Quick 30 Seconds Summary of Guide To Menopause
- Menopause is a natural phenomenon when a women’s menstrual cycles stop.
- Women reach menopause between the ages of 45-56.
- Symptoms of menopause include hot flashes, anxiety, lowered sex drive, abnormal weight gain or loss etc.
- There is “no cure” for menopause since it is completely natural. It can be managed properly with home remedies and treatments prescribed by your gynaecologist.
- Alternative therapies like Yoga and Ayurveda have shown amazing results for menopausal women.
Aging causes a lot of physical and mental changes in women. One of the biggest natural changes is the end of periods. Menopause officially marks the end of the menstrual cycle for women.
In this article, we will cover:
- Menopause – Meaning & Overview
- Menopause Symptoms
- Timeline of Menopause
- Causes of Menopause
- Menopause Treatments
Menopause - Meaning & Overview
Menopause is a completely natural phenomenon that occurs in women. As a woman ages her reproductive hormones gradually stop producing new eggs, thus lessening the frequency of her menstrual cycles until they completely stop.
Menopause means the end of menstrual cycles. It signifies that the body has naturally stopped producing new eggs and hence the woman can no longer get pregnant.
Generally, women reach menopause between the ages of 45 – 55 years. It takes a few years for menopause to take full effect. These years leading upto the actual menopause are when women should focus on their physical and mental wellbeing to ensure a happy and healthy life.
However, some women may undergo menopause early in life due to medical issues such as removal of ovaries, uterus, radiotherapy treatments etc.
The symptoms of menopause begin with irregular periods. If you are above the age of 40 and start experiencing irregular periods, then usually this signifies the start of menopause.
Just like periods, every woman experiences menopause differently. Not all women experience, every symptom of menopause listed below, neither is the severity or intensity equal for everyone. In short, the menopause is a unique experience for every woman.
The Symptoms of Menopause:
- Hot flashes
- Night sweating
- Skin flushing
- Mood swings
- Lowered sex drive
- Vaginal dryness
- Abnormal weight gain or weight loss
- Facing issues with concentration
- Memory problems
- Dry skin, mouth, and eyes
- Higher frequency of urination
- Sore or tender breasts
- Severe headaches
- Racing heart
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Reduction of muscle mass
- Painful or stiff joints
- Reduction of bone mass
- Less full breasts
- Hair thinning or loss
- Unnaturally high density of hair growth on other areas of the body, such as the face, neck, chest, and upper back
Since menopause takes years to set in, the symptoms of menopause also last for years, thus adversely affecting the woman’s health for a long time.
The Timeline of Menopause
The process of hitting menopause takes many years. It is medically divided into 3 stages. These 3 stages establish the timeline of menopause.
Stage I: Perimenopause
Perimenopause is the first stage of menopause. When your periods become irregular and less frequent you have entered the stage of perimenopause.
Women in perimenopause tend to experience the symptoms of menopause most intensely. Perimenopause may last for 3-4 years or more in exceptional cases.
Women who are in the perimenopause stage can still get pregnant.
Stage II: Menopause
Menopause is the official mark when a woman has not menstruated for one full year.
A woman who has hit menopause will not be able to get pregnant.
Some of the menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, anxiety, vaginal dryness etc. will continue to affect the woman even in this stage.
Stage III: Postmenopause
Postmenopause is the final stage in the menopause timeline. A woman who crosses the menopause mark is referred to as a postmenopausal woman for the rest of her life (medically).
Causes of Menopause
As explained earlier, hormonal changes in a woman’s body lead to natural menopause. Lower production of estrogen and progesterone means, lower production of eggs and less frequent periods. This is a natural progression for women in their late 40s.
Unfortunately, sometimes women experience menopause early due to medical or health issues. Some of them are:
- Removal of ovaries
- Removal of uterus
- Radiotherapy treatments as part of cancer treatment
- Pelvic injuries that shatter or severely damage the reproductive system.
Such women reach menopause early on and unnaturally. Thus complicating the natural health mechanism. Women who are experiencing menopause early should consult a gynecologist and strictly follow all the given guidelines.
First off, if you begin experiencing any of the above symptoms of menopause, we suggest that you meet a gynecologist and understand your journey, the do’s and dont’s, etc. during this phase of your life.
There are many ways to treat menopause. Some of the most popular ones include:
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
An important aspect that women tend to neglect when going through menopause is how their diet and lifestyle affects the severity of health issues triggered by menopause.
Here are simple tips for a healthy lifestyle during menopause:
- Regular exercise
- Stop smoking and cut down alcohol consumption to a very low level
- Control your cholestrol and sugar levels
- Keep your blood pressure in check
- Regularly consume vitamin and calcium supplements to keep your body robust
- Shift to a more plant-based diet and lower the intake of meat and processed foods.
Thanks to the advances in medical science, doctors can now prescribe medication to alleviate menopause symptoms. Most drugs are OTC prescriptions and have proved to be useful when managing harsh menopause symptoms.
Your gynecologist will be the right person to consult with on what medication to take and what is the right dosage for you.
Medical treatment includes oral medication, creams and ointments as necessary.
Alternative Therapy Treatments
Ayurveda defines menopause as “Rajonivrutti”, which stands for “the end of Artava Pravrutti” i.e. the stopping of menstruation.
Ayurveda offers a plethora of nature-based treatments that successfully combat the symptoms of menopause while increasing the physical and mental well-being of the woman.
Ayurvedic doctors suggest a controlled dosage of herbs such as Arjuna, Cardamom, Guggul, Fennel and Garlic. They also recommend organic herbal juices to strengthen the woman’s body for years to come.