Menopause is an inevitable stage of ageing in a woman's life. It is the stage where a woman no longer experiences her periods and will no longer be able to conceive except through artificial insemination.

In most cases, menopause takes place within the age bracket of 45 to 55 years. During this period, some changes would begin to manifest in the woman's body. For instance, her periods will no longer be as regular as she used to have them. Gradually, they start to decrease or even cease without prior signs. Also, the oestrogen level of the woman would begin to diminish.

In some rare cases, the women experience early menopause, which is known as premature ovarian insufficiency or simply premature menopause. It is not common as only about one out a hundred women experience this kind of menopause. It occurs before the age of 40.

Factors Responsible For Menopause.

  • Variation in the stability of the woman's sex hormones

Menopause mostly occurs when the woman's sex organs, the ovaries no longer produce the amount of the hormone, oestrogen as they used to, and when they stop to release an egg per month. This is a  natural phenomenon peculiar to women as they grow older.

  • Premature ovarian insufficiency

This factor does not have a definite explanation. It occurs at any age in women. Research has, however, shown that some medical treatments and conditions can be responsible for premature menopausal cases. For instance, Addison's disease, Down's syndrome and other related medical conditions have identified as being causative medical conditions of early menopause. Medical treatments such as oophorectomy, the surgical removal of a woman's ovaries can cause premature menopause. Others include chemotherapy, treatments for breast cancer, and radiotherapy, amongst other factors.

What Are The Signs Of Menopause?

It is necessary to know the signs of menopause and the effects it may have on your day to day life. These signs, however, vary from one woman to another. Some women have them for a longer time while some may not. These signs can start to manifest some months or years before a woman sees her last period and could last for about four years after her last period.

The Signs Of Menopause Include:

  • The woman experiences discomfort during sexual intercourse and dryness in her vagina.
  • Sweating at night.
  • Hot flushes.
  • She experiences insomnia, that is sleeping disorders.
  • Inability to focus and remember things.
  • She develops a sudden state of anxiety and mood swing.
  • The woman's libido level decreases.

How Can You Handle Menopausal Signs?

There are a couple of lifestyle changes and treatments that your GP can offer to you if you are complaining of menopausal signs that affect your daily life. They include:

  • Healthy living:It is medically advisable to live a healthy life by engaging in regular exercise, eating healthy and balanced diet etc. These will help you to stay active and fit, and also reduce the effects of the menopausal signs.
  • Tackling dryness of the vagina by using lubricants, vaginal oestrogen lotions, or other moisturisers.
  • Taking Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT):The effects of menopausal signs can be reduced by using gels, tablets, skin patches and implants that replace the oestrogen.
  • Taking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy:Women experiencing the menopausal symptoms of anxiety and mood swing can undergo this talking therapy treatment.

However, if after undergoing these treatments you still do not feel any improvement in your menopausal signs, then your GP can refer you to a menopausal expert, or if you are unwilling to take a particular treatment method.

Seeing Your GP

Your GP can determine if you have reached menopause through the menopausal signs you experience. However, a blood test may be used to measure the level of your hormones,  if you're within the age bracket of 40 to 45.

Women with early menopausal signs before the age of 45 are advised to see their GP when they begin to experience these disturbing signs of early menopause. For these women, blood tests may equally be carried out to understand the causes of their early menopause.

Do You Want To Know More?

You can always visit Women’s Health Care Partners for more details. We will be more than happy to help.

Or visit our website for more details and information.