Menopause is a natural part of life and doesn’t necessarily require treatment. You will need to be informed of your choices. Symptoms and health risks associated with low estrogen can be treated, often, in natural ways which don’t include drug associated risks.
When a woman’s menstrual period stops, and the ovaries permanently stop releasing eggs, a woman has entered the period in life called menopause. It’s deemed complete when a woman has been without her period for a complete year. Menopause can occur anytime between the ages of 40-58, but the average age is 51 years old. Menopause is a natural part of life and is a slow process. The ovaries start producing lower levels of hormones before menopause in a stage called perimenopause. If menopause occurs before age 40 it’s called premature menopause.
A risk factor
It is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or illness. Numerous physical and psychological symptoms may occur as menopause approaches. Your health care provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and perform a physical examination. Blood tests, a pelvic exam, and a Pap smear may also be performed. Natural menopause is usually diagnosed when a woman hasn’t had a menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. If a girl had a hysterectomy before menopause, and no longer has periods, menopause might be suspected. It can be verified by means of an FSH test. This test is considered the most accurate for the diagnosis of menopause. It’s the measurement of follicle stimulating hormone. High levels of FSH (greater than 40) may indicate menopause. Menopause is a natural part of life and doesn’t automatically require treatment.
Good to know
Symptoms and health risks associated with low estrogen can be treated. These include hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and osteoporosis. Be certain you completely understand the advantages and risk before beginning HRT. A lot of different types of hormones can be found. These include natural, artificial, and plant-derived estrogens and progesterone. Combined therapies could contain combinations of estrogen and progesterone; or the inclusion of small amounts of male hormones. Hormone preparations are available as pills, gels, skin patches, vaginal rings, vaginal tablets, injections, and pellets inserted into the skin.
There is significant scientific evidence that the international health risks associated with combined estrogen and progesterone HRT on a long-term basis (over 3-5 years) outweigh the benefits for many women. The average age of those in these research studies is over 60 years of age. Use of combined HRT in the time of menopause (around age 50) may pose less risk. Also, the majority of these studies utilized conjugated estrogens and medroxyprogesterone.
Other evidence indicates that use of estradiol and natural progesterone may pose less risk. A high intake of phytoestrogens (or plant estrogens) can help menopausal women. Phytoestrogens are found in soybeans, black cohosh, whole grains, legumes, tempeh, and flax seed. They’re also found in concentration in capsule form. Phytoestrogens may lower the risk for diseases associated with estrogen. Diet can play a significant and beneficial roll. A healthy diet during menopause can enhance a woman’s sense of well-being, and might also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and certain cancers. The diet should be low in fat and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, and vitamin D. Low-fat doesn’t mean no-fat. Some fats, particularly the Omega-3 fats are crucial. High use of caffeine or alcohol is never a great option. Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol may reduce symptoms of stress, insomnia, and loss of calcium.
There are no health benefits derived from smoking. Giving up smoking can reduce the risk of premature menopause, cardiovascular disease, and osteoporosis. A healthy lifestyle should adopt regular exercise. It could reduce hot flashes. Weight-bearing exercises like walking, climbing stairs, and resistance exercises like lifting weights help strengthen bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Stress management can help ease tension, anxiety, and possibly other psychiatric symptoms. Deep breathing, massage, hot baths, and silent music are relaxation methods that may lessen anxiety. Moisturizers and lubricants are utilised to help vaginal dryness. Certain blood pressure medications taken in lower doses than are used to treat hypertension are somewhat helpful in relieving some menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
These medications shouldn’t be used if you are taking tamoxifen to decrease risk of breast cancer recurrence. Menopause doesn’t have to be prevented. It’s a natural biological event. If you smoke, quitting could marginally delay the onset of menopause.