What is Menopause?
Menopause is something that all women go through, though symptoms can vary from woman to woman. It is the change that a woman experiences either shortly before or after she stops menstruating; it ultimately means the end of her reproductive cycle.
Menopause is caused by a woman’s ovaries no longer releasing eggs each month. The effects of menopause result in menstruation stopping. It usually occurs at middle age, around 40 years or older, if a woman experiences menopause before the age of 40 it is usually referred to as premature menopause.
Symptoms of menopause can include:
- Hot flashes
- Reduced sex drive/libido
- Vaginal dryness
- Bladder control issues
Test & Diagnosis
There is currently no blood test or other test to determine whether a woman is going through menopause. The main way doctors use to determine signs of menopause (or have gone through) menopause is if she has missed her period for twelve months or more.
Treatments & Drugs
There are several different treatment and drug options for women going through menopause. The main options include:
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Hormone replacement therapy involves taking medication that includes either estrogen or a combination of estrogen and progesterone. These are both hormones which are created by a woman’s ovaries and these hormones gradually decrease as a woman goes through menopause. Therefore, hormone replacement therapy can supplement this reduction and in turn help relieve the woman of some of the major physical menopause symptoms.
Some doctors argue that an improved lifestyle, such as a healthier, more balanced diet and increased physical exercise can help relieve some menopausal symptoms.
Some alternative therapies can help relieve common menopausal symptoms. These alternative therapies include acupuncture, aromatherapy massage, meditation and herbal remedies such as ginseng, dong quai and evening primrose rose oil.
How long does menopause last? The length of menopause can vary from woman to woman; it can take a couple of years to go through or even as long as a decade. It depends on each individual’s body and hormones.
Menopause ultimately cannot be prevented, as it is something that every woman goes through in her lifetime.
For further information on menopause, click on the following links: