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Looking information on menopause. Precaution to be taken?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I would like to know more about menopause and any precautions i should take.
Posted Mon, 27 May 2013 in Menstruation and Miscarriage
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Menopause is essentially the final menstrual cycle. It is a part of every woman's life and is diagnosed after 1 yr of no periods.
Alot of hormonal changes and symptoms can occur in the time leading up to and immediately following menopause. These changes and this time is called perimenopause. This is usually associated with a change in the menstrual cycle along with other symptoms and on average it can start from about age 45 to 48.
The transition to menopause can last from 4 to 8 yrs.

There are certain things that can lower the normal age of menopause: smoking, hysterectomy, history of receiving radiation or chemotherapy or certain illness like autoimmune illnesses( lupus, rheumatoid arthritis).

There are a number of symptoms that can occur such as : mood changes
hot flashes
weight gain or bloating
breast pain
dizziness, lightheadness
vaginal dryness and cystitis (inflammation of the bladder which would occur due to dryness)
prolapse of the uterus due to weakening of the pelvic muscles
headaches and change in periods as mentioned previously

These symptoms can last for a varied amount of time, they can start in perimenopause and continue years after a woman had her last period. It varies.

After menopause there are a number of potential issues such as: osteoporosis - this is a decrease in the density of bone which is associated with increased risk of fractures. This risk is reduced by the use of calcium and vitamim D before menopause .After menopause the bone density can be checked.There are a number of treatment options if it is low.

(2)menopause also increases the risk of heart disease in women because they lose the protective effect of estrogen. The risk of heart disease in a post menopausal woman is the same as a man, before menopause the risk is less.
This can be reduced by controlling risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, excess weight and inactivity, high cholesterol

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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