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Menopausal treatment is used to help treat the symptoms associated with menopause. Menopause is a term used to describe the changes a woman goes through once she is no longer menstruating and is a normal part of life. All women are born with a certain number of eggs, and when the last egg is released, it means that the ovaries will stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone.
When these hormones are no longer being produced, it can make a significant impact on a woman’s overall health for many years to come. When a woman has her last period, she is no longer able to bear children, which means she is beginning to enter the next stage of her life.
When women begin to lose their estrogen, they are more likely to experience a number of health issues, making regular gynecological appointments extremely important to their overall good health. A short list of potential health issues women can experience after going through menopause includes osteoporosis, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
WHEN DOES MENOPAUSE HAPPEN?
Menopause happens in three different stages and tends to occur at any time after a woman reaches the age of 40.
Stage #1: Perimenopause
This first stage of menopause tends to start a few years before actual menopause. This is a time when the ovaries begin to produce less estrogen, which indicates when women will first start to experience menopausal symptoms.
Stage #2: Menopause
Actual menopause starts when the ovaries have released the last egg, which means no more menstrual periods. This is a time when a woman will experience the majority of her menopausal symptoms, which can range anywhere from mild to extreme.
Stage #3: Postmenopause
This last stage of menopause tends to last a few years after actual menopause is over. This is the time when a woman’s menopausal symptoms begin to lessen.
COMMON SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE
There are many different types of symptoms that come with menopause. It is important to understand that every woman is different, which means that their menopausal symptoms may not be the same as others. Some women will experience mild menopausal symptoms, if any at all, while others will experience extreme menopausal symptoms, which can get in the way of their ability to perform everyday functions.
Common symptoms that come with menopause include:
- Feeling overall fatigued
- Experiencing mood swings
- The inability to sleep well during the night
- Hot flashes
- Experiencing feelings of depression and/or anxiety
- Feeling irritable
- Experiencing headaches often
- Experiencing aches and pains in the joints and muscles
- Experiencing vaginal dryness, which often leads to a decrease in sex drive
- Bladder control problems
COMMON TREATMENTS FOR MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS
There are a few treatment options available for women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms and looking for relief. While medical treatments are not required to treat menopause, as it is a natural occurrence, they can be used to help minimize or even prevent many of the symptoms that come with menopause.
Common medical-based treatment options used to treat menopausal symptoms include:
- Hormone therapy — Estrogen can be prescribed, which not only helps relieve hot flashes, it also helps prevent bone loss
- Vaginal estrogen — Estrogen can be prescribed to help relieve vaginal dryness, which is placed directly into the vagina via a cream or tablet
- Antidepressants — Antidepressants are available in low doses and work to help decrease the severity of hot flashes
- Certain medications — Additional medications can be prescribed to help women get the relief they need from hot flashes, e.g., gabapentin, clonidine, etc.
Common natural or home remedy treatment options include:
- Making healthy food choices — Choosing to eat foods high in nutrition helps ensure that the body is getting its recommended amount of vitamins and nutrients
- Getting plenty of sleep — Getting the proper amount of sleep is essential to a woman’s overall good health
- Understanding hot flash triggers — There are many different triggers that can bring on a hot flash, making it a good idea for every woman to understand what their triggers are so they can do their best to avoid them
- Exercising on a regular basis — Exercise is essential when it comes to a healthy body, and helps protect a woman against other health issues, like heart disease and diabetes
- Stopping smoking — Smoking greatly increases a woman’s chance of being diagnosed with other health issues, like stroke and osteoporosis