Menopause essentially signifies a milestone in a woman’s life. Menopause simply is the fading away of the menstruation process and its ultimately coming to a standstill. Menopause biologically implies a stage of a woman’s life when her ovaries become dormant and they do not produce anymore eggs. Hormonal changes also accompany the process of menopause, and resultantly her body secretes fewer amounts of estrogen and progesterone. Menopause should not be associated with any disease or illness; it signifies a movement and a transition from youth to maturity and finally old age.
The normal age slab when women experience menopause is between 45 to 55 years. Premature menopause happens at the onset or even before the age of 40 and late menopause is experienced by women at the ages of 55 and above. The post menopause period implies that the lady cannot bear a child anymore. There are several symptoms of menopause, and are in reality a result of changed levels of the estrogen and progesterone. The symptoms and their severity might however vary from individual to individual. The common symptoms of menopause might be listed as pounding or racing of heart; hot flashes; sweating at nights; lack of proper sleep; lack of sexual interest; headaches; irregular periods; irritability and mood fluctuations; dry vagina, and pain while intercourse, pain in joints and irregular palpitations.
These being the most commonly noticed signs of menopause; most women might not be experiencing all of them together. It is also important to note that biological constitution and their habits cause early or late menopause in women. Premature menopause is mostly a result of smoking habits, infertility, or women living in hilly areas might experience premature menopause.
Most common signs of premature menopause are the tendency to miss periods often and excessive flow or scanty flow might as well be attributed to signs of early menopause. Premature periods are also noticed by the onset of hot flashes – a sudden feeling in the upper part of the body. Apart from these most confirmed symptoms there might also be case of dry vagina and lack of fluid making it less elastic. When women complain of lack of control on urine, it is yet again the warning bell ringing for the premature menopause. Most women in general experience a mood change, depressed feeling and lack of patience and tolerance while experiencing menopause, however this is noticed distinguishably in premature menopause cases. The tendency to distance away from the sexual partner is also a sign of premature menopause.
The causes of premature menopause might mostly be rooted deep in the genes or a medical history. Women who have been victims of chemotherapy or a treatment involving radiation are the ones who experience an early menopause. A family history of hypothyroidism can also be another cause.
There are some clinical findings as well to depend upon to confirm an early menopause. Samples of blood with low levels of estradiol might infer low level of estradiol and poor functioning of the ovaries thus confirming the onset of menopause. Most diagnosis confirm the menopause if the estradiol levels are as low as 36.
Low estrogen levels proportionately increase the levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and this is the most trusted and common way diagnosing the menopause. Blood samples indicating FSH levels as high as 30 – 40 mlU/mL indicate that the woman is in menopause.
Another term associated with premature menopause is Premature Ovarian Failure (POV). POV is a naturally occurring process and might be attributed only to a process called autoimmune disorder, whereby the body starts defending itself against its own functions and secretions, like the ovum.
‘Like mother like daughter’ might be yet another reason for a premature menopause, however only about 5 percent of women fall in this class. Among other causes of premature menopause, birth defects and abnormalities in the X chromosomes are also responsible for an early onset of menopause.
Hot flashes are the most talked about symptom of premature menopause. When a lady suddenly experiences a hot feeling over the upper portion of her body, she is undergoing the process of premature menopause. Menopause implies a complete transition in life. Most women experience hot flashes during menopause these last for a few years generally two to three years. Hot flashes also accompany rapid sweating in the face and neck and red patches in the chest and back. These night sweats are sometimes so intense that the sleep gets disturbed and wakes the person immediately.
Menopause is an eventful phase in a woman’s life, full of suffering and strange symptoms. Thus a proper handling and treatment of menopause symptoms at the very onset might prove useful. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is most important.
Dropping the habit of smoking at least decreasing it will benefit a lot. A diet high on fiber and low on fat might help to ward off the extra kilos and maintain a constant weight, as most women tend to put on weight during menopause. The process of menopause makes the bones weak and thus supplementing a calcium rich diet is another important reminder.
There are many people who try to move against nature and opt for a hormone replacement therapy (HT). Any move against the law of nature has its own risks and side effects attached; the same applies to HT. however an early effort to start HT might prove successful. Moreover there are certain clinical findings that need to support a HT case.
Menopause is a natural process and every woman has to go through it. However choosing correct set of alternatives after recognizing the onset symptoms well on time prove beneficial. Lowering the intake of cholesterol and cigarettes is the most important step to deal with menopause. Premature menopause however needs the help of a specialist doctor and the sooner such a help is called for the better it would be for the person. Missing 12 consecutive periods and blood spots between periods are signals of menopause and thus must not be ignored at any cost