Menopause & Changes associated with it

What is Menopause ?


Menopause is a normal stage in women’s lives and is characterized by the interruption of the menstrual cycle due to atrophy of ovaries and low proportions of female hormones (estrogen and progesterone), which leads to a decline in the production of eggs.
Menopause does not happen suddenly, but is preceded by irregularity in the monthly menstrual cycle over a period of many months. Bleeding can become stronger than usual for a certain period before the onset of menopause.
Women generally enter menopause between the ages of 45 - 55, however, it may sometimes occur outside this age range. Menopause is accompanied by some psychological and physical changes that may affect the health of some women. If a woman stops menstruating before the age of 40 years, it is called "early ovarian failure" instead of “early menopause” due to the severe psychological impact of the second term. If the woman continues to menstruate after the age of 55, she should consult a medical specialist in the case that she has a disease.




Changes Associated with Menopause


  • Changes in skin and hair: Collagen deficiency can lead to skin dryness and scaling. Women may also experience hair loss.
  • Hot flashes, body and night sweats. Bones become more fragile and prone to fractures, especially in the hips, spine and wrists. Bones weaken with age in men and women after the age of 40, however, this change occurs faster in women after menopause
  • An increase in the likelihood of developing breast cancer
  • Possibility of the onset of seizures
  • Uterus stops producing eggs
  • interruptions in the normal menstrual cycle may over a period of time, after which menstruation stops completely
  • Pain in the chest, back, joints and legs
  • Abdominal swelling, weight gain or weight loss
  • Drowsiness and lethargy
  • Frequent urination
  • Insomnia
  • Vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse
  • Lack of self-confidence and ability to enjoy sexual relations




Psychological changes associated with this stage:


  • Anxiety
  • Concern over the loss of attractiveness and beauty
  • Fear of obesity
  • Mood changes and irritability
  • Forgetfulness and decrease in concentration or ability to focus
  • Feelings of sadness and depression. Some women may need to consult a psychologist to be given painkillers, sedatives or anti-depressants.





Needs of women during this period

Physical Needs


  • Maintain a healthy, balanced, and wholesome diet that incorporates an adequate amount of calcium
  • Avoid coffee, tea and alcoholic drinks
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids, such as juice, milk or herbs
  • Do not eat fatty foods, carbohydrates, sweets, salts and spices
  • Refrain from smoking
  • Maintain an appropriate amount of exercise
  • Conduct breast self-examination for early detection of breast cancer
  • See a doctor for a periodic medical examination to detect uterine and breast cancer




Psychological and Social Needs


  • Support and understanding from her family and partner
  • Family participation and especially husband feelings and suffer
  • Participation in physical and recreational activities
  • Understanding of changes in mood or sudden feelings of anger
  • Avoiding things that cause anxiety, stress and nerve fatigue
  • Participating in family and social activities to promote self-confidence
  • Her status and her family's love for her
  • Continuation of sexual relations
  • Provision of free counseling in health centers for women experiencing menopause





Diseases that can accompany this stage:

Osteoporosis


Decreased bone density results in the skeleton becoming thinner and more brittle, causing an increased likelihood of spraining and fracturing of the bones. Prevention of osteoporosis:

  • A nutritious and wholesome diet, especially rich in natural calcium, which can be obtained through milk, yogurt and other foods
  • Regular exercise
  • Reduction of the intake of tea, coffee, and soft drinks
  • Calcium tablets as prescribed by a doctor




Hypertension


  • Reduce excess weight
  • Maintain a healthy, nutritious, wholesome diet, consuming foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Reduce intake of sodium by reducing the proportion of salt in food, avoiding canned food, etc.
  • Engage in daily physical activity (exercise / movement inside the house, climbing stairs, etc.)
  • Limit or avoid consumption of alcohol
  • avoid smoking




Diabetes


For women living with diabetes, menopause presents several risks, including:

  • Change in blood sugar level
  • Obesity
  • Exposure to infections in the urinary and reproductive system
  • Problems with sleeping (insomnia)
  • Reproductive system problems including vaginal dryness and pain during intercourse
What we can do:
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a healthy, nutritious, and wholesome diet, and engaging in regular exercise
  • Regular blood glucose measurement
  • Consulting a doctor periodically
  • Asylum advice




Cardiovascular Disease


Estrogen helps protect women from cardiovascular disease, and as estrogen levels decrease during menopause, the likelihood of women in menopause contracting cardiovascular diseases increases. These problems can be avoided or minimized by adopting a healthy lifestyle and consulting a doctor.





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