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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Article Home Women's Health Permanent Stoppage of Menstruation

Permanent Stoppage of Menstruation

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Permanent stopping of menstrual cycles is called Menopause. Menopause is the permanent stoppage of menstruation. It is natural biological process. The symptoms of menopause are due to hormonal changes. It usually occurs between 45-55 year of age. If it occurs after 55 years of age it is called late menopause. If it occurs before 45 years of age it is called early menopause.


Some women might have problems of Early menopause, some late.

 

The cause for early menopause is premature ovarian failure. The causes for late menopause include thyroid diseases, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, eating disorders, following chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


Surgical menopause occurs when uterus is surgically removed (hysterectomy), ovaries are removed (oopherectomy).

Symptoms

  • Irregular periods.
  • Decreased fertility.
  • Vaginal dryness.
  • Hot flashes.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • Mood swings.
  • Increased abdominal fat.
  • Thinning of hair.
  • Loss of breast fullness.

There are 2 stages of menopause

  • Perimenopause: It is the time you begin experiencing menopausal signs and symptoms, even still you menstruate. The hormone levels rise and fall unevenly. Can have hot flashes and other symptoms. It lasts four to five years or longer.
  • Post menopause: It is the period after 12 months since last period. In this stage ovaries produce much less estrogen and no progesterone and eggs will not release eggs.

Diagnosis

  • Signs and symptoms are enough to diagnose menopause.
  • Checking the level of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen level in the blood. During menopause, FSH level increase and estrogen level decreases.
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone can be recommended since these symptoms are also produced in hypothyroidism.

Complications

  • Cardiovascular diseases: During menopause there is increased risk of heart disease due to decrease in estrogen levels. The risk of heart diseases can be reduced by stopping smoking, decreasing high blood pressure, doing regular aerobic exercises and eating low fat diet and eating more of grains, fruits and vegetables.
  • Osteoporosis: It causes bone to brittle and weak, leading to increased risk of fractures. It is avoided by taking calcium and vitamin D daily.
  • Exercises like walking and jogging will help in strengthening the bones.
  • Urinary incontinence: The tissues of vagina and urethra are lost leading to urinary incontinence. There will be sudden, frequent, strong urge to urinate, followed by involuntary emptying of bladder occurs or involuntary loss of urine during coughing, laughing or lifting (stress incontinence).
  • Weight gain: It can be prevented by taking healthy diet and exercises.

Treatment

  • Hormone therapy: Estrogen in low dose is prescribed for relieving menopausal symptoms.
  • Low dose anti-depressants can be prescribed.
  • Gabapentin: It is given to reduce hot flashes.
  • Clonidine: To reduce hot flashes.
  • Vaginal estrogen: To prevent vaginal dryness.

Life style and home remedies

  • Cool hot flashes: By getting regular exercises. Preventing the triggers which cause hot flashes like avoiding hot beverages, spicy foods, alcohol, hot water, hot weather and warm room.
  • Decrease vaginal discomforts by using vaginal lubricants.
  • Pelvic floor muscle exercises to prevent urinary incontinences.
  • Eat well balanced diet.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Schedule regular check-ups with doctor for pap tests, mammograms, and lipid level testing.