Menopause marks the period in a woman’s life to represent the end of a woman’s menstruation cycle. This usually occurs to women between the ages of forty through sixty. Menopause is considered finished when a woman has not had their menstruation period for one year. The transitional period leading up to menopause is called perimenopause. This phase may last anywhere from few months to ten years. It refers to the period before the end of a woman’s final menstruation period and refers to the period when a woman experiences irregular menstruation cycle before menopause due to the declining production of estrogen and progesterone. Hot flashes also accompany this phase. It’s possible for women to become pregnant during the perimenopause phase. After the end of the transitional phase, menopause begins.

Menopause Symptoms

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please consult you physician as you may be going through the stages of menopause.

  • Hot flashes or night sweats
  • Changes in sleep patterns (insomnia)
  • Mood changes or irritability
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Sexual discomfort
  • Some women experience depression
  • Changes to vaginal health and low libido
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

Menopause Causes

The gradual decline in the amount of estrogen and progesterone–the female sex hormones-produced in the ovaries lead to menopause. It is the natural aging process for all women. Women who have had their ovaries surgically removed (oophorectomy) will experience the immediate menopausal symptoms.

  • Loss of estrogen
  • Loss of progesterone
  • Oophorectomy

Menopause Diagnosis

Doctors may confirm that a woman has reached the menopause stage by running a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). This hormone is produced in the pituitary gland and is released in the ovaries. When a woman reaches menopause, the FSH levels are increased to supplement the declining of estrogen production.

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Menopause Treatment

If the woman is under forty years of age or other abnormalities, the patient should contact their doctor. Otherwise, there is no need for treatment. Menopause is a natural process that occurs in a woman’s life and signals the transition to another phase.

While there is little that women can do to prevent menopause, there is a higher risk of complications that may occur with menopause.

  • Some complications include osteoporosis and heart disease.
  • Gaining weight is a common occurrence as we age. To counteract the slowing metabolism, it is very important to exercise, eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Some women may find relief of menopausal symptoms through estrogen replacement therapy or hormone replacement therapy.These forms of treatment work by supplementing estrogen and progesterone. However, studies have found that replacement therapy may also pose a higher risk of strokes for women who have taken the therapies on a long-term basis.
  • For those entering this stressful period, some women find comfort through acupuncture, homeopathic medicine and nutrition and dietary supplements.
  • Vitamin supplements such as calcium and Vitamin D may be helpful for women looking to boost their chances of preventing osteoporosis.
  • In addition, some women have found relief by consuming foods containing soy and flaxseed that mimic the effects of estrogen.
  • To combat feelings of depression, irritability and mood changes, doctors may prescribe low dose antidepressants.
  • Sleep and sex patterns are also impacted during the perimenopause and postmenopause period.
  • Lubricants may be helpful to relieve the feelings of vaginal dryness.