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Menopause

General information about menopause

What is menopause?

Menopause is defined as absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases..

At what age does a woman typically reach menopause??

Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as earlier as the 30s or 40s or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s.

 

Does the risk of heart disease increase after menopause?

Female hormones protect women against some diseases. After menopause the women are as much at risk as men due to decline of theses hormones.

 

Why are post-menopausal women susceptible to fracture?

Post-menopausal women susceptible to fracture due to a condition known as osteoporosis due to weakening of bones. It is thus necessary to increase the intake of calcium in the diet as advised by a doctor.

 

Why is the sexual intercourse painful in perimenopausal / postmenopausal women?

This is because of dryness of vagina / vulva. One can use lubricant KY jelly that is available easily in chemist shop

What is premature menopause?

Menopause is called "premature" if it happens at or before the age of 40. For some women, it happens naturally. This could be due to family history of premature menopause. For other women, it is brought on by medical means, such as surgery to remove the ovaries or Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvic area that damage the ovaries

 

Signs of menopause

What are the signs and symptoms of menopause?

It is important to remember that each woman's experience is highly individual. Some women may experience few or no symptoms of menopause, while others experience multiple physical and psychological symptoms. The extent and severity of symptoms varies significantly among women. Some of the signs and symptoms are discussed below:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding: Menstrual periods (menses) may occur more frequently (meaning the cycle shortens in duration), or they may get farther and farther apart (meaning the cycle lengthens in duration) before stopping
  • Dryness of the vagina walls
  • Burning sensation during passing of urine
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes: irritability, fatigue, diminished memory.
  • Weakening of bones

What are the steps that can be taken at home to reduce the symptoms?

The following steps may be taken at home to reduce the symptoms:

  1. Hot flashes: (i) Dress in light clothing (ii) Avoid hot beverages
  2. Vaginal dryness: Try using vaginal lubricants like KY jelly
  3. At least 8 hours sleep and relaxation
  4. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the diet.
  5. Do a light exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.

 

Some Women report that vitamin E supplements can provide relief from mild hot flashes. Is this true?

Scientific studies are lacking to prove the effectiveness of vitamin E in relieving symptoms of menopause. Taking a dosage greater than 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E may not be safe, since some studies have suggested that greater dosages may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk.

 

What should be done to treat symptoms like hot flushes?

Some women report that eating or drinking hot or spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine, feeling stressed, or being in a hot place can bring on hot flashes. Try to avoid any triggers that bring on hot flashes. Dress in layers, and keep a fan in home or workplace. If one is bothered by hot flashes or night sweats, ask a doctor

 

What should be done to treat symptoms like vaginal dryness?

A water-based, over-the-counter vaginal lubricant (like K-Y Jelly) can be helpful if sex is painful. A vaginal moisturizer (also over-the-counter) can provide lubrication and help keep needed moisture in vaginal tissues. If these do not relieve the symptoms, consult a doctor.

What should be done to treat symptoms like problems in sleeping?

Avoid large meals, napping during day, smoking, working at night, consumption of alcohol and coffee. Warm drinks like herbal tea might help. Keep regular sleep timings. Reading at bed time may help

 

What should be done to treat symptoms like mood swings?

Often the mood swings will go away with time. Also, getting enough sleep and staying physically active will help.

 

Hormone replacement therapy

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy in treatment of symptoms of menopause??

Hormone therapy (HT), also referred to as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or postmenopausal hormone therapy (PHT), consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone (progestin).

What are the risks associated with HRT?

Studies of women receiving combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone have shown that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke (paralysis) and cancer of the uterus, but not for heart attack or breast cancer.

 

How does a doctor decide about providing HRT?

The decision about hormone therapy, therefore, is very individual decision in which the patient and doctor must take into account the inherent risks and benefits of the treatment along with each woman's own medical history

 

Should women take hormone replacement therapy if they have a history of cancer?; margin-bottom: 0"> No! One of estrogen's primary roles is to promote the growth of cells in the breast and uterus. There is concern that synthetic estrogen promotes further tumor growth.

 

Does hormone replacement therapy prevent osteoporosis?

Yes and no. Although hormone replacement therapy has shown to slow bone loss, those effects are not permanent and stop when women discontinue hormone replacement therapy. Because of the risks, hormone replacement therapy is no longer recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Is there a link between ovarian cancer and hormone replacement therapy?

Yes estrogen use increases the risk of ovarian cancer

 

What natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy are available?

There are many natural alternatives to help women as they go through menopause. (Black cohosh and don quai are highly effective) foods like soy products, whole-grain cereal, seeds, certain fruits and vegetables are also beneficial for reducing menopause symptoms. Healthy lifestyle - smoking cessation, regular exercise, and good nutrition - is also very important for menopausal women to prevent osteoporosis and certain types of cancer

 

What are the other treatment options for menopause?

The other treatment options include:

  1. Oral Contraceptive Pills.
  2. Vaginal cream for local application.
  3. Anti-depressants.

 

General information about menopause

What is menopause?

Menopause is defined as absence of menstrual periods for 12 months. Menopause is the time in a woman's life when the function of the ovaries ceases..

At what age does a woman typically reach menopause??

Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as earlier as the 30s or 40s or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s.

