What is menopause?

MenopauseWhy?

Menopause is the irreversible cessation of menstrual bleeding and reproductive function and the absence of menstruation for 1 year. Menopause begins on average between the ages of 48 and 52. The age of menopause varies from woman to woman, depending on nutrition, general health and genetic factors. The onset of menopause before the age of 40 is called premature menopause.

Menstrual bleeding begins to become irregular 2 to 8 years before menopause and the intervals between menstrual days begin to lengthen. The onset of menopause does not happen suddenly, this process develops within 2-3 years.

in menopauseWhat are the complaints?

Every woman is born with a certain number of eggs in her ovaries. The number of eggs gradually decreases over the years, and when it falls below a certain number, menopause develops. As the number of eggs decreases, the estrogen hormone produced in the ovaries gradually decreases. Decreased estrogen levels cause complaints that occur in menopause.

Menopause symptoms vary for every woman. Some women may have no symptoms, while others may have many symptoms together.

– Menstrual irregularities: During this period, most women have longer periods. However, some women may experience heavy and prolonged bleeding. In this case, a doctor should be consulted.

– Hot flushes and sweating: Menopausal hot flashes usually start as a sudden increase in temperature in the chest, which spreads to the head and neck within seconds. Sweating, palpitations and redness may occur. Hot flashes and sweats are common especially in the first years of menopause. Its incidence decreases after 5 years.

-Vaginal dryness: Due to the decrease in estrogen, thinning of the vaginal tissue occurs. As a result, complaints such as painful sexual intercourse and burning during urination may occur.

-Psychological problems and insomnia:Depending on the decrease in estrogen, a tendency to depression and insomnia may occur.

-Osteoclasis: The decrease in bone mass and the bone structure becoming more porous is called osteoporosis. This increases the fragility of the bone.

-Loss of sexual desire

Bone density in women reaches its highest level in their 30s. Afterwards, the bone mass gradually decreases. After menopause, bone loss accelerates more. Exercise that puts a load on the bone (for example, walking with a light weight) will increase bone density. It is also beneficial to consume calcium-rich foods such as milk and yogurt.

Risk factors for osteoporosis other than osteoporosis:

1. Having a family history of osteoporosis
2. To have never given birth
3. Late menstruation, early menopause
4. Being petite
5. A sedentary life
6. Smoking
7. Use of drugs such as corticosteroids, thyroid hormones

Early diagnosis of osteoporosis is very important. Tests measuring bone density are used to diagnose. The bone density of the hip and waist region is measured by the DEXA method.

In the treatment, drugs that reduce bone loss and calcium are used.

-Heart diseases: In the postmenopausal period, the incidence of heart disease increases in women. The most important reason for this is the increase in cholesterol levels.

MenopauseWhat to do in the process:

-Annual obstetrics examination and smear test (If the smear test is normal 3 times in a row, it can be done once in 2-3 years. It is not necessary to be done over the age of 65)
-Mammography (Your doctor will tell you the frequency)
-Bone density measurement (Your doctor will tell you the frequency)

Anyone over the age of 50 (whether male or female) should have an annual stool occult blood test. Intestinal and rectal cancers must be done for early diagnosis. 1 sigmoidoscopy in 5 years and all colonoscopy examinations in 10 years should be done.

Menopausehormone use during

You should discuss in detail with your doctor about the use of hormones during menopause. If there is no uterus (if it was previously surgically removed), only estrogen-containing hormones are given, while if there is a uterus, progesterone hormone should be given together with estrogen. Hormone use can be given in 3 situations.

-Extreme hot flushes and sweats
– In the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis
-In cases of vaginal dryness

Hormone therapy can be given for a period not exceeding 5 years in those who do not have breast cancer in themselves or in their families. After 5 years of hormone use, the risk of breast cancer increased by 24%. While there were 24 cancer cases in approximately 10 thousand women in the group that was not given hormones, this rate was 30 cases in those who received hormones. Actually, the increase is not much. Hormone use increased 6 cases of breast cancer per 10,000 women. In addition, since the follow-up is more frequent in women using hormones, the stage of breast cancer is very early when caught, and the life span of these patients is longer than those who do not take hormones.

Estrogen-containing tablets or creams can be given to the pain and burning cases due to vaginal dryness during intercourse. This practice does not increase breast cancer.

Importantwarning

Even a drop of vaginal bleeding during menopause is definitely not normal. Uterine cancer is detected in 10% of menopausal vaginal bleeding. Definitely need a doctor’s visit.

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