is the next big change in a women’s life after passing through the adolescence and reproductive stages. During this last and important change, learning how to handle the changes will allow you to have a better quality of life, physically and mentally, and to feel more comfortable during daily activities.
What is Menopause?
For most women, menopause starts between 45 – 55 years old. When a woman's body enters this stage the ovaries decline and stop functioning, thus no ovulation occurs. A woman’s period will ultimately stop, with no female hormones produced, leading to physical and mental changes.
The missing hormones causing this change are estrogen and progesterone.
Symptoms of Menopause
- Shorter duration and lighter menstrual bleeding.
- Hot flashes - especially on the upper part of the body, hot flashes usually manifest in ways such as: fatigue, palpitation, night sweating. Some experience shivering without known cause
- Skin: Thinning of skin, scratches easily, itchy skin, and skin rash.
- Hair: Dry hair,thinning of hair, hair loss, hair does not look shiny anymore.
- Muscle, joint or bone pain.
- Mood swings: Easily becomes stressed and frustrated without reason, easily upset, unable to control mood, forgetful, dizzy, depressed.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Vaginal dryness, pain during intercourse.
- Frequent urination, incontinence.
- Thinning of bones, fracturing easily.
Self Care During Menopausal Period
- Food: Menopausal women should eat a balanced diet, and eat high calcium foods such as yoghurt, beans, tofu, black sesame, fish, green leaf vegetables, etc. Calcium helps strengthen bones in order to prevent osteoporosis. Try to control cholesterol by avoiding food with high fat content and eat foods that are easy to digest.
- Regular exercise: This includes walking, jogging, dancing, aerobics, etc.
- Mood control: Positive thinking, try to be lively.
- Regular check up (at least once a year): Blood pressure, cholesterol, pap smear, mammography, bone mineral density, and hormone levels.
Consult Your Doctor About Hormone Replacement
In case a menopausal woman has many of the above symptoms or conditions (especially osteoporosis) and needs hormone replacement, a doctor will make the decision about what hormones are necessary for the patient.