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Perimenopause Transition to Menopause

Perimenopause is the stage before natural menopause and is when the ovaries are running out of eggs. It is often the time when women begin to experience the symptoms of menopause, and it usually lasts for 4-7 years but can last longer. The menopause itself officially takes place when a woman has no menstrual period for 12 consecutive months. With an increase in life expectancy, women live a third of their lives after menopause.

The symptoms begin when ovarian hormone production is gradually reduced.

Changes in hormone levels develop symptoms throughout the body. Some of these complaints are temporary, and some are longer-term.

Menopause is often causing a complex set of mental and physical symptoms.

Irregular periods

Menstruation often does not go smoothly, because, with temporary fluctuations in hormone levels, bleeding can return, and it is also typical that bleeding may be more intense and spasmodic.

Hot flashes

It is also a common symptom that hot flushes start with a break in the cycle, ranging in intensity from mild to disabling every day.

Temporary hot flashes can be treated well with natural preparations, but because of the extreme heat waves that last for years, hormone treatment may be warranted.
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Incontinence

By the age of 50, many women experience drips of urine.

Osteoporosis

Female sex hormones protect the bone against degeneration before menopause. In a hormone-deficient state, the bones weaken, and bone mass gradually decreases.

When treating osteoporosis, physicians emphasize prevention well before a femoral neck or wrist fracture develops.

Vaginal dryness in menopause

All of the female genitals are hormone-sensitive, so menopause also affects the vagina.

The vagina dries more easily, loses its slipperiness, and becomes prone to infections.

Weight gain in menopause

Post-menopausal obesity affects most women. Someone can do this without changing their weight.

The fact that your weight remains constant does not guarantee that you will not gain weight.

Women who do not exercise regularly lose about 1% of their muscle mass every year from the age of 40.

If this weight change is not visible on the scale, the only reason is because more muscles have been replaced by fat.

However, most women of variable age see evidence of an increase in body fat percentage when step on the scale.

In this case, your shape usually changes. While most pre-menopausal women tend to gain weight on their thighs and buttocks, after menopause, the excess weight goes to the waist.

This is bad news because abdominal fat has an inflammatory effect. The higher the waist circumference, the greater the risk of diabetes.

Other symptoms of menopause may include:

  • depression
  • night sweats
  • sleep disorders
  • hair loss
  • diminishing sex drive
  • frequent urination
  • migraine

Postmenopausal symptoms and risks

  • risk of developing heart disease
  • muscle and joint pain
  • formation of fat pads around the abdomen
  • water builds up in the body
  • memory problems
  • diabetes

Options to reduce symptoms and risks

A healthy lifestyle that including a nutritious diet, supplementation with vitamin D and calcium, regular weight-bearing exercise.

Also, avoiding smoking and alcohol can help lower your risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, and cardiovascular disease.

Hormone replacement therapy consists of estrogen, progesterone, and possibly testosterone may help alleviate or reduce the menopausal symptoms. However, it is recommended to use the lowest possible dose for the shortest duration possible to reduce the risks of breast cancer, blood clots, myocardial infarction, and stroke.

The point is that most of the symptoms of menopause can be reduced so that you can change the course of your menopause! See your doctor for help.

Reference: “Menopause” UCLA Health https://www.uclahealth.org/obgyn/menopause

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