Let’s look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding menopause. Many women often feel fearful and confused when they experience the symptoms of menopause. Educating yourself about this issue will help dispel any fears or unfounded worries that you may have.
Let’s look at the questions.
What is menopause?
In scientific terms, menopause also known as the climacteric marks the event in a woman’s life when her periods stop completely. Their childbearing abilities come to an end with menopause.
Menopause is not a disease; it is a natural cycle in females. The ovaries and the other organs associated with ovulation do not stop working all of a sudden. There is a slow degradation till the ability to bear offspring is lost.
This is part and parcel of the aging process.
What is perimenopause?
As mentioned above, your body does not abruptly stop ovulating and reach menopause. There is a transition phase in-between. It’s this phase that’s known as perimenopause.
During this period your reproductive organs start to degrade slowly. When you do not experience periods for 12 months in a row, it signifies that you have reached menopause.
However, during the transition phase or perimenopause, you may still ovulate but not as regularly as you used to. So, there is still a chance that you may get pregnant while in perimenopause.
What is the age most women experience menopause?
Although much research has been carried out to find out the most probable age when women will experience menopause, the results are not conclusive. It’s next to impossible to exactly prognosticate when menopause will occur in a woman.
Since individuals vary, only the woman herself can confirm whether she has reached menopause once she realizes that she has missed periods for an entire year. Some women can experience menopause as early as 40 and for others, it may be as late as 60. The rough average stands at about 51 years. Smokers tend to reach menopause a bit earlier than their non-smoking counterparts.
What are some known symptoms of menopause?
Apart from the obvious symptom of an irregular menstruation cycle, your body will give quite a few signs that you are slowly marching towards menopause.
One of the most common symptoms is hot flashes and night sweats. Upon reaching menopause or even during the transition period you may feel sudden uncomfortable warmth around your chest, neck and face. There may be slight red patches on those areas which is only temporary.
Hot flashes will go away after a while but they are uncomfortable enough to wake you up from your sleep. It’s common to experience sweat and chills too. Hot flashes and night sweats are the reason most women experiencing menopause face sleep deprivation. If continuous hot flashes are ruining the quality of your sleep, do speak to your doctor.
Some other symptoms include growth of facial hair growth, change in voice and a lower sex drive. This is common and due to the hormonal changes. There is nothing to panic about here.
Why is sex more painful during menopause?
This is another common issue that can be easily remedied. During menopause, due to a declining estrogen level, many women experience vaginal dryness. You can either ask your doctor to prescribe you estrogen tablets or you could go with the safer option and just use lubricants such as KY Jelly, Durex Play, etc.
Is hormone replacement therapy safe?
Ideally, you should try and treat the menopause symptoms using natural, holistic methods. There are many possible health risks such as blood clots, breast cancer, stroke, heart disease, etc. So, there is risk involved. The best person to speak to in regards to this matter will be your doctor.
These are some of the most common questions asked when it comes to menopause. If you have questions that you do not see answered here, always seek the advice of a medical professional such as your doctor. They’ll be able to evaluate your health and give you the best possible advice that suits you.