~ Ovaries (ovaries) stop producing eggs
~ Menstrual activity decreases and eventually stops
~ Formation of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) decreases
Menopause is the end of the period of menstrual periods permanently and also the end of fertility.
Menopause actually occurs at the end of the last menstrual cycle. But the newly acquired certainty if a woman has not experienced a menstrual cycle for at least 12 months. Menopause occurs on average at age 50, but can occur normally in women aged 40 years. Usually when approaching menopause, duration and amount of blood coming out of the menstrual cycle tends to vary, not as usual.
In some women, menstrual activity stops suddenly, but usually occurs gradually (both amount and duration) and the distance between the two cycles become closer or more rarely. This irregularity may last for 2-3 years before finally stopping the cycle.
With age, the ovaries become less responsive to stimulation of hormones produced by the pituitary gland. As a result, the ovaries release less estrogen and progesterone, and in the end the process stop releasing eggs.
Premature menopause is menopause occurring before the age of 40 years. The reason could be a variety of things, such as heredity, autoimmune disease, and smoking history.
Artificial menopause caused by medical intervention which led to a reduction or cessation of the release of hormones by the ovaries. These interventions can include surgery to remove the ovaries or to reduce blood flow to the ovaries as well as chemotherapy or radiation therapy to the pelvis to treat cancer. Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) led to the end of the menstrual cycle, but during the ovaries remain, it will not affect hormone levels and does not cause menopause.
Some women only experience a few symptoms, while other women experience a variety of symptoms that are mild to severe.
Symptoms that may be found in postmenopausal women include:
* Hot flashes. The skin of the face, neck, chest and back flushed and warm, accompanied by excessive sweating. This condition is experienced by approximately 75% of menopausal women. Most hot flashes experienced for more than 1 year and 25-50% of women experience it for more than 5 years.
Hot flashes can last for 30 seconds to 5 minutes.
* The vagina becomes dry, so they can feel pain during intercourse
* Psychic and emotional symptoms, such as fatigue, irritability, sleeplessness and restless
* Dizziness, tingling and felt a pounding heart
* Loss of control of the bladder (beser).
* Osteoporosis (bone loss), especially in lean women, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, taking corticosteroids, poor calcium intake, and rarely exercise. Osteoporosis can cause bones to become brittle.
* The risk of heart and blood vessel disease, because of a decrease in estrogen causes increased levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and decreased levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
At about three-quarters of women, menopause can be clearly known. For that, it is usually not required further examination. If menopause begins several years before the age of 50 years or if symptoms clear that there is not, then it could do further tests to check whether there is an abnormality that can disrupt the menstrual period. In rare cases, if menopause or perimenopause need to be ascertained, then the blood test performed to measure the levels of estrogen and hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone. In addition, the Pap smear may note a change in the lining of the vagina due to changes in estrogen levels.
Pay attention to food and drink anything that seems to trigger a hot flash (eg coffee, tea, and spicy food) and avoid consuming food or drink is to help prevent the occurrence of these symptoms. Do not smoke and avoid stress can also help relieve hot flashes and improve sleep quality.
Use layered clothing, so it can be removed if a woman feels the heat and wear if he feels cold, to help cope with hot flashes experienced. Use cool clothes, for example cotton underwear, so as to make it more comfortable.
Regular exercise (especially aerobic) can help prevent or relieve hot flashes and improve sleep quality. Relaxation techniques, meditation, massage, and yoga can also help prevent or treat hot flashes and relieve depression, irritability, and fatigue. Mild exercise (such as walking or jogging) and consumes additional Calcium and Vitamin D can slow the loss of bone density. Exercise routine, especially if coupled with eating foods low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, also help to lose weight, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, including coronary heart disease.
In case of vaginal dryness that makes intercourse painful, then use vaginal lubricants can help. Keep in touch sexually active can also help, by stimulating blood flow to the vagina and surrounding tissues, and by keeping the flexibility of the network. Kegel exercises can help control the bladder. Kegel exercises can be done to strengthen the pelvic muscles as when you're stopping the flow of urine.
Hormone Replacement Therapy
Not all post-menopausal women have to undergo hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Every woman should discuss the risks and benefits of HRT use by physicians.
There are some side effects that can occur as a result of hormone replacement therapy, such as vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal bloating, and cramping of the uterus.
Estrogen is available in the form of natural and synthetic (made in the laboratory). Synthetic estrogen hundreds of times more potent than natural estrogens that are not routinely given to postmenopausal women. To prevent hot flashes and osteoporosis natural estrogen only required in very low doses. High-dose estrogen tends to cause problems, such as migraine headaches.
Postmenopausal women who take estrogen without progesterone have an increased risk of endometrial cancer. This risk is related to the dose and duration of estrogen use. In the event of abnormal bleeding from the vagina, it is necessary to do a biopsy of the uterus lining.
Estrogen hormone replacement therapy is usually not performed in women who have:
~ Or have had breast cancer or advanced endometrial cancer
~ Bleeding with no definite cause
~ Acute liver disease
~ Blood clotting disorders
~ Acute intermittent porphyria
You've read about Menopause, the cause and how to treat it ...
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~ H, Susan L. Menopause. Merck Manual Home Health Handbook. 2007.