Menopause is when a woman’s menstrual period stops permanently and the woman is no longer able to have children. It happens when the ovaries gradually producing less estrogen and progesterone, two hormones needed for a woman’s menstrual periods and fertility.
Every woman goes through menopause; it is a normal part of aging. Menopause is diagnosed when a woman has gone without a period for 12 consecutive months.
Most women begin to experience menopausal symptoms in their late 40s or early 50s. As a result of the changes in the levels of estrogen, many women have physical and emotional symptoms, such as:
1. Irregular periods
2. Hot flashes (a sudden feeling of warmth that spreads over the upper body)
3. Night sweats
4. Vaginal dryness (discomfort during sex)
5. Low sexual drive
6. Urinary urgency (urge need to urinate frequently)
7. Breast changes – loss of breast fullness
8. Sleep problems – early awakening, insomnia
9. Emotional changes – irritable, angry, anxiety, depression
10. Thinning hair and dry skin
11. Weight gain
Menopause affects every woman differently. Although menopause can cause some noticeable and uncomfortable changes, the symptoms that occur can be managed effectively by making lifestyle modifications:
1. Exercise regularly
– It is recommended by doctors that one should exercise for 30 minutes daily.
– maintain healthy weight or lose weight if overweight.
– to keep fit and active is important for both your physical and mental well-being.
2. Eat healthy, well-balanced diet
– include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
– limit the intake of oils, sugars, salt and saturated fats.
3. Quit smoking
– smoking increase risk of getting night sweat and hot flushes.
4. Get enough sleep
– generally adults need seven to nine hours sleep every night to function at their best during the day.
– avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks.
– exercise during the day.
5. Reduce stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, massage, yoga, tai-chi, meditation.
6. Hormone therapy
– to reduce symptoms of menopause.
– If menopause symptoms are bothersome, talk to your doctor.
7. Maintain regular checkups.
Menopause is a natural event in the life of a woman and this cannot be prevented. Not all women get all of these symptoms. Do not hesitate to seek treatment for symptoms that bother you. There are many ways to treat symptoms and with some lifestyle modifications can help prevent symptoms and complications of menopause and also enhance a woman’s quality of life as she grows older.
*This information is provided for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or treatment from a health care provider. Like any printed material, it may become out-of-date over time.