September 16 2021
Menopause refers to the natural decline of the reproductive health of a woman, and it happens at the age of 40 to 50. It is marked by 12 consecutive months without menstruation, after which the woman can’t become pregnant. It may also cause some symptoms such as hot flashes, weight gain, etc, which bring discomfort.
Most women start to develop symptoms of menopause before the last period, and these symptoms may last four years after the last menstruation period. However, some women experience such symptoms for up to 10 years, and one out of ten women experience them for 12 long years. Genetic and the health of ovaries are the factors that determine when a woman will experience menopause. Perimenopause is the time when hormones begin to change to prepare the body for menopause and may last for months, and even years in some cases. Most of the women tend to have their perimenopause in their mid-40s, while some even may miss it and directly enter menopause. During perimenopause, irregularity is seen in the pattern of the menstrual cycle. The period might get late. Changes in the menstrual flow are also seen, i.e. it may be heavier or lighter than normal levels.
Premature menopause is referred to the menopause that happens before the age of 40. Around 1 percent of the women experience it; it is also known as primary ovarian insufficiency. Early menopause, on the other hand, is when women undergo menopause between the age of 40 and 45.
Symptoms of menopause
The symptoms are different in different women and may get more severe if the menopause occurs instantly over a short period. Bad habits like smoking may make the symptoms more severe and longer (in duration). The symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause (after the last period of a woman) are generally the same, apart from changes in menstruation. Early symptoms of perimenopause include hot flashes, flushing and night sweats, changes in the menstrual flow, less frequent menstruation. Some common symptoms of menopause are memory issues, anxiety, depression, dryness in the vaginal area, lack of concentration, weight gain, frequent urination, dry skin, increased heartbeat, insomnia or lack of sleep, urinary tract infection, stiff or painful joints, hair loss, reduced libido, hair growth on other areas like the chest, face, and neck.
There may also be some complications (in some cases), such as:
- Osteoporosis: The bones in our body have small spaces within them, as a part of their structure. However, sometimes, these spaces become enlarged; such a condition is known as osteoporosis. Although bones constantly break down and replace themselves, during osteoporosis, the creation of new bones stops.
- Dyspareunia: It refers to the persistent or recurrent pain in the genital area that may happen before, during, or after the intercourse. It happens as a result of a lack of lubrication due to low levels of estrogen during menopause.
- Vulvovaginal atrophy: it is a condition that is associated with low levels of estrogen. Symptoms of this condition are dryness, irritation, and soreness in the vagina, with increased urination.
- Periodontal disease: it is a gum infection that may damage gums and jawbone. Menopause may serve as a risk factor for the development of the periodontal disease.
- Mood changes or changes in emotions with increased heartbeats and increased risk of blood vessel disease.
- Cataract: in this health condition, the clear lens of the eye gets clouded, which develops over many years. Menopause may serve as a risk factor for cataracts, as; the levels of estrogen tend to decrease during this time.
Natural remedies to prevent or treat the symptoms of menopause
- Watch your weight: maintaining a healthy weight during this time may help in easing the symptoms. Exercising moderately for about 20 to 30 minutes regularly may be beneficial. Swimming, walking, jogging, aerobics, and yoga can help in increasing energy, uplift mood, promote a healthy sleep cycle and ease the symptoms of menopause.
- Relaxation techniques: it is advised to practice relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises while going through menopausal symptoms. These exercises are seen to improve symptoms like mood swings and emotional changes, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Manage your sleep cycle: many women experience insomnia or lack of sleep during menopause which may get worse. So, it is advised to talk to a doctor for sleeping aids or the prevention of insomnia. So, managing the sleep cycle is beneficial for menopausal women as it provides rest to the mind, easing other symptoms like uneasiness, anxiety, etc.
- Quit smoking: to ease the menopausal symptoms, it is advised to say no to smoking. Second-hand smoking or indirect smoking is also harmful as exposure to smoke worsens some conditions and may do the same for menopausal symptoms. It is also advised to limit the intake of alcohol, to reduce the symptoms. Too much consumption of alcohol during menopause may increase the risk of other health conditions or complications too.
- Supplementation: supplements of calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium may help during menopause, as; they reduce the risk of osteoporosis and improve the levels of energy and sleep. For each individual, the supplements that may work are different. So, it is advised to talk to a doctor before taking the supplement. You may also consider taking multivitamins, which usually do not have any side effects. Alvizia’s multivitamins for women come in a pack of 100 vegetarian tablets with the goodness of 13 vitamins, 13 minerals, 9 natural extracts, prebiotics, antioxidants, and amino acids.
Alvizia’s evening primrose oil, or aleneve, an active source of gamma- linoleic acid, is a dietary supplement used in various skin diseases, hair loss, and menopausal health issues.
Cold-pressed and available in a pack consisting of 60 soft gel capsules, it is ideal for women’s health as it may treat hormonal or cystic acne, scleroderma, osteoporosis, etc. It consists of linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid, which are the components of myelin. Hence, it is considered good for neuronal health.
It can also help in reducing the risks and chances of various chronic diseases.