What is menopause?:
Menopause literally means “the end of monthly cycle”. It is an unavoidable phase of transition is a woman’s life when ovaries stop producing eggs. After this phase menstruation becomes less frequent gradually till it stops. Menopause is natural for women and is not a disease or disorder. It usually happens when a woman is in her late forties or early fifties. Levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone decrease. Vaginal walls become less elastic and thinner. Vagina itself becomes shorter. Genital tissues become thinner and the vaginal secretions become watery. Doctors generally determine if woman is closer to menopause or if she has already gone through menopause by testing blood and urine samples. Estradiol, FSH and LH are some tests used. They may also test bone density or does a pelvic exam.
Symptoms of menopause:
Irregularity in menstrual periods is one of the main symptoms of menopause. It may shorten to 3 weeks. This irregularity lasts for around three years after which menstruation stops. Women also experience hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, pounding heart, flushing skin. Other symptoms of menopause include disinclination towards sex, urine leakage, joint pains, headaches, breast atrophy, mood swings, depression, anxiety, irritability, vaginal infections, dry vagina,
Beneficial life style changes during menopause:
It will benefit women if they change their lifestyle during this phase of their life. It mitigates the effects of the symptoms on the body. They should remain sexually active. Practicing yoga, breathing exercises and meditation helps them a great deal in handling themselves. They should avoid smoking, alcoholic beverages and spicy food. Research results indicate that women who smoke experience menopause earlier than their non smoking counterparts. They should consume a healthy diet which should essentially include calcium and vitamin D. Specific exercises to vaginal muscles will help immensely during this period.
Women should take care of themselves during this critical phase of their life as it is bound to disrupt their daily activities. If any complications like excessive vaginal bleeding arise, they should consult a doctor. A women going through menopause should be treated with sensitivity, love and care by her family. Governments all over the world should take necessary steps to educate women regarding this.