Menopause is a natural period in the life of every woman, it is a signal of the fading of the opportunity to become pregnant and give birth to a baby. The symptoms of menopause are sometimes extremely unpleasant, and many women are looking for ways to alleviate them, and also wonder: how long will this last? Doctors say that the duration and symptoms of menopause can be different for every woman, but modern medicine has the tools and knowledge to help alleviate unpleasant symptoms and even delay the onset of menopause. MedAboutMe will tell you more.
Climax: when does it start?
You can talk about menopause only a year after the last menstruation, although its symptoms can manifest themselves much earlier. Some statistics show that the average age of a woman entering menopause is 51-53 years. But this age range can vary widely.
Some surgical interventions can accelerate the onset of menopause, for example, removal of the uterus, ovaries, and some other gynecological operations. In this case, the symptoms of menopause may begin in the near future, regardless of the age of the woman.
The first symptoms of menopause begin to appear when hormone levels begin to drop. This period is called premenopause, it begins to manifest itself 3-5 years before menopause. Doctors identify several characteristic symptoms:
- Irregular menstruation
A decrease in hormone levels changes a woman’s menstrual cycle, which can be manifested by its increase or even the absence of menstruation for several months. Allocations can also be more scarce or vice versa.
- Dryness in the vagina
Hormones also affect the production of natural lubrication. What causes dryness and extremely unpleasant symptoms associated with this condition. This is one of the reasons for frequent inflammatory phenomena.
- Weight gain
During menopause, women’s metabolism undergoes changes, which is the reason for gaining excess weight. But women who lead an active lifestyle, go to the gym and monitor their diet may well control their weight. Although, in fairness, it is worth noting that this control requires the application of strength and energy.
Periodic change of heat and cold is called hot flashes. These symptoms may not be pronounced at first, but their intensity increases over time and gives the woman a number of inconveniences.
Sweating at night can be so severe that it can disturb women’s sleep. By the way, sleep disturbances during menopause are also one of the problems;
- mood swings
Hormonal fluctuations cause mood changes, but some life circumstances and the symptoms that accompany menopause can also spoil it;
- Skin and hair changes
Many women report thinning hair and skin, brittle nails. One of the most common menopausal complaints is hair loss.
- Frequent urination, urinary incontinence
Similar symptoms occur due to weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.
How long will it continue?
According to doctors: the symptoms of menopause last an average of 4.5 years. The starting point will be the last menstruation. Other studies have shown that their duration can last for 7.4 years.
In the course of the research, it was possible to establish that for women experiencing regular symptoms of menopause before the onset of menopause, its long duration is characteristic — an average of 11.8 years.
Menopause is not a disease, it does not require medical treatment, but after examination and consultation, the doctor can suggest measures that will help improve the woman’s condition, as well as get rid of unpleasant symptoms.
Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most effective ways to relieve hot flashes and other unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause. The choice of hormones depends on many factors, and in most cases, drugs are selected individually.
In the course of scientific research, it was possible to prove that replacement therapy is a way to prevent bone loss and a number of dangerous consequences: periodontal disease, increased risk of hip fracture, etc.
Studies also show that low doses of estrogen help protect against heart and vascular disease.
The doctor may suggest a number of other options for getting rid of unpleasant symptoms:
- Medical treatment for hot flashes
The appointment of low doses of antidepressants, anticonvulsants can reduce the manifestation of hot flashes. Antidepressants are also able to control the emotional changes that occur during this period;
- Vaginal dryness treatment
Topical application of estrogen, such as cream, vaginal tablets, or intrauterine devices, helps to reduce dryness and discomfort during intercourse. Such measures can help with urinary problems;
- Treatment of osteoporosis
Bone loss is a big problem with many complications and possible consequences. Prescribing medications will help curb bone loss, and therefore reduce the risk of dangerous and serious complications.
When is a doctor’s consultation needed?
In addition to regular preventive examinations, women should visit their gynecologist when the first symptoms of menopause appear. Timely started replacement therapy will help get rid of many unpleasant symptoms.
During this period, it is also necessary to conduct a number of studies that will help to exclude dangerous diseases that often form at this age.
During the entire period of menopause, women should regularly visit a gynecologist. The schedule of visits is made by the doctor, taking into account the circumstances and the woman’s predisposition to the development of certain diseases.
Is it possible to delay the onset of menopause?
Is there a way to delay menopause? This question is asked by many women, and there really is such a way.
The most effective way to delay the onset of menopause is estrogen or progesterone replacement therapy, which is part of the concept of hormone replacement therapy. These measures will help not only to avoid unpleasant symptoms, but to somewhat delay its onset.
Doctors also offer a new strategy for changing the timing of menopause. At a young age, ovarian tissue is taken and frozen for further use. At the onset of menopause, the tissue is transplanted back. Presumably, the transplanted tissue will continue to function for a longer time.
Approximately the same method is used by doctors to preserve fertility in women undergoing treatment for oncopathologies affecting the ovaries.
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Gynecology. National leadership / Ed. G. M. Savelyeva, G. T. Sukhikh, I.B. Manukhin — 2013
Menopause: the possibilities of hormone replacement therapy / Prilepskaya V.N., Tsareva N.V. // breast — 1998 — T. 6 No. 8