Your Pregnancy

A Blog where people can share information and resources about conception, pregnancy, early years and ultimately, about the menopause

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Understanding the Menopause

The menopause is the natural and inevitable way the body has of winding down a woman’s reproductive system. It is a permanent change
The term peri-menopause refers to the pre-menopause when irregular periods can begin. By definition, menopause proper begins 12 months after the final period and is characterized by the range of symptoms listed below.
Some women just stop having periods while others experience several years of symptoms. The most common symptom of menopause is hot flashes. Other physical symptoms might be aching joints and muscles, fatigue, weight gain or skin changes. A blood test can confirm that menopause had started. The main symptoms of menopause are:
 Hot Flashes: A feeling of extreme heat. The face and neck may become flushed, with red blotches appearing on the chest, back, and arms. This is often followed by heavy perspiration followed by cold shivering as body temperature readjusts. Hot flashes can last up to 30 minutes or even longer.
 Irritation of the tissues in and around the vagina. Problems with dryness, itching, pain during sexual intercourse;
 Sudden or frequent urination with no apparent reason or warning.
 Hot flashes and sleep disturbance during the night
 Moods that change frequently or a tendency towards feeling low or angry.
 A higher risk of weaker bones, osteoporosis, and bone breaks;
 Acceleration of risk factors associated with heart attacks and other heart problems
 Problems with thinning wrinkling skin, wrinkling as estrogen levels fall.
Lifestyle & preventions
Menopause is a natural phenomenon that cannot be avoided; there are simple steps you can take to smooth the way.
1. Stop Smoking which increases the risk of heart diseases, cancer and osteoporosis.
2. Exercise regularly to help maintain a healthy heart, strong bones and muscles strong, and high energy level and metabolic rates
3. Follow a healthy diet which affects every aspect of health.
4. Avoid hot drinks, alcohol, spicy foods, hot weather or hot rooms which might exacerbate hot flashes.
5. Use proprietary water-based lubricants to ease vaginal dryness.
6. Use Pelvic Floor exercises to improve bladder control
7. Treat menopause as a natural part of life. Discuss it with you partner. Talk to your doctor about it.
8. Relax and avoid stress to gain an sense of over-al well-being.
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is a pharmacological system of replacing the estrogen and possible progestin lost during menopause. Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) replaces estrogen only and is usually prescribed for women who have had surgically-induced menopause. Traditional Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) contains both estrogen and progestin and is usually prescribed for women experiencing natural menopause.
Benefits of HRT
HRT is beneficial in both protecting a woman against the long term effects of menopause as well as treating the immediate symptoms. By replacing the estrogen lost, HRT helps to prevent osteoporosis and may protect against heart disease. In addition, HRT relieves the hot flashes and vaginal dryness that many women experience.
Risks of HRT
In recent studies, women who have undergone HRT have experienced higher incidences of breast and endometrial cancers. For this reason, doctors are being encouraged to prescribe HRT for the shortest amount of time possible, and to encourage women to take other measures to protect against heart disease and osteoporosis.
To prevent bone loss:
Maintain a healthy diet and exercise. Consider taking supplements like calcium tablets and Vitamin D. These can be taken separately or combined in a pill.
To prevent heart disease:
A healthy diet and regular exercise can help to keep your heart healthy as you age. If your cholesterol is high, however, you may need cholesterol-lowering drugs.
Physical changes do occur because of menopause. But the impact of these changes can be minimized by healthy living and a purposeful life. Start exercising and lead a happy and healthy life.
Linda Johnson is webmaster of Your Pregnancy, as site the draws together a wealth of information about conception, female orgasm, fertility and infertility, pregnancy calendar, prenatal issues, baby’s early months and the menopause. Her site can be found at:


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a menopausal woman, I've seen my body go through quite a bit of changes. The most recently-developed one includes skin dehydration, dullness and uneven pigment due to menopause.I learned that using skin care products with such ingredients as shea butter and wild yam can help lock in moisture your skin needs. I started using a few creams about 2 1/2 months ago, and I've noticed substantial improvements. My skin has never looked better!

12:18 AM  

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