Frequently Asked Questions About Menopause

Menopause is the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. Menopause cause many changes in your mental and physical health. As a result of decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries you may get symptoms like hot

Updated: November 6, 2017

Menopause is the end of a woman's menstrual cycle and fertility. Menopause cause many changes in your mental and physical health. As a result of decreased production of estrogen and progesterone in your ovaries you may get symptoms like hot flashes, weight gain, or vaginal dryness. Vaginal atrophy contributes to vagina dryness and inflammation and thinning of the vaginal tissues which adds to uncomfortable intercourse. Menopause can also increase your risk for osteoporosis.
Frequently asked questions about menopause include:

What age I will be go through menopause?

Menopause happens naturally with age. Your genes are the factor which is responsible for the age at which menopause will happen. But surgery, treatment of a disease, or an illness can be a cause of menopause. In these cases it is called induced or surgical menopause, or premature ovarian failure.
Usually around age of 51, it happens naturally. But it can happen before you turn 40 which is called premature menopause. The majority of women stop having periods somewhere between ages 45 to 55. The beginning stages of declining ovary function can start years before that in some women. Others will continue to have menstrual periods into their late 50s.

What is the difference between perimenopause and menopause?

The period of time right before menopause begins refers to perimenopause. During this period your body is beginning the transition into menopause. Hormone production from your ovaries will begin to decline and you may experience some symptoms commonly associated with menopause, like hot flashes. Your menstrual cycle may become irregular, but it won’t cease during the perimenopause stage.
You entered menopause, once you completely stop having a menstrual cycle for 12 consecutive months.

What symptoms are caused by the reduced levels of estrogen in my body?

Hot flashes during menopause are the most common symptom experienced by menopausal women. It can occur during the day or at night. Some women may also experience muscle and joint pain or mood swings.
These symptoms can also be caused by the aging process. So it is difficult to determine whether these symptoms are caused by shifts in your hormones or other factors.

What are the symptoms of having a hot flash?

Your body temperature rises during a hot flash. It affect the top half of your body, and your skin may even turn red in color or become blotchy resulting in sweating, heart palpitations, and feelings of dizziness. After the hot flash, you may feel cold. Hot flashes may come on daily or even multiple times a day. You may experience them over the course of a year or even several years.
Consuming alcohol or caffeine, eating spicy food, feeling stressed or being somewhere hot can trigger hot flashes. Being overweight and smoking may also make hot flashes worse. Breathing exercises during a hot flash can help minimize it. Medications such as birth control pills, hormone therapy, or even other prescriptions may help you reduce hot flashes.
You can use a fan at work or in your home to help cool you down.

Is my bone health will get affected by menopause?

The amount of calcium in your bones can be affected by the decline in estrogen production. This can cause significant decreases in bone density, leading to a condition known as osteoporosis. In this condition you are more susceptible to hip, spine, and other bone fractures. The first few years after their last menstrual period, you may experience accelerated bone loss.
There are some prescription medications which can help you prevent bone loss. Also you can take care of the things listed below:
  • Take vitamin D supplements.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat foods with lots of calcium, such as dairy products or dark leafy greens.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Avoid smoking.

Is heart disease linked to menopause?

Conditions related to your heart such as dizziness or cardiac palpitations may arise during menopause. Decreased estrogen levels can prevent your body from retaining flexible arteries which can impact blood flow.
Weight management, eating a healthy and balanced diet, exercising, and not smoking can reduce your chances of developing heart conditions.

Will I gain weight when I experience menopause?

Decreased estrogen levels may cause you to gain weight. Maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and practicing other healthy habits will help control your weight. Being overweight can increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other health related issues.
If I have had a hysterectomy or endometrial ablation, how to identify menopause?
If you have had a hysterectomy or endometrial ablation, and your ovaries weren’t removed, you may not know you are going through menopause unless you experience hot flashes.
A blood test can be done to determine if your ovaries are still functioning incase you don't experience any symptoms. This test can be used to find out your estrogen level.

Is hormone replacement a safe option for management of menopausal problems?

Several hormone therapies are available for treatment of hot flashes and prevention of bone loss. The benefits and risks vary depending on the severity of your hot flashes, bone loss and your overall health. Before taking a HT you should consult your doctor.
What are the nonhormonal options for the management of menopausal symptoms?
Changes to your lifestyle may help you relieve many of your symptoms without need for hormonal therapies.
Lifestyle changes may include:
  • weight loss
  • regular exercise
  • avoidance of foods that aggravate symptoms
  • dressing in light cotton clothing and wearing layers
  • room temperature reductions

   
   





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