Many women in their teens and twenties already know a lot about pregnancies and menstruation, so why collectively be hush about menopause – something that will inevitably affect all women?
According to https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323335845_Menopause_Definition, menopause marks the cessation of a woman’s menstrual cycle and entails a natural decline in reproductive hormones. It occurs when 12 consecutive months have passed since your last menstruation.
Dr. Faye Iketubosin, our Chief Medical Director and Consultant here at georges with years of experience in handling gynaecological issues says ‘we get a lot of women coming in with these kinds of symptoms, especially women between the ages of 45 and 55, that is why we set up a menopause clinic to help them’.
Menopause eventually affects all women. In the years leading to menopause, many women would experience varying symptoms, from hot flashes to changes in their menstrual cycles- this period is referred to as perimenopause.
Perimenopause can be long and uncomfortable, with symptoms that can be overwhelming such as women experiencing mood changes, vaginal dryness, night sweats, sleeping problems, thinning hair, dry skin, slowed metabolism leading to weight gain, and breast changes such as loss of fullness. Some women already experience irregularity in their periods before perimenopause and although unusual, pregnancy can occur during this period.
WHAT CAUSES MENOPAUSE?
Menopause is a natural occurrence in response to the decline of the production of reproductive hormones by the body. Progesterone and estrogen are hormones produced to regulate menstruation and by the time a woman is in her late thirties, the ovaries cease to produce them. That’s why there is usually a decline in fertility at this age. Then in the forties, periods may change in duration, heaviness, and frequency, until it eventually stops totally.
In some women, menopause comes earlier than normal. Surgeries like total hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy where the ovaries are removed cause menopause without the perimenopausal phase. Other factors like radiation therapy, chemotherapy can trigger premature menopause. In some women, the ovaries fail to produce the normal level of reproductive hormones due to genetic factors or as a result of n autoimmune disease. This condition is called Primary Ovarian Insufficiency and it can cause premature menopause as well.
SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE
CAN MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS BE TREATED?
Menopausal women whether symptomatic or not are at risk of having type 2 diabetes, obesity, osteoarthritis, dementia, heart disease, osteoporosis. Therefore, it is imperative to get correct information and advice on why their bodies are changing and what to be done.
Based on the severity of your symptoms and health history, your doctor might recommend any or more of the following:
At George’s Memorial Medical Centre, we offer optimal menopausal care through our menopause clinic where our team of dedicated Gynaecologists who have been trained specifically to treat menopausal women, listen to them, and tailor treatments based on each woman’s symptoms and experiences.
We, however, advise our patients to undergo some lifestyle changes to minimize the symptoms they are experiencing e.g. Exercise regularly, Practice slow, deep breathing whenever a hot flash starts to come on (try taking six breaths per minute), avoid caffeine, spicy foods and alcohol.
In these times, it is important to get regular check-ups to manage and prevent any additional chronic health concerns that may develop with menopause.
For more information and enquiries, please call 08078191631 or 08078191612 or book an appointment