Menopause is the stage of life that marks the end of your menstrual cycles. It's diagnosed after 12 months without a menstrual period. Menopause usually happen in your 40s or 50s. However, most women begin experiencing menopause symptoms years before their last period and symptoms often continue until about four years after a woman’s last period.
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What cause menopause?
Menopause is caused by the changes in hormones! As you age, the reproductive cycle begins to slow down and prepares to stop. As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of a hormone called oestrogen. With decreasing oestrogen, your menstrual cycle (period) starts to change. Progesterone, testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) will be lowered as well. Menstrual cycle can become irregular and eventually stop. Physical changes can also happen as your body adapts to different levels of hormones. The symptoms you experience during each stage of menopause (perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause) are all part of your body’s adjustment to these changes.
Symptoms of menopause
You may be transitioning into menopause if you begin experiencing some or all of the following symptoms:
Women who are still in the menopause transition (perimenopause) may also experience:
You may need treatment such as hormone therapy if your symptoms are severe or affecting your quality of life. Lifestyle changes can also help to reduce mild to moderate menopause symptoms:
To manage hot flashes, dress in loose clothing, especially during the nighttime and during warm weather. Keep bedroom cool and avoid heavy blankets at night can also help reduce your chances of night sweats. When spending time outdoor, you can carry a portable fan to help cool you down if you’re feeling flushed.
Maintain a healthy weight with exercise can help to fight menopause symptoms. Exercise can help to:
Having feelings of anxiety, mood changes, or depression are symptoms of menopause. You should talk to your family members, loved ones, or friends about it so that they can understand you and know your needs.
If that does not help, consider talking to a therapist or psychologist about any feelings of depression, anxiety, sadness, isolation, insomnia, and identity changes.
Take calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium supplements to help reduce your risk for osteoporosis and improve energy levels and sleep. Talk to your doctor about supplements that can help you for your individual health needs.
Stress can make the symptoms of menopause worse, so it is important to learn how to relax. Practice relaxation and breathing techniques, such as: yoga, box breathing, meditation, listen to music, whichever that helps.
Apply moisturizers daily to reduce skin dryness and use eye drops for dry eyes and lip balm for dry lips. You should also avoid excessive bathing or swimming, which can dry out or irritate your skin.
Stop smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke. Exposure to cigarettes may make your symptoms worse.
You should also limit your alcohol intake to reduce worsening symptoms. Heavy drinking during menopause may increase your risk of health concerns.
When to see doctor?
You should visit a GP if you have menopausal symptoms that are affecting your daily life. Always seek medical advice if you have bleeding from your vagina after menopause.
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