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What You Should Know About Menopause

Discussion in 'Gynaecology and Obstetrics' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Although menopause is a normal part of the aging process in women and not an illness, the effects can feel like an illness. Just as each woman goes through her menstrual cycle with differing symptoms, so too can each woman go through individual menopause signs and symptoms. Postmenoapusal women often find their lack of fertility to be a relief and help them enter a better stage of life.

    About Pre-menopause


    Women begin menopause or premature menopause at differing ages according to their overall health and stress levels. For example, teenage girls with eating disorders or drug addiction may begin perimenopause despite their young age. It is unknown why human females are one of the very few animals that experience menopause. The grandmother hyposis or hypothesis that stated that human families needed infertile woman to help care for youngsters, but this is a controversial theory in evolutionary biology.


    In a healthy fertile woman, symptoms of perimenopause or the transition years before menopause begin anytime from her late 30s to her early 40s. Periods become irregular and flow becomes noticeably lighter or heavier than usual. Women in this time also experience vaginal dryness, disturbed sleep and hot flashes or flushes. When a woman goes a full year without having her period, she has officially entered menopause.

    Common Symptoms


    Menopausal women experience bone loss due to estrogen loss and may need to take a calcium supplement to help avoid osteoporosis. Many also experience vaginal atrophy and may find sexual intercourse painful. Mood changes, insomnia and night sweats are normal but not a sole symptom of menopause.


    Women may have breast tenderness and suddenly experience high blood pressure. Some women experience unusual food cravings, such as for chocolate. Some women also experience thinning hair or bald patches. All of these symptoms can be stressful and cause chronic fatigue.

    Warning


    These symptoms appear for many other ailments, such as MRSA bacterial infection, mood disorders, bad reactions to new medications, cysts on the ovaries or breast cancer. Never self-diagnose symptoms. Go to a doctor or gynecologist in order to rule out serious ailments that may need immediate treatment.


    Testing the blood for follicle stimulating hormone or fsh may be required. Urine samples may be required to test for lutenizing hormone or LH left in the woman's body.

    Menopause Treatments


    To alleviate symptoms, women used to be given hormone replacement therapy in the form of estrone sulfate, also known as conjugated equine estrogens or pills derived from pregnant mare urine. Currently, treatment with conjugated equine estrogens is considered controversial because it can give harmful long-term effects. Some women find relief with herbal remedies which include black cohosh or phytoestrogens, or plant chemicals that mimic estrogen and help activate an estrogen receptor in the body.


    Menopausal women may also be placed on medications to combat osteoporosis and a short round of antidepressants.

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