Menopause

P9070353What is menopause?

Menopause is the ending of a woman’s monthly menstrual periods. Periods stop and it makes the end of women’s reproductive period. Menopause may occur from 35 to 60. But most women stop menstruating in their midforties to early fifties.

What happens during menopause?

Ovaries- the body’s main producers of female sex hormones (oestrogen & progesterone) gradually stop working, and the hormone levels drop dramatically. This process begins 3to5 years before the final menstrual period.

How will I know I have menopause?

Your periods become irregular or longer or shorter. Menstrual flow lessens, but often a light period is followed by a heavy one, or “flooding”. Sometimes, there is a gap of months between periods. You may think it is stopped- then be surprised by another.

The reduction in the amount of female hormones in the body can have wide raging effects- from short-term symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and vaginal dryness, to an increased risk of osteoporosis (brittle bones) and heart diseases.

What are hot flushes?

Hot flushes are uncomfortable waves of heat, which are the body’s response to declining hormone. Flushes last only for a few months in some women, may persist for year or never occur at all for others. During a hot flush, which typically lasts for 1to5 minutes, the heart beats faster and blood vessels dilate causing a flush, a feeling of heat. Women may sweat or suffer a wave of anxiety.

Does menopause affect a women’s sex life?

There is no reason for your sex life to decline during menopause. Declining hormone levels may cause your vagina to become dry, making intercourse painful and sex uncomfortable. Generally, the more sexually active you are, the fewer problems you are likely to encounter.

Can menopause bring any emotional problems?

Women can become irritable when hot flushes rob them of a good night’s sleep. Some signs of depression observed during this period include insomnia or sleeping too much, and feeling helpless, hopeless, or worthless.

How to cope with menopausal problems?

A few simple steps may help you through the ups and downs:

  • Boost your health habits with good nutrition and regular exercise.
  • Take foods high in calcium such as milk, yoghurt, green leafy vegetables, etc.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables and more cereal products, especially those high in vitamin C and carotene (oranges, grapes, carrots, tomatoes, cauliflower).
  • Choose foods low in fat.
  • Cut down on caffeine (coffee / tea ) and alcohol.
  • Indulge in any activity you love.
  • Relaxation, exercises like yoga and meditation help cope with mood swings.