

The effects of early menopause, which affects approximately 5% of the world's female population of childbearing age, are not small, the most important being: infertility (the ovaries stop working, they no longer produce eggs ready to be fertilized), occurrence of cystitis (dryness and atrophy of the vagina can lead to cystitis), osteoporosis (the loss of bone mineral density is influenced by the decrease in estrogen in the body), the risk of colon cancer and cardiovascular disease (estrogens have a well-defined role in maintaining the elasticity of blood vessels and in preventing fat deposits on their walls, which can lead to stroke or heart attack).

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