Menopause

Menopause is not a disease, it is an inevitable part of every woman’s life. Although the word means the end of menstruation, the experiences and feelings of women during this period are not limited to this.

HOW DOES MENOPEASE PROCESS?

Premenopause: It is the period in which irregularities such as the frequency of menstruation first and then the opening between them are experienced for about 3 – 5 years before entering the menopause.

Perimenopause: It begins about a year before your last menstrual period and ends a year later, usually with symptoms of menopause.

Postmenopause: It is the period following the cessation of menstruation, which occurs with the decrease in estrogen levels following menopause.

Along with menopause, a hormonal storm is experienced in the whole body and female hormone metabolism is turned upside down. Estrogen, the main female hormone, decreases and all organs are adversely affected by the decrease in estrogen. Estrogen hormone not only regulates your fertility and reproduction, but also strengthens bones, protects against atherosclerosis, maintains skin elasticity, strengthens the immune system and increases general well-being. menopause; We can also describe it as the end of the estrogen shield that protects women from diseases such as heart diseases, hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and osteoporosis.

Although menopause is defined according to different perception levels in every society, the feelings of women all over the world are almost the same. Hot flashes, unexplained sweating, palpitations, causeless anxiety, irritability, decreased sexual desire, insomnia, headache, vaginal dryness can all be present in one patient, and only a few of these symptoms can be expressed by patients.

HOW ARE YOU AFFECTED BY MENOPEASE?

Hot flashes:

It is the most suitable menopausal symptom. In particular, you may feel a sudden and uncomfortable warmth on your skin; your face may turn red, you may have sweating and palpitations. The frequent occurrence of hot flashes during the night can also cause your sleep to be disrupted.

Causes such as hot room, stress, hot drinks, especially coffee, alcohol, spicy foods can trigger hot flashes. It is possible to reduce the number of hot flashes by avoiding them. Regular physical exercise and stress-reducing relaxation exercises can also help you sleep better.

Vaginal dryness:

One of the functions of estrogens is to ensure that your sexual organs mature, feed on blood and maintain their functions normally. The decrease in estrogen levels during premenopause, especially the inner layer of the vagina, becomes thinner and dries. The vagina may become red, irritated, itchy, and the tissues may be more easily damaged. As a result, sexual intercourse becomes difficult or even impossible. Estrogen deficiency also causes the growth of bacteria and viruses in the vagina and develops related infections.

Urinary complaints:

Urinary complaints are one of the most common problems in the postmenopausal period. About 40 percent of women between 45 and 60 complain of problems such as frequent urination, difficulty in reaching the toilet, inability to empty completely and incontinence.

Skin and hair problems:

Estrogen deficiency leads to a decrease in collagen and elastin, the fibers in your skin responsible for elasticity and strength. Your skin becomes dry, itchy and sensitive to light.

In menopause, the hair also becomes thinner and loses its shine, the hair in the groin and armpits decreases.

With hormone therapy, your skin and hair are minimally affected by these negativities. Estrogens increase the production of collagen, which supports the connective tissue, and elastin, which makes the skin smooth and supple, and also increase the resistance and elasticity of your hair.

You may also experience hair growth in unwanted places during your menopause. During this period, your body continues to produce a small amount of male sex hormones, and the effect of androgens, which are male hormones, may become stronger due to estrogen deficiency. For this reason, hair may grow on your chin, breasts and inner parts of your legs, and this is called hirsutism. Male-pattern hair loss (balding) may also be seen.

Hormone replacement therapy containing an antiandrogen along with natural estrogen can prevent all these conditions. (Consult your doctor for information.)

Osteoporosis (Bone loss):

Osteoporosis is a silent and insidious disease that progresses with no obvious complaints or pain at the beginning. Osteoporosis is usually diagnosed after one forty. However, by then, a significant loss of bone mass has occurred. With medication, you can prevent osteoporosis or stop osteoporosis, but bone that has been lost cannot be regenerated. Therefore, it is very important to prevent the disease before it starts.

Insomnia :

The most important causes of insomnia after menopause are hot flashes and the direct effect of decreased estrogen on brain functions. Shortening of your sleep time after menopause, waking up at night, having trouble falling asleep are the complaints caused by estrogen deficiency and these complaints can be improved with an appropriate hormone replacement therapy.

Getting fat :

One of the biggest complaints after menopause is that you gain weight due to your metabolism slowing down with the effect of decreasing hormones.

While your general fat accumulation is in the hips and thighs before menopause, after menopause, due to the fact that androgen is more in the body, a tendency towards male body type, that is, around the waist and belly, is observed.

In addition to the fat accumulated in the hips and thighs, the fat around the belly and waist causes weight gain and changes in body shape of women in this period. The increase in the belly/hip ratio is also a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

So why menopause, which is a part of every woman’s life, is important and why is help needed? The best answer to this question is:

THE LIVES OF WOMEN; IMPROVE THE LONG-TERM QUALITY OF LIFE

What we mean by quality of life; It is to minimize conflicts with family members by participating in the society with the least harm, and to take physical health to the highest level possible. We should get this help especially for our bone health, heart health, mental health, sexual health, skin health and beauty.

A woman who has reached a quality life; She is a woman who is physically healthy and continues to take an active role in society. Many women see menopause as the end of a period and withdraw into their shell. No, menopause is not the time to retire, on the contrary, it is the time to be active and active in all areas of life with years of experience.

The age at which menopause occurs often coincides with a time when some important social changes occur in women. Children leaving home as they grow up, the retirement of the woman or her husband, the first signs of various diseases that increase in prevalence with age, the fact that the woman has to devote a significant part of her time to them due to various conditions due to old age in the mother or father, and finally the death of a family member or a friend. Events such as these often coincide with the times when a woman enters menopause.

During menopause, treatment should be tailored to the individual. There is no standard treatment. Factors such as the person’s socio-economic status, age, marital status, education level, perception of treatment, and the way of experiencing menopause affect the treatment method and duration.

Your doctor will give you the most appropriate treatment. No doubt about it. Of course, not every woman has to take hormones during this period. It is a choice: either to let things go and live, or to take control and shape life and body. That’s the choice.

With a number of tests to be performed during menopause, your doctor will have a wide range of information about your health. Many diseases that will negatively affect your life, such as osteoporosis, heart diseases and cancers, can be prevented or treated with early diagnosis.

Alternative treatments are possible for patients who are inconvenient to use hormones for any reason or who do not want to use hormones. These treatments are possible with herbal medicines called phytotherapy. Again, your doctor will choose the most appropriate treatment for you.

Since menopause is a condition that affects all systems, it is not possible to combat menopause only with medication. Adjusting your lifestyle according to menopause, increasing calcium intake, exercising regularly, protecting heart health. It is necessary to use the possibilities of early diagnosis against diseases whose incidence increases with menopause.

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