It is that time in a woman’s life when the ovaries end producing oestrogen and she stops having periods. Menopause is a natural biological procedure, not a medical problem. Although it’s associated with hormonal, physical and psychosocial changes in your life, menopause isn’t the finish of your youth or your sexuality. Menopause is generally a natural procedure. But certain surgical or medical treatments can bring on menopause earlier than expected. Menopause does not happen overnight, it is gradual and most people reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, the average being around 50. This depends on the individual body growth and hormone levels. As you approach menopause the production of hormones by the ovaries starts to slow down.
- Surgical removal of ovaries
- Chemotherapy and radiation therapy. These cancer therapies can induce menopause. But they usually do so regularly, and you may have months or years of perimenopausal symptoms before you actually reach menopause
Other signs and symptoms
Hot flushes-As your oestrogen level drops, your blood vessels may get bigger rapidly, causing your skin temperature to rise
Decreased fertility-When ovulation begins to fluctuate, you’re less likely to become pregnant. Until you haven’t had a period for a year, however, pregnancy is still possible
Vaginal changes- As your oestrogen level declines, the tissues lining your vagina and urethra – the opening to your bladder – become drier, thinner and less elastic. With reduce lubrication you may experience burning or itching, along with enlarged infections of the urinary tract or vagina. These changes may make sexual intercourse uncomfortable or even painful
Sleep disturbances and night sweats-Night sweats are often a consequence of hot flushes. You may awaken from a sound sleep with soaking night sweats followed by chills. You may have complexity falling back to sleep or achieving a deep, restful sleep
Changes in appearance- After menopause, the fat that one time was concentrated in your hips and thighs may settle above your waist and in your abdomen. You may notice a loss of fullness in your breasts, thinning hair and wrinkles in your skin
Emotional changes.-As you go through menopause, you may experience mood swings, be more irritable or be more prone to emotional upset
Several chronic medical situations tend to appear after menopause. By becoming aware of the following conditions, you can take steps to help reduce your risk:
Cardiovascular disease- At the same time your oestrogen levels decline, your risk of cardiovascular disease increases
Stress urinary incontinence- As the tissues of your vagina and urethra lose their elasticity, you may experience stress urinary continence – a condition that may reason you to leak urine during coughing, laughing or lifting – for the first time, or it may worsen
Weight gain-As your body’s metabolism – the rate at which you burn calories – slows and oestrogen levels decline, your body weight and form will likely change. You may need to cut down your food.