What's Menopause and its Symptoms?
Let's start with estrogens. Estrogens are female hormones that are important for normal women's life and good health. They are responsible for good cholesterol levels, successful pregnancy and normal menstrual cycles. They keep the vagina, uterus, and bones healthy. When it comes to menopause the levels of estrogens changes. Menopause is a controversial, yet inevitable step in a long and slow process of reproductive aging. It is a normal part of women's life. For the majority of women menopause starts gradually somewhere around age forty. Because of declining levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone at this time, periods may start to be less regular.
Surgery can also result in menopause and early menopause. These surgeries are hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) and oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries). In these cases periods will stop and other menopausal symptoms will become evident.
Estrogenes and Menopause and Early Menopause Symptoms
What Are the Common Menopause and Early Menopause Symptoms?
What Happens to the Heart and Bones during Menopause?
How is it Possible to be Healthy during Menopause?
What's Hormone Replacement Therapy as Menopause Symptoms Treatement?
Phytoestrogens and Menopause and Early menopause Treatment
A woman's body undergoes many changes during her life. As a matter of fact, they occur because of changing hormone levels that take place at different stages in life. Menopause is one of these transitional stages. It begins with perimenopause. It is the time when a woman's body is closer to menopause. At this time, monthly periods may become less regular, and other perimenopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and sweats at night, may also become evident. Generally, perimenopause begins about two to four years before the last monthly period. The last monthly period is actually something by what menopause is marked. And the woman can't know for sure what's the last menstrual period until she haven't had menses for one full year. After menopause comes postmenopause and it lasts the rest of woman's life. It is marked by its specific symptoms such as vaginal dryness, impossibility of pregnancy, etc.
Varying levels of estrogenes can result in a variety of symptoms that may last from a few months to a few years. The most common menopausal and early menopause symptoms are:
Hot flashes. A hot flash is a sudden feeling of heat in the upper part or all of your body that can last from several seconds up to several minutes. They can be mild and severe. The woman's face and neck become flushed and red blotches may appear on the back, chest, and arms. Also heavy sweating and cold shivering can follow.
Sexual problems. With the majority of women feelings about sex change with menopause. Some feel freer and sexier after menopause because they don't have to worry about pregnancy any more. Others have changes to the vagina, such as dryness, that makes sex unpleasant or even painful. You should keep in mind that until you have had one full year without a period, you should still use birth control if you do not want to become pregnant.
Changes in menses. One of the first menopause and early menopause symptoms to be noticed is a change in menstrual periods. They can become less regular, lighter or heavier, shorter or longer. Menses may come less than three weeks apart or last more than a week. There may be spotting between periods as well.
Vaginal and urinary discomfort. The change in estrogen level can cause the vagina getting drier and thinner. As a result, sex can become unpleasant and painful, as well as woman can become more subjected to vaginal and urinary infections. Enuresis can become evident. Urine leaks can occur during exercise, sneezing, coughing, laughing, or running.
Sleeping disorders. Some women find that they may not fall asleep easily or may wake too early or several times at night. Some women may need to go to the bathroom at awakening in the middle of the night and then find that they can't fall back asleep.
Changes in the woman's body. Some women find that their bodies change during and after menopause. It's natural that with age waists thicken, muscle mass is lost, fat tissue increases, skin gets thinner. Other women have memory problems, or joint and muscle stiffness and pain.
Mood swifts. There is a connection between hormonal changes and a woman's state of mind. The majority of menopausal women are subjected to sudden mood changes, irritability, depression and anxiety.
There are two important changes that happen during menopause: osteoporosis and heart diseases.
Osteoporosis (loss of bone tissue). To have strong bones, the human body breaks down old bone tissue and replace it with new and healthy. The decrease in estrogen level around the time of menopause causes more bone to be lost than is replaced. If too much bone is lost, bones become thin and weak and can break easily.
Heart diseases. As a matter of fact, younger women have a lower risk of heart diseases than do men of the same age. But after menopause, a woman's risk of heart disease becomes almost the same. In fact, heart disease is the major cause of death in menopausal women, killing more women than lung or breast cancer.
Here is a number of tips how to stay healthy during menopause:
- Take regular pelvic and breast exams, Pap tests, and mammograms.
- Quit smoking.
- Dress in clothes that you can take off if you get too warm.
- Eat healthy food that is low in fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods. It should also be well balanced in vitamins and minerals, including calcium.
- Use an estrogen cream or a water-based vaginal lubricant.
- At the beginning of a flash drink cold water or juice.
- In case of hot flashes, sleep in a cool room.
- If you are having hot flashes, keep a diary to track when they happen.
- Contact your physician immediately if you notice a lump in your breast.
- Do more physical exercises and try to lose weight if you are overweight.
- Take drugs for your blood pressure if your health provider prescribes it for you.
- Take part in weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, jogging, running, or dancing, at least three days each week.
- Use clothing and layers that let your skin breathe.
Recent investigations have shown that hormone replacement therapy using estrogen and progestin should be better used e used only for short-term treatment of menopausal and early menopause symptoms. Examinations involving women taking estrogen without progestin (ERT) are still in progress. While ERT alone increases the risk of endometrial cancer, estrogen taken in combination with progestin (HRT) does not increase the risk. Women who have had a hysterectomy do not have an increased risk of uterine cancer. A woman who has a uterus and is unable to tolerate the side effects of progestin in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may consider estrogen-only replacement therapy (ERT) if testing shows no abnormalities of the endometrium. Close observation for precancerous changes of the endometrium is required, including an annual pelvic exam and an annual endometrial biopsy.
Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring compounds derived from plants that have estrogenic activity. They have a similar chemical structure to estrogen and, therefore, act like estrogen regulators. What they actually do is boosting estrogen effects. Phytoestrogens can also act to minimize the effect of estrogen when there is their excess. They have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and reduce the effects of viruses.