Menopause is the process through which a woman ceases to be fertile or menstruate completely. It is a normal part of life and is not considered a disease or a medical condition.
Symptoms may occur years before a woman’s final period also called as Perimenopause. Some women may experience symptoms for months or years afterward or before actual menopause.
In India, the average age for menopause is 47 years.
Despite being a natural process in the body of any woman, menopause can cause drastic changes that trigger a variety of symptoms.
While menopause is not a disease or disorder, it does trigger some profound changes in a woman’s body.
A diagnosis of menopause is confirmed when a woman has not had a menstrual period for one continuous year. However, the symptoms of menopause generally appear before the end of that one-year period.
Signs and symptoms
Changes to the menstrual pattern are the first noticeable symptoms of menopause. Some women may experience a period every 2 to 3 weeks. Others will not menstruate for months at a time.
Perimenopause is the 3-to-5-year period before menopause.
During the perimenopausal stage, a woman’s estrogen levels will drop significantly. This reduces her chances of becoming pregnant.
Dryness, itching, and discomfort of the vagina tend to occur during perimenopause.
As a result, some women may experience Dysparenuia , or pain during sex. Women experience this pain due to lowering estrogen levels. These lower levels cause vaginal atrophy.
Vaginal atrophy is an inflammation of the vagina that happens as a result of the thinning and shrinking of the tissues, as well as decreased lubrication.
A hot flash is a sudden sensation of heat in the upper body. It may start in the face, neck, or chest, and progress upward or downward.
The skin may become red and patchy, and a woman will typically start to sweat. Her heart rate may suddenly increase, strengthen, or become irregular. Hot flashes generally occur during the first year after a woman’s final period.
Hot flashes that occur during the sleep cycle are called night sweats. Most women say their hot flashes do not last more than a few minutes.
However, studies have confirmed that moderate-to-severe night sweats and hot flashes may pose a problem for 6-8 years before actual menopause.
It can be difficult for women to fall asleep and stay asleep as they progress through menopause.
In some cases, night sweats can lead to discomfort during the night and difficulty sleeping. Sleep disturbance may also be caused by insomnia or anxiety.
Menopause can disrupt a woman’s urinary cycle.
Women tend to be more susceptible to Urinary tract infections (UTIs) during menopause, such as cystitis. They may also find that they also need to visit the toilet more often.
Women can experience depression and low mood during menopause.
Hormonal changes can often trigger depressed feelings and mood swings. In many cases, these emotional symptoms also go hand-in-hand with sleep disturbance.
Women may also experience low libido, or sex drive, as a result of these emotional changes.
Problems focusing and learning
Menopause can affect cognitive functions, such as concentration.
Some women may also experience short-term memory problems and difficulty focusing for long periods.
Other symptoms of menopause include:
- a buildup of fat in the abdomen, sometimes leading to overweight and Obesity.
- Hair loss and thinning hair
- breast shrinkage
Without treatment, symptoms usually taper off over a period of 2 to 5 years. However, symptoms can persist for longer. In some cases, vaginal dryness, itching, and discomfort can become chronic and eventually get worse without treatment.
Menopause can lead to the development of complications, including:
- Cardiovascular disease: A drop in estrogen levels has been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Osteoporosis: A woman may lose bone density rapidly during the first few years after menopause. Low bone density leads to a higher risk of developing Osteoporosis.
- Urinary incontinence: Menopause causes the tissues of the vagina and urethra to lose their elasticity. This can result in frequent, sudden, and overwhelming urges to urinate. These urges can be followed by an involuntary loss of urine. Women may involuntarily urinate after coughing, sneezing, laughing, or lifting during menopause.
- Breast cancer: Women face a higher risk of breast cancer following menopause. Regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk.
Menopausal remedies at South Delhi
Dr. Ruchi Tandon is an exceptional Gynecologist specializing in disorders such as menopause. She has over 14 years of experience in pregnancy, fibroids, fibroids, excessive bleeding, and hot flashes. She is a new generation doctor with a holistic approach towards her Perimenopausal and menopausal patients. She specializes in providing the best treatments for all patients.