is a normal, natural event, defined as the final menstrual period and usually
confirmed when a woman has missed her periods for 12 consecutive months (in the
absence of other obvious causes) and fertility It is not an abrupt event, but a
gradual process. Menopause is not a disease that needs to be cured, but a
natural life-stage transition. Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the
function of the ovaries ceases due to ageing, resulting in lower levels of
estrogen and other hormones.
In the Western world, the most typical age range for menopause (last period) is between the ages of 40 and 60 and the average age for last period is 51 years. In some developing countries however, such as Indonesia and the Philippines, the median age of natural menopause is considerably earlier, at 44 years.
Perimenopause is the process of change that leads up to menopause. It can start as early as your late 30s or as late as your early 50s. How long perimenopause lasts varies, but it usually lasts from 2 to 8 years. Women have irregular periods or other symptoms during this time.
Normal changes in your reproductive and hormone systems cause menopause. As your egg supply ages, your body begins to ovulate less often. During this time, your hormone levels go up and down unevenly (fluctuate), causing changes in your periods and other symptoms. In time, estrogen and progesterone levels drop enough that the menstrual cycle stops.
Conditions that affect the timing of menopause-
1.Surgical removal of ovaries
2.Chemotherapy and radiation therapy in treating cancer
3.Premature ovarian failure- Normally, the ovaries produce both estrogen and progesterone. Changes in the levels of these two hormones occur when the ovaries, for unknown reasons, prematurely stop producing eggs. When this happens before the age of 40, it is considered to be premature ovarian failure. Unlike premature menopause, premature ovarian failure is not always permanent.
The signs and symptoms of menopause, however, often appear long before the one-year anniversary of the final period. They include:
2.Heart diseases, increase chances of stroke.
3.Poor bladder an bowel control
Because hormone levels may fluctuate greatly in an individual woman, even from one day to the next, hormone levels are not a reliable method for diagnosing menopause. Even if levels are low one day, they may be high the next day in the same woman. There is no single blood test that reliably predicts when a woman is going through the menopausal transition. Therefore, there is currently no proven role for blood testing regarding menopause except for tests to exclude medical causes of erratic menstrual periods other than menopause. The only way to diagnose menopause is to observe the lack of menstrual periods for 12 months in a woman in the expected age range.
Menopause is a natural part of growing older. So treatment is required for it unless symptoms bother you. But if symptoms are upsetting or uncomfortable then there are treatments that can help.
The first step is to have a healthy lifestyle. This can help reduce symptoms and also lower your risk of heart disease and other long-term problems related to ageing.
If lifestyle changes are not enough to relieve symptoms, other measures are:
If severe symptoms are present then ask doctor about prescription medicines. Choices include:
medicines for menopause symptoms have possible risks or side effects. A very
small number of women develop serious health problems when taking hormone
therapy. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your possible health risks before
you start a treatment for menopause symptoms.
Remember, it is still possible to become pregnant until you reach menopause. To prevent an unwanted pregnancy, keep using birth control until you have not had a period for 1 full year.
Role of homoeopathy
Homeopathy can help during menopause by treating physical and emotional symptoms caused by the drastic changes in a woman's hormones. Homeopathic remedies are highly individualized and there are literally dozens of remedies that can be useful for menopausal symptoms, depending on your unique configuration of symptoms. This strengthens the body's vital defenses and restores a healthy balance and sense of well-being. It can also help reduce the frequency and severity of hot flushes till they are healed completely without recurrences.
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