All About Menopause

The menopause is a natural process of ageing, which usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age. This is due to decline in the levels of female hormone, oestrogen. Menopause is when a woman stops having menstrual periods. Menstrual periods usually start to become irregular and less frequent over a few months or years before periods stop completely. Sometimes menstrual period can stop abruptly.

Menopause can also be caused by surgical removal of ovaries, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and some medications. In addition some young women may have premature ovarian failure.

Symptoms of menopause can occur ever before periods stop and can also start a few months or years after periods have discontinued.

Most common menopausal symptoms include:

  • Hot flushes
  • Night sweats
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Mood alterations
  • Anxiety
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Reduced sex drive

 In addition to the symptoms mentioned above women also find it difficult to lose weight.

Other symptoms and signs include:

  • Headache
  • Low bone mass
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sore or tender breast
  • Palpitation
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Reduced muscle mass (Sarcopenia)
  • Joint Pain
  • Thinning of scalp hair
  • Increased facial hair
  • Dry skin

Diagnosis: This involves getting a detailed history followed by blood test including some hormone test.

Treatment includes:

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
  • Non-hormonal alternate medication
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
  • Lifestyle changes

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