 

Does the risk of heart disease increase after menopause?

Female hormones protect women against some diseases. After menopause the women are as much at risk as men due to decline of theses hormones.

 

Why are post-menopausal women susceptible to fracture?

Post-menopausal women susceptible to fracture due to a condition known as osteoporosis due to weakening of bones. It is thus necessary to increase the intake of calcium in the diet as advised by a doctor.

 

Why is the sexual intercourse painful in perimenopausal / postmenopausal women?

This is because of dryness of vagina / vulva. One can use lubricant KY jelly that is available easily in chemist shop

What is premature menopause?

Menopause is called "premature" if it happens at or before the age of 40. For some women, it happens naturally. This could be due to family history of premature menopause. For other women, it is brought on by medical means, such as surgery to remove the ovaries or Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation to the pelvic area that damage the ovaries

 

Signs of menopause

What are the signs and symptoms of menopause?

It is important to remember that each woman's experience is highly individual. Some women may experience few or no symptoms of menopause, while others experience multiple physical and psychological symptoms. The extent and severity of symptoms varies significantly among women. Some of the signs and symptoms are discussed below:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding: Menstrual periods (menses) may occur more frequently (meaning the cycle shortens in duration), or they may get farther and farther apart (meaning the cycle lengthens in duration) before stopping
  • Dryness of the vagina walls
  • Burning sensation during passing of urine
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Weight gain
  • Mood changes: irritability, fatigue, diminished memory.
  • Weakening of bones

What are the steps that can be taken at home to reduce the symptoms?

The following steps may be taken at home to reduce the symptoms:

  1. Hot flashes: (i) Dress in light clothing (ii) Avoid hot beverages
  2. Vaginal dryness: Try using vaginal lubricants like KY jelly
  3. At least 8 hours sleep and relaxation
  4. Include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the diet.
  5. Do a light exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.

 

Some Women report that vitamin E supplements can provide relief from mild hot flashes. Is this true?

Scientific studies are lacking to prove the effectiveness of vitamin E in relieving symptoms of menopause. Taking a dosage greater than 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E may not be safe, since some studies have suggested that greater dosages may be associated with cardiovascular disease risk.

 

What should be done to treat symptoms like hot flushes?

Some women report that eating or drinking hot or spicy foods, alcohol, or caffeine, feeling stressed, or being in a hot place can bring on hot flashes. Try to avoid any triggers that bring on hot flashes. Dress in layers, and keep a fan in home or workplace. If one is bothered by hot flashes or night sweats, ask a doctor

 

What should be done to treat symptoms like vaginal dryness?

A water-based, over-the-counter vaginal lubricant (like K-Y Jelly) can be helpful if sex is painful. A vaginal moisturizer (also over-the-counter) can provide lubrication and help keep needed moisture in vaginal tissues. If these do not relieve the symptoms, consult a doctor.

What should be done to treat symptoms like problems in sleeping?

Avoid large meals, napping during day, smoking, working at night, consumption of alcohol and coffee. Warm drinks like herbal tea might help. Keep regular sleep timings. Reading at bed time may help

 

What should be done to treat symptoms like mood swings?

Often the mood swings will go away with time. Also, getting enough sleep and staying physically active will help.

 

Hormone replacement therapy

What is Hormone Replacement Therapy in treatment of symptoms of menopause??

Hormone therapy (HT), also referred to as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or postmenopausal hormone therapy (PHT), consists of estrogens or a combination of estrogens and progesterone (progestin).

What are the risks associated with HRT?

Studies of women receiving combined hormone therapy with both estrogen and progesterone have shown that these women had an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer when compared with women who did not receive HT. Later studies of women taking estrogen therapy alone showed that estrogen was associated with an increased risk for stroke (paralysis) and cancer of the uterus, but not for heart attack or breast cancer.

 

How does a doctor decide about providing HRT?

The decision about hormone therapy, therefore, is very individual decision in which the patient and doctor must take into account the inherent risks and benefits of the treatment along with each woman's own medical history

 

Should women take hormone replacement therapy if they have a history of cancer?; margin-bottom: 0"> No! One of estrogen's primary roles is to promote the growth of cells in the breast and uterus. There is concern that synthetic estrogen promotes further tumor growth.

 

Does hormone replacement therapy prevent osteoporosis?

Yes and no. Although hormone replacement therapy has shown to slow bone loss, those effects are not permanent and stop when women discontinue hormone replacement therapy. Because of the risks, hormone replacement therapy is no longer recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Is there a link between ovarian cancer and hormone replacement therapy?

Yes estrogen use increases the risk of ovarian cancer

 

What natural alternatives to hormone replacement therapy are available?

There are many natural alternatives to help women as they go through menopause. (Black cohosh and don quai are highly effective) foods like soy products, whole-grain cereal, seeds, certain fruits and vegetables are also beneficial for reducing menopause symptoms. Healthy lifestyle - smoking cessation, regular exercise, and good nutrition - is also very important for menopausal women to prevent osteoporosis and certain types of cancer

 

What are the other treatment options for menopause?

The other treatment options include:

  1. Oral Contraceptive Pills.
  2. Vaginal cream for local application.
  3. Anti-depressants.

 

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