Menopause is the time in a woman’s life when ovaries stop releasing eggs and stop making the hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and stops having monthly periods. The average age is 46 years which is five years sooner than those in the West. Some women go through menopause without symptoms
How do we know if a woman is going through menopause?
Have periods more or less often than usual, with bleeding that lasts for fewer days than before, skipping one or more periods and with symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes or depression. If your uterus has been removed, it might be tough to diagnose menopause as there are no periods but can still have menopause symptoms when ovaries stop functioning. Surgical menopause is when ovaries are removed along with uterus.
What are the symptoms of menopause?
Hot flashes are common and usually start before the periods stop. They feel like a wave of heat starting in the chest and face and then moving through the body. These can be effectively treated with estrogens and progesterone may need to be added for those whose uterus is intact. Though considered safe in general, should be avoided in those with history of breast cancer, a heart attack, a stroke, or a blood clot.
Night sweatshappen when hot flashes happen during sleep and disturb from a good night’s sleep. Some antidepressants and anti epileptics like Venlaflaxine are useful.
Sleep problemsare common in some women and have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Vaginal drynessusually starts a few years after menopause and can cause discomfort or pain during sex. Vaginal estrogen is any form like in creams, tablets can be used to address this problem